AAPM&R Statement on Humanitarian Crisis

Members & Publications

June 25, 2018

UPDATE: AAPM&R received a formal response to our statement from the US Department of Homeland Security on Thursday, July 19. Click here to read the response.

Your Academy, like many of you, is concerned with the humanitarian crisis regarding the over 2,300 children that have been separated from their parents after crossing the Southern U.S. border. As advocates for the specialty, and your patients with disabilities, we understand the detrimental effects of institutionalization and civil marginalization, experienced by this population, and are deeply concerned by this practice. AAPM&R believes that the current policy of detaining families indefinitely and the lack of a plan to reunite vulnerable detained children separated from their families will have a long-lasting effect on childhood development, functionality, and quality of life lasting into their maturity and adulthood.

AAPM&R acknowledges the June 20, 2018 Executive Order, Affording Congress an Opportunity to Address Family Separation, ended the policy of separating immigrant children from their families upon their family members’ incarceration. However, we remain concerned that there is not a concrete and clear plan to reunite the already separated children with their families. Additionally, there have been reports of disabled children being subjugated to this separation. As of June 20, it is known that there is a 10-year old girl with Down Syndrome being detained in a McAllen, Texas facility.1 Another young child, Matheus da Silva Bastos, who suffers from severe epilepsy and autism, was separated from his grandmother in El Paso.2 These limited reports of detained disabled children alone are enough for our specialty to raise its voice, as we understand the need for regular and specialized care for disabled children, and what it could mean for undiagnosed children who may not be receiving proper care.

As physiatrists, we stand with the medical community in the call for Congress and our Administration to act quickly to resolve this crisis. As such, we urge all members of the government to expeditiously create and publicly announce such a plan and prohibit the separation and detention of innocent young children.


1. https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/20/health/mexico-girl-down-syndrome-temporary-shelter/index.html

2. https://www.texastribune.org/2018/06/13/immigrant-child-asylum-disabilities-separated-grandmother-border/

Legislation Introduced to Alleviate Impact of Conversion Factor Cut for 2021

Nov 09, 2020

Last month, two bills were introduced in the House proposing solutions to the estimated 10.6% Physician Fee Schedule conversion factor cut expected to go into effect January 1, 2021.  The bills offer some relief to the cut, but do not reflect a comprehensive or long-term solution.  AAPM&R has therefore chosen to remain neutral regarding these bills. 

Your Academy continues to advocate for a permanent solution to the conversion factor cut while maintaining the important payment increases to office and outpatient evaluation and management services.