Senate Passes Additional Extensions of Fee Schedule and Therapy Caps [03-12-10]

Filed under: Industry Updates — Editor @ 10:05 am

This past week, the Senate voted 62-36 to pass H.R. 4213, the Tax Extenders Act of 2010. The vote on final passage came shortly after the Senate agreed to Chairman Baucus’ Manager’s Substitute by voice vote and invoking cloture on the underlying bill with a 66-23 vote.

Two provisions of this bill are of great importance to rehabilitation providers: (1) the bill delays the April 1, 2010 scheduled 21 percent reduction in the physician fee schedule until October 1, 2010; and (2) the measure extends the exceptions process for the outpatient therapy caps until December 31, 2010.

The bill must now go back to the House. House Ways and Means Chairman Sandy Levin (D-MI) is meeting with committee Democrats to discuss how to proceed on the bill. There are differences over the offsets (for example, the House used carried interest as its main offset, the Senate used ‘black liquor’ and economic substance) as well as institutional resistance in the House to accepting the Senate product without change. The latest information suggests there may even be a formal conference on the bill to resolve differences, a process which has been relatively rare on tax bills this Congress. That step has several procedural hurdles, so a formal conference on the bill may not be pursued but is clearly under consideration. Unless the House acts and the House and Senate agree to a bill by April 1, the 21 percent reduction in the fee schedule will take effect and the authority for the therapy caps exceptions process will expire.

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

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