The COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented stress to our health care system, economy and well-being. It is critical that Floridians — especially vulnerable seniors and individuals with serious underlying conditions — maintain access to physical therapy.
By helping seniors build strength, manage severe pain and recover from injury or illness, therapy can keep seniors out of hospitals. Physical and occupational therapy providers want to do our part, but we’re facing severe financial pressures, compounded by Medicare’s unwise decision to slash reimbursement. Without reform, many providers will have no choice but to close their doors to seniors.
Fortunately, U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan introduced the Outpatient Therapy Modernization and Stabilization Act to provide emergency financial relief from a looming 8% payment cut. The bill will also protect patients’ access to therapy via telehealth after the COVID-19 crisis.
I commend Rep. Buchanan for his leadership and urge Congress to pass this bill.
– Nicholas Pahl, M.D., CORA Sarasota
Opinion as published in The Herald Tribune in Monday’s letters on July 13, 2020