The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), as well as the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), have together received a 2018 ASAE Power of A Gold Award for the “Stop the Cap” campaign.

The trifecta received the award—the association industry’s highest honor—for their efforts to advocate for an end to the Medicare Outpatient Therapy Cap, which limits the amount of coverage available for occupational, physical, and speech therapies.

The award recognized the creation of the Therapy Cap Coalition, which consists of patient advocacy organizations and therapy providers who worked together to amplify each group’s grassroots messages and outreach to Capitol Hill.

The Coalition developed legislative proposals and drafted legislative language to help pave the path for a permanent repeal, collaborated to build Congressional support for repeal, fostered relationships with members of Congress, and shared the real-world stories of how the therapy cap affected the Medicare beneficiaries.

In February 2018, 241 Members of the house and 37 Senators co-sponsored the bills to repeal the cap once and for all, explains a media release from AOTA.

“This honor champions the collective victory that AOTA, APTA, and ASHA achieved in repealing the arbitrary therapy cap that for 20 years undermined health services of millions of Americans,” says Sherry Keramidas, PhD, FASAE, CAE, executive director of AOTA, in the release.

“Ongoing advocacy efforts between our organizations to provide access to therapy services necessary to allowing patients and clients to lead fulfilling lives does not end here, but we are thankful for the recognition of this long-fought battle.”

“This award underscores the importance and power of collaboration and coordination,” says APTA CEO Justin Moore, PT, DPT.

“For two decades our associations fought side-by-side for patients’ rights to care and to tear down this arbitrary roadblock. And, we did it. We stopped the cap. That accomplishment was only possible through teamwork. We appreciate this recognition and look forward to continued advocacy on behalf of the people we serve.”

“Stop the Cap was a great win for their associations, their members, and those served by their members,” states ASHA 2018 President Elise Davis-McFarland, PhD, CCC-SLP. “We are honored to be recognized by ASAE along with our colleagues at the American Occupational Therapy Association and the American Physical Therapy Association. Our joint advocacy to end the Medicare therapy cap exemplifies the great things we can accomplish working together.”

As a Gold Award winner, the Stop the Cap program is one of 16 campaigns under consideration for ASAE’s Summit Award, which will be announced later this summer, per the release.

The American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) Power of A Gold Award, the association community’s highest honor, recognizes innovative associations working to positively impact the world on the local, national, and global levels.

[Source: AOTA]