WASHINGTON, D.C. – This afternoon, President Barack Obama signed Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins’ (KS-02) and U.S. Senator Jerry Moran’s (R-Kan.) legislation, H.R. 4067, into law. This law will delay Medicare’s enforcement of unreasonable and inflexible direct supervision rules for outpatient therapy services at Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) and other small, rural hospitals in 2014.
“This law has been a long time in the making and it would not have been possible without the hard work and leadership of Senator Moran and the number of folks who helped advocate for access to rural healthcare,” said Congresswoman Jenkins. “I am pleased Republicans and Democrats put their differences aside and put people in rural communities before political wrangling. There is still more work to be done, and access to quality healthcare in rural communities will continue to be one of my top priorities. Next Congress, I will work to ensure this law is made permanent so folks living in rural areas continue to have timely access to care and the certainty needed that they can receive these basic health services close to home.”
“Making certain Kansans have access to quality health care remains one of my top priorities in Congress,” Sen. Moran said. “Today, a commonsense bill was signed into law that helps preserve patients’ access to important therapy services in Kansas communities and across the country. Passage of this law is a positive development, and I plan to reintroduce legislation in the new Congress to address this issue on a permanent basis. Thanks to Congresswoman Jenkins for her extraordinary efforts on this legislation in the House of Representatives.”
Examples of direct supervision rules for outpatient therapy services:
- - Application of cast to a finger
- - Blood transfusions
- - Application of a splint to a finger
- - Demonstration and/or evaluation of a patient utilizing a nebulizer or metered dose inhaler
- - Alcohol and/or substance abuse (other than tobacco) structured assessment and brief intervention (such as advising of health risks and counseling for 15-30 mins)
- - Pulmonary rehabilitation, including exercise of one hour per session – up to two sessions per day
Items to note:
- - Kansas currently has the most CAHs in the country with 84.
- - This legislation is supported by the American Hospital Association, the Kansas Hospital Association and the National Rural Health Association.
- - Sen. Moran introduced the original version of this bill, S. 1954, and it passed the Senate on Feb. 10, 2014. Congresswoman Jenkins introduced an identical version of the bill in the U.S. House of Representatives and it passed the House on Sept. 9, 2014.
- - In June 2013, Sen. Moran introduced S. 1143, the Protecting Access to Rural Therapy Services (PARTS) Act, to address this therapy supervision issue on a permanent basis. Click here to read a summary of the PARTS Act.