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Giving Staffing a Good Name
December 15th, 2011
Gertrude Collins, Grandmother of Sheri Byrd, PT, Passed Away
Our sister and PT extraordinaire Sheri Byrd lost her Grandmother this week due to brain cancer. Sheri’s grandmother’s name was Gertrude Collins, and she was 84 years old. We are all sorry for your loss Sheri. :(
Testimonial of Sandra Maynard, SLP
When I sent out last week’s Straight Shooter, Sandra replied that all the proposed messages were good but she thought people wanted to hear from real employees. And so, I asked Sandra to write one and she did. Here it is. Can you believe it took her previous contract company several weeks to finally pay her?
"I arrived in Houston, Texas, on June 1st, 2011. I immediately went to work for another staffing agency, and my first assignment was at a rehab hospital in Katy, TX. After a couple of days the rehab director and I struck up a friendship, and he told me the first staffing agency he called was Stambush Staffing, because it was a therapist-owned company with the best therapists due to the competency test everyone was required to take before being hired by Stambush. Needless to say, after not being paid by the staffing agency I was with after more than two weeks, I decided to call Scott Stambush at the rehab director's insistence. I have never regretted that decision and appreciated all Stambush has done for me since then. If you want a real family, 401K, long term and short term disability, and all the other benefits offered by direct hire companies, I truly believe Stambush is your answer."
Politics and Our Future
I recently got an email with the headline, “House Republicans Release Year-End Bill – Therapy Cap Language Included.” I then read the text trying to figure how what it meant so that I could tie it up in a neat little package and send it to you. I know you all are busy and tired from the awesome work you do, so I tried to help. However, after reading the text, I was afraid it wasn’t clear enough for me. Consequently, I replied to the sender, Mary Daulong, PT, CHC, CPH, who runs a business and clinical management company for health care providers, and this is what I said:
Hi Mary, I guess the 1% raise as opposed to the 27% reduction is good, but capping rehab and adding more paperwork sounds not so good. Am I reading this right? Are there better alternatives? What are the Democrats saying on this issue?
Mary responded with,
Your guess is as good as mine…I can imagine that there will be many versions prior to a vote.
Stambush Family, here is the entire text that I read and tried to condense even further for you. Let me know if you'd like to get in touch with Mary to ask questions.
From: Mary Daulong [mailto:XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX]
Sent: Wednesday, December 14, 2011 12:00 AM
To: Scott Stambush
Subject: SIPA/Daulong Info from APTA on EOY House Bill Therapy Cap & Fees
Just in case you didn’t receive this from APTA’s GAC
House Republicans Release Year-End Bill – Therapy Cap Language Included
The House Republicans filed their year-end legislative proposal this morning called the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act. The main items included regarding the Medicare therapy cap are:
· Duration - Provides a two year extension of the exceptions process.
· Modifier - Mandates consistent use of the KX modifier at the cap ($1880 for 2012)
· Manual Medical Review - Starting on July 1, 2012 patients who meet or exceed $3,700 in therapy expenditures will be subject to a manual medical review. The legislation designates that this medical review will be similar to the process used following DRA implementation in 2006. The $3,700 threshold will be applied to the combined PT/Speech cap and a separate $3,700 threshold will be applied to the OT cap. CMS must implement these changes in a timely manner and may do so through program instruction.
· NPI - Starting July 1, 2012, each request for payment must include the national provider identifier of the physician who currently periodically reviews the plan of care.
· Outpatient Hospital Settings - Starting January 1, 2012 the provisions of this language will apply to hospital outpatient setting.
· MedPAC - Not later than March 1, 2013, MedPAC shall submit to the House Energy and Commerce Committee, House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee a report on how to improve the outpatient therapy benefit. The report will include recommendations on how to reform the payment system so that the benefit is better designed to reflect individual acuity, condition and therapy needs of the patient.
Also the Republican House proposal includes updates to the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) for 2012 and 2013 by 1%. This negates a scheduled 27.4% reduction in payments to providers (including physical therapists that bill the MPFS).
Remember this is only one step in the process. The House is expected to vote on this legislation next week and the Senate still needs to unveil their proposal and also vote on it. Since both versions will be different the House and Senate must come to an agreement on one final bill and pass it before it gets to President Obama’s desk. This has a tough path to the President’s desk in the next week to 10 days and could change or not succeed, so our advocacy efforts must continue.
Quote of the Week
Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.
― Siddharta Gautama (Buddha)