People with Parkinson's disease often have a medical need for physical and speech language therapy. As someone with Parkinson's and someone who speaks with others daily about living with Parkinson's, the costs of therapeutic services often exceed the annual Medicare therapy reimbursement cap of $1,880.
While I and others are grateful Congress has repeatedly authorized exceptions to this cap for those with medical necessity, I live in fear of those going away, forcing me and others living with Parkinson's to potentially pay thousands of dollars out of pocket every year for therapies that allow me to be able to function on a daily basis.
Having Parkinson's limits our ability to work, so Medicare is something I have to rely on or be forced to pay cash for needed services. Waiting every year to find out if the therapy caps exception will be extended is stressful and unnecessary to many.
As Florida state director of the Parkinson's Action Network, I urge Sens. Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio, along with Rep. Connie Mack IV, to pass the Medicare Access to Rehabilitation Services Act (H.R. 1546/S. 829), which will eliminate Medicare therapy caps altogether. This is critically important to people with Parkinson's and other diseases and disorders who rely on outpatient therapy services.
I recognize Medicare is a hot-button issue, but I hope our nation's elected officials will do the right thing and pass this important legislation.