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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Patient stories are so important to expressing the urgency of this issue to Congress.