Medicare Part B Therapy Relief Legislation Introduced in the US House of Representatives


Last week, U.S. Representatives Bobby L. Rush (D-Ill.) and Jason Smith (R-Mo.) introduced new bipartisan legislation to support Medicare beneficiaries’ access to physical and occupational therapy services. The Stabilizing Medicare Access to Rehabilitation and Therapy (SMART) Act H.R. 5536 would delay and mitigate the impact of a looming 15% cut to the Medicare reimbursement rate for physical and occupational therapy assistants. Specifically, the legislation would exempt therapy assistants in rural and medically underserved areas from the pay cuts, reduce burdensome requirements for direct supervision of therapy assistants in private practice settings, and delay the reimbursement cuts for non-exempt providers to January 2023.

If this legislation is not enacted, these pay cuts are set to go into effect in January 2022.
The SMART Act is supported by groups including: ACCSES, Alliance for Recovery Care, Association of Assistive Technology Act Programs, Athletico, American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine, American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living, American Medical Rehabilitation Providers Association, American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), American Therapeutic Recreation Association, Brain Injury Association of America, Clinician Task Force, National Association of Rehabilitation Providers and Agencies, National Association for the Support of Long Term Care, Private Practice Section of APTA, Select Medical, and United Cerebral Palsy.