Medicare Cuts to Physical Therapy Benefits = No Care for Seniors?

More than likely.

It may not be well known that insurance companies across the board have significantly cut payouts to physical therapists making it increasingly difficult for practices to accept all insurance plans as it’s become impossible to support a business or a staff based on the cuts. If you have one of these insurance companies, then you know precisely what I’m talking about as I’m sure you have had difficulty finding providers that are in network or your co-pays are so high you can’t afford to go. Private companies are, of course, free to do as they wish and PT’s are free to choose not to accept those plans. Who loses? The consumer.

Now Medicare patients may be severely affected by a new regulations proposal. Currently, there is a government proposed regulation to deeply cut Medicare payouts to Physical Therapy providers. The cuts are so severe it will simply put practices out of business or ensure no practice accepts Medicare in the future. What does this mean for Medicare patients? No treatment. Is it fair to tell people who’ve paid into a system their entire lives that they will no longer have access to treatment? Consider how it will affect a person who breaks a hip. Without PT, the hip will certainly heal, but the musculature will atrophy to a point that the patient will be disabled or on his or her own to figure out how to walk again. Best-case scenario, the patient lives in pain and walks with a limp and the worst case is another fall, another break, another stint in the hospital. For those only interested in the bottom line, how is that cost efficient? Obviously, it isn’t a good situation for the patient.

Arguably, the lack of physical therapy will create a boom for the nursing home industry, as older people with injuries won’t be able to recover without treatment and forced into homes. Again, who suffers? The consumer. Why? Not only do they face the possibility of being debilitated, but they will also have to give up their homes and lives to go live in a facility of Medicare’s choosing. Sounds great, right? If you’re like me and think this sounds reprehensible, then you can have you voice heard. Medicare is NOT a private company; it is a government run (albeit into the ground) program that WE fund with every paycheck. Click the link below and let the government know this is unacceptable. We only have two weeks to fight this so spread the word and don’t let them get away with it.