Congress Passes Temporary Extension of Therapy CAP Exceptions [03-03-10]

Filed under: Industry Updates — Editor @ 9:18 am

Late last evening, the Senate passed H.R. 4691, the “Temporary Extension Act of 2010” by a vote of 78-19. The House had passed the bill on February 25, 2010. The legislation will now be send to the President for signature into law. Passage of the bill in the Senate followed days of objections by Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY) who argued that the $10.3 billion cost of the bill was not offset.

Section 5 of the bill extends the current payments under the physician fee schedule for 30 days until April 1, 2010. Effective as of March 1, 2010, the physician fee schedule had been reduced by 21 percent by operation of the Sustainable Growth Rate.  Section 6 of H.R. 4691 extends the exceptions process for the outpatient therapy caps until March 31, 2010.

In addition to these provisions, the bill temporarily extends a number of expiring or expired provisions including unemployment insurance, premium assistance for COBRA benefits, surface transportation programs, use of the 2009 poverty guidelines, the National Flood Insurance Program, the Small Business Loan Guarantee Program,, and satellite television.

With the breathing space afforded by these temporary extensions, Congress is now considering legislation which would further extend these and other programs. Under legislation currently being developed, the exceptions process for the therapy caps would be extended through the end of this year, December 31, 2010. The fee schedule may be extended for a shorter time to September 30, 2010. Consideration of this legislation could occur over the next few weeks.

From The National Association of Rehabilitation Providers & Agencies.  Marden Supports NARA.

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