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Giving Rehabilitation Businesses a Voice

As rehabilitation providers much of our focus is on providing the best care possible to the patients we serve.  While devoting our time and energy to quality care we can lose sight of the ever-changing regulations effecting our reimbursement and the delivery of care to patients. We need someone who is looking out for our best interest and the best interest of our patients. Thus NARA created a Political Action Committee (PAC) and Government Affairs Committee. Through the legislative efforts of the NARA PAC and Government Affairs Committee, NARA serves as a voice in the political arena and fights for patient access, reasonable compensation, reduction of administrative burden, streamline of processes between payers for the success of rehabilitation businesses.

NARA PAC

NARA Advocacy Action Center


Legislation

NARA works to provide rehabilitation providers with information and advocacy efforts for legislation and regulations that directly impact their businesses and their ability to deliver quality care to patients. Our current legislative and regulatory priorities include:

  • Educating the Biden Administration and New Members of Congress. The change in Administrations will bring new leadership to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”), the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”), and other federal agencies of import to rehabilitation providers. The elections also brought 7 new Senators and 60 new Members of the House. These new federal officials and legislators must be briefed on issues of importance to rehabilitation providers as well as the value of the services they furnish to patients. Such education is a high priority.
  • Upcoming rate adjustment for PTAs and OTAs under Part B Medicare.  NARA opposes policies which would rebase fee schedule reimbursement for care provided by Physical Therapist Assistants and Occupational Therapy Assistants.  NARA believes reimbursement for assistants who are under the supervision of a physical therapist or occupational therapist should not be subject to a payment differential.  In this regard, it is noteworthy that there are no differentials for therapy assistants under Medicare A.
  • Access to Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) by Rehabilitation Agencies. Currently rehabilitation providers which are required to use the uniform billing form (UB-04) are not able to participate in the MIPS value-based payment model including the financial benefits which may accrue from such participation.  NARA supports legislation or policy changes that would allow rehabilitation agencies and other institutional rehabilitation providers to participate in this program.
  • Reducing Administrative Burden.  NARA supports efforts to reduce administrative burden of providing health care and of billing federally funded health programs. For this reason, NARA endorses   efforts to increase efficiencies and reduce cost in the delivery of health services including, inter alia, data sharing, standardization of electronic medical records and outcome registries, reduction of complex billing requirements, simplification of coding and submission rules, and removal of burdensome prior authorization requirements. NARA also supports the elimination of barriers for Medicare beneficiaries to optimize access to rehabilitative therapies
  • Promote Rehabilitation Services as an Alternative to Opioids.  NARA endorses the CDC guidelines encouraging the use of nonpharmacological approaches to pain management including physical therapy and occupational therapy.  NARA calls for policies that encourage individuals with muscle skeletal conditions to use physical and occupational therapies as alternatives to Opioids. NARA believes a multidisciplinary team approach, early conservative treatment, and education for primary care providers and the general public must be part of a comprehensive strategy to combat the opioid crisis.
  • Access to Rehabilitation Providers.  NARA supports legislation that will improve access to rehabilitative services to the general population including increasing the health provider workforce in rural and medically underserved areas,  adding physical therapists and occupational therapists to federal student loan repayment programs, expanding opportunities in public programs for direct access to rehabilitative therapy services,  including the cost of education support federal programs to reduce student loan burden, expanding coverage and payment for rehabilitation services delivered via digital health and telehealth, and reducing out-of-pocket costs for nonpharmacological rehabilitation services.
  • Telehealth and Digital Health Services.  NARA supports the use of telehealth and digital health services to improve access for rehabilitation services.  NARA encourages policymakers to remove barriers and develop compensation models to promote telehealth and digital health services for rehabilitation services.  NARA supports legislation requiring Medicare and federal health plans to provide parity for both coverage and payment for rehabilitation services provided through telehealth services.   NARA also promotes legislation that supports the utilization of electronic health records by rehabilitation professionals.
  • Safety with Coronavirus Pandemic: role of rehabilitation, impact on industry (SNFs, HHAs, etc.), safety rehabilitation providers and patients.
  • Health Disparities, Discrimination, Social Determinants of Health: these loom large in the Biden Administration.  NARA will be collaborating and sharing resources from our professional associations that can aid in this initiative.
  • Medicare Reform:  Solvency of the Medicare trust funds, value-based reimbursement, value- based insurance design.
  • Federal Deficit: Budget cuts to address burgeoning federal deficit and no disproportionate harm to rehabilitation providers/patients.
  • Commercial Market Reform: shoring up the ACA.

 

Click here for a Printable List of NARA Legislative Priorities.

To learn more about each of these legislative priorities, please call us at  1-866-839-7710.


The NARA Political Action Committee (PAC)

The NARA Political Action Committee (PAC) serves as a way to allow individuals, providers, corporations and unions the opportunity to share a common political goal and voluntarily contribute money to affect change in the national political landscape. NARA's PAC serves as a separate fund that is established by NARA, and you can contribute as much as you like. Contributions should be made via personal checks.*

NARA's PAC is made up of our members and other individuals who want to affect positive change in the rehabilitation industry and for the industry’s patients. The purposes of NARA's PAC are to:

  • Give donations to candidates for national office and elected officials who demonstrate their support for the rehabilitation industry, practitioners and patients. These donations are given without consideration of political party affiliation.
  • Increase and improve Congress’ awareness about national issues that impact the rehabilitation industry and patients.
  • Establish an active and effective mechanism for NARA membership in affecting the federal government policies on NARA issues.
  • Raise money through voluntary contributions of NARA members and using that money to positively affect the national political process.

Contribute to NARA’s Advocacy Effort

Whether you’re interested in learning more about NARA’s legislative priorities or making a donation to NARA's PAC, you can get involved with NARA by calling 1-866-839-7710.