Report on Therapy Bill “SMART Act” Paves Way for Congressional Action

AHCA/NCAL Updates; Research and Data; Medicare

AHCA, along with a broad coalition of therapy stakeholders, issued a joint press release announcing a new report that identifies potential Medicare cost savings by standardizing Medicare Part B therapy supervision requirements. The report also highlights the critical role of therapy assistants in rural and underserved areas.     

The study and related detailed data appendix, conducted by Dobson DaVanzo & Associates, looks at the potential financial impact of the Stabilizing Medicare Access to Rehabilitation and Therapy Act, or SMART Act (H.R. 5536), introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., and Rep. Jason Smith, R-Mo. In addition to standardizing supervision requirements, the bill aims to exempt rural or underserved areas from a 15 percent Medicare payment cut implemented earlier this year when services are provided by an occupational therapy assistant or physical therapist assistant. That cut was implemented on January 1, 2022, and applies to OTA and PTA services under Medicare Part B. 

The research was commissioned by the American Physical Therapy Association, American Health Care Association, American Occupational Therapy Association, Alliance for Physical Therapy Quality and Innovation, National Association of Rehabilitation Providers and Agencies, National Association for the Support of Long-Term Care, and APTA Private Practice, a section of the American Physical Therapy Association.  

The report can be accessed via the Dobson DaVanzo & Associates website.