PTs and other health care professionals who provide durable medical equipment and prosthetic and orthotic services to Medicare beneficiaries will be exempt from the program’s accreditation process and quality standard requirements, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) said last week.

The American Physical Therapy Assocation (APTA) calls the announcement a victory for patients and health care professionals nationwide.

"Physical therapists already provide care of the highest quality, so these unnecessary requirements would have been overly burdensome, costly, and could have created obstacles for patients needing these services," said APTAs President R Scott Ward, PT, PhD.

As originally proposed, PTs and other health care providers would have been required to meet certain quality standards and be accredited by an independent accreditation organization in order to bill for these services. The deadline for new suppliers was March 2008, while the deadline for existing suppliers was September 2009.

APTA worked with the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the American Podiatric Medical Association, the Medical Group Management Association, the American Occupational Therapy Association, and the American Optometric Association to convince CSM to eliminate the accreditation process.

[Source: APTA]