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In-home and in-office Medical Massage Therapy is currently offered through the Veterans Administration as a fully covered benefit but due to the inappropriate application of a Medicare rule known as Multiple Procedure Payment Reduction (MPPR), massage therapists across the country are being woefully underpaid, therefore putting this nationwide program at risk.
Recently, HVAC member Congressman Pappas (D-NH) called on VA Secretary McDonough to reverse the VA’s decision to lower reimbursement rates for massage therapy. Pappas noted that “This decision has far-reaching implications, adversely affecting veterans’ well-being, providers, small business owners, and the overall effectiveness of our health care system.” Please see https://pappas.house.gov/media/press-releases/pappas-calls-on-va-to-protect-veterans-access-to-community-care-reverse-decision-to-lower-reimbursement-rates for more details.
VA doctors who have seen the results of non-opioid treatments for chronic pain know the extreme importance of treating our Veterans with therapies that enhance their mobility, mood, and overall health without the risk of the deadly addictions affecting our Veteran communities at rates far higher than the general population. In addition, this low-risk, low-cost therapy to relieve pain is offered to Veterans, in their own homes, vastly improving compliance and reaching Veterans whose access to a local VAMC is limited by distance, mobility, or other complicating factors. More importantly, VA’s own research shows that 92 percent of Veterans who receive this therapy self-report reduced pain, increased activity, better sleep, and improved mood, with half reporting a reduction in both over-the-counter and prescription pain medications.
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