Advocate Against the Reimbursement Rate Change for OTAs in the 2018 Bipartisan Budget Act
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The Bipartisan Budget Act (BBA), a piece of legislation that made various changes to Medicare Part B payment systems, passed in February 2018. According to this new act, beginning in 2020 all Medicare Part B providers must report, with a modifier, whether an occupational therapist (OT) or an occupational therapy assistant (OTA) provided services. Beginning in 2022, the services provided by OTAs will be reimbursed at 85% of the typical payment rate (AOTA, 2018). This payment change is based on the reimbursement policy currently used for nurse practitioners (NP) and physician assistants (PA). The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) stated that this policy change could be a problem for the OT profession, especially in geographic regions that are more dependent on OTA services, due to overall shortages of OT practitioners in that location (AOTA, 2018).
Ultimately, the provision included in the BBA 2018, which made changes to the way OTAs are paid under Medicare Part B, is not supported by us and is predicted to prevent beneficiary access to quality care.
Please sign to support our advocacy efforts.
AOTA. (2018). Open letter to occupational therapy assistants (OTAs) and OTA students. Retrieved from https://www.aota.org/Advocacy-Policy/Federal-Reg-Affairs/News/2018/open-letter-ota-students-medicare-reimbursement-changes.aspx
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