The American Health Care Association (AHCA) and the National Association for the Support of Long Term Care (NASL) praised Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) for urging that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) maintain the exception process to Medicare Part B therapy caps.

"We thank Senator Baucus for leading the fight in Congress to protect seniors' access to critical rehabilitative services," stated Bruce Yarwood, President and CEO of AHCA. "On behalf of the millions of Medicare beneficiaries cared for by AHCA members, we echo Senator Baucus' call for CMS to delay implementation of the onerous therapy caps."

"More than 700,000 Medicare beneficiaries will exceed their limit on Part B outpatient therapies this year, and it is critical to extend the exceptions process to allow these individuals to continue receiving the care they need and deserve," stated Peter Clendenin, Executive Vice President of NASL.

In a letter to HHS Secretary Michael Leavitt, Senator Baucus urged the delay of the enforcement of the caps, stating: "I write today to…allow the exception process to remain in place until Congress acts to extend the moratorium and reinstate the exception process. Alternatively, I ask that you delay processing claims for therapy services provided to beneficiaries subject to the cap. With strong bipartisan support, Congress has consistently acted to prevent therapy caps from going into effect and is on the verge of doing so again."

Baucus requested that Leavitt extend the exception process administratively for seniors who require therapy services beyond the limits, stating "H.R. 6331…contains an 18-month extension of the exception process. I respectfully request that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services maintain the exception process to the therapy caps or delay processing relevant claims until Congress has the opportunity to act following the Independence Day recess."

Yarwood concluded, "Senator Baucus understands the need for uninterrupted Medicare therapy benefits, and we applaud his efforts to ensure that our nation's most vulnerable seniors can continue to receive the rehabilitative services they require."

The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL) represent nearly 11,000 non-profit and proprietary facilities dedicated to continuous improvement in the delivery of professional and compassionate care provided daily by millions of caring employees to 1.5 million of our nation's frail, elderly and disabled citizens who live in nursing facilities, assisted living residences, subacute centers and homes for persons with mental retardation and developmental disabilities. For more information, please visit ahca or ncal.

American Health Care Association

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