In the News

Report: 5 Million to 14 Million Americans Could Lose Medicaid Coverage When COVID-19 Pandemic Ends

Millions of Americans who gained Medicaid health insurance during the COVID-19 pandemic could lose coverage this year or next year when generous federal subsidies end, a new analysis has found.

Kaiser Family Foundation estimates 5 million to 14 million Americans could lose Medicaid when states begin to unwind coverage after the Biden administration declares the COVID-19 public health emergency is over.

The federal government provided billions in federal aid to states on the condition that they would not remove people from Medicaid until the public health emergency ends. The temporary measure to ensure Americans didn't lose coverage during the pandemic has extended more than two years. Kaiser projects sign-ups for full and partial Medicaid coverage will have swollen by 25% to 110 million by September's end.

Read more @ USA Today

 

President's Message

Posted: May 17, 2022

Let’s talk about advocacy. Clearly, advocacy is within our role as physical therapists. We advocate for our clients’ best interests every day. But, do we advocate for ourselves and our profession? Probably not as well as we should.

Every day, I hear or read stories from our colleagues (some APTA members, some not) about excessive productivity expectations, inappropriate clinical decision-making by non-clinicians in our workplaces, or even clients who treat their PTs inappropriately. When we push back against these issues in a professional manner, we are advocating for ourselves. We as therapists, PTAs, students, and employees in general, have the right to a safe workplace and the obligation to report unethical or fraudulent behavior (it’s in your state practice act!). Don’t be afraid to speak up if you are being treated poorly!

Just as important, we are advocates for our profession. By joining APTA and APTA Home Health, you have already taken the first step. There are many issues that may impact our profession, and many more that already have. Telehealth and digital health and value based purchasing are two examples. These will materially change how we practice and how we are reimbursed. We have an obligation to understand these (and other issues) and to voice our concerns for the record.

APTA makes it easy for us to do that. Just go to https://www.apta.org/advocacy/take-action and check out the Legislative Action Center and the Regulatory Action Center. And be ready—in about six weeks, the 2023 Proposed Final Rule for Home Health will be published. We will need your help and your comments to address any issues in that proposed rule. Our Government Affairs Committee, with the help of APTA staff, will post a template letter for you to modify and submit. The more comments that CMS receives, the more likely that they will make the changes that we recommend!

Thank you for your efforts on behalf of APTA, APTA Home Health, the profession, and the clients that we serve every day!

Sincerely, 

 


 Phil Goldsmith
 President
 APTA Home Health  

 

 

APTA's Medicaid Advocacy Is (Mostly) a Mind of State

Date: May 16, 2022
Author: Kate Gilliard, JD

If I asked you which program was larger, Medicare or Medicaid, what would you say?

Sure, Medicare gets plenty of attention on national news. But Medicaid is the nation’s largest health payer.

CMS has estimated 2021 Medicare enrollment at 63.8 million, while estimated Medicaid enrollment was 83.5 million. That number does not include an additional seven million children who are enrolled in the Children’s Health Insurance Plan, which works closely with Medicaid and offers low-cost coverage to children in families that don’t qualify for Medicaid. That means more than one in five Americans gets their health coverage through Medicaid.

Click here to read more. 

 

'You Can't Care if You Aren't There': Provider Mental Health Can't Be Ignored

Date: Friday, May 13, 2022
Author: Drew Contreras, PT, DPT

Physical therapists and physical therapist assistants are an interesting cohort of health care providers. When you really get to the root of why people choose the profession, it almost always comes down to selfless service.

They don’t come to the profession for the title or lucrative salary; they do it because they feel a need to help other people and bring society to a better place. It doesn't matter if those efforts are centered on patient care, working within a health care system, or even research: It’s about making a difference and impact in whatever way they can.

So, then, why are we so quick to help everyone but ourselves?

Click here to read more. 

 

Democrats’ Efforts on BBB Reconciliation Package Continue to Stall

From Partnership for Medicaid Home-Based Care

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) has further narrowed the universe of policies he wants to include in a modified Build Back Better Act (H.R. 5376) to focus on tax changes (namely, increasing the corporate rate to 25 percent and establishing the capital gains tax rate at 28 percent); deficit reduction; and policies to reduce prescription drug prices.  He has indicated that any other changes must go through regular order, effectively giving policies like HCBS investments little chance (at the moment) to advance in reconciliation.  Some policymakers are concerned that Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) is not aligned with Sen. Manchin’s desired tax changes, which could jeopardize even a small reconciliation bill.  Further, with Sen. Manchin attempting to negotiate a bipartisan climate package with Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and other policymakers turning their attention to the conference committee for the Bipartisan Innovation Act, active discussions on reconciliation are unlikely in the coming weeks.

 
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