The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), Alexandria, Va, has submitted three sets of comments on proposed Medicare rules for skilled nursing facilities (SNF) and inpatient rehabilitation facilities (IRF) released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in early May, says a statement released by the APTA.

The rules include extensive changes to the calculation of concurrent therapy minutes on the SNF Minimum Data Set, potential restrictions on the use of group therapy within the IRF 3-hour rule, and new definitions for determining medical necessity in the Medicare Benefits Policy manual for admission to an IRF.

In its comments, APTA discusses each of these changes and their effect on the provision of physical therapy services and outlines recommendations to the agency. Following a description of a concurrent therapy session, the association says, "… physical therapists working in SNFs should be able to use a combination of individual, concurrent, and group therapy as medically necessary in accordance with Medicare coverage guidelines for skilled therapy. We believe that the use of all three modes (individual, concurrent, and group) can reflect optimal care for patients within the SNF setting." 

Follow this link to the SNF comments and a detailed summary of the proposed rule. Comments on the IRF proposed rule and changes to the Medicare Benefits Policy can be found at this link.

CMS will release final rules on the provisions by August 1, says the APTA.

[Source: APTA]