In the News

White House Prepares to Ration Vaccines as Covid Funding Impasse Looms

A painful and foreboding reality is setting in for the White House as it enters a potentially dangerous stretch of the Covid fight: It may soon need to run its sprawling pandemic response on a shoestring budget.

Just two months after the administration unveiled a nearly 100-page roadmap out of the crisis, doubts are growing about Congress’ willingness to fund the nation’s fight. It has forced Biden officials to debate deep cuts to their Covid operation and game out ways to keep the federal effort afloat on a month-by-month basis.

Read more @ Politico

 

U.S. Households Can Order 8 More Free COVID Tests

The Biden administration opened CovidTests.gov for a third round of COVID-19 tests last Monday, while calling on Congress to pass additional COVID response funding.

The total number of free tests available to each household since the start of the program is 16.

 

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. 

 
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