Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Patients To Congress: Save Our Vital Therapy Services Today

Medicare patients who have a debilitating illness, such as stroke, and who need outpatient therapy, are subject to arbitrary yearly limits or "therapy caps", regardless of what their doctors recommend. But the AHA/ASA, joined by over 40 other patient and provider groups, has been calling on Congress to reinstate the exceptions process that would allow patients to access the care they need without arbitrary caps.

The good news: Congress listened, with the Senate passing a bill last night that extends the therapy cap exceptions through March 31, 2010. The House had passed the same bill on February 25th.

The bad news: This is only a short-term fix. After March 31st, patients who reach their cap will face costly out-of-pocket charges, compounding the challenges of recovery with financial worries.

As Dr. Eric Aldrich (far right in picture), an AHA/ASA volunteer and an associate professor of neurology and physical medicine and rehabilitation at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, said today at an event on Capitol Hill, “Now that Congress has provided some immediate relief to Medicare beneficiaries being affected by the caps, it is critical to extend the exceptions process for the longer term to allow these individuals to have the peace of mind that therapy services will be there when they need them.”

Stay tuned for more opportunities to act on this important issue. We will need advocates like you to continue to send the message to Congress that a long-term solution to eliminating these therapy caps is critical for stroke patients. And- If you or a loved one is stroke patient on Medicare who has reached the therapy cap, or is approaching the cap, please share your story with us by emailing advocacydc@heart.org. Patient stories are so important to expressing the urgency of this issue to Congress.

3 comments:

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Patty said...

That's bad news. I hope they can do something to change that. It's going to add more stress to the patients. I mean, they have to overcome both trying to recover and the money they have to spend while doing so.

I've had a therapy before, and my therapist advised me to take Yoga classes or something similar because he thinks that it really helps. I took Theta healing classes, because one of my friends recommended it. She told me that the inventor had cancer and survived because of this. That got me curious about Theta healing so I had to take those classes. It's really helping me a lot right now because I feel a lot of positive energy flowing within me.