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  • APTA Statement on Challenges in SNFs

    Recent publications from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and other federal agencies about the provision of therapy (physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech-language pathology) in skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) have prompted discussions regarding the potential overutilization of therapy services. In an official statement posted today, APTA highlights the results of several federal reports that led to extensive changes in the SNF Resource Utilization Groups (RUG) in Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 and have influenced proposed changes to the SNF Prospective Payment System (PPS) for FY 2012 in an effort to mitigate abusive behaviors, ensure a more accurate assignment of RUG therapy levels, and lower the costs associated with therapy services under the SNF PPS.

    "As these reports continue to be discussed and regulations are promulgated, APTA will continue communications with CMS, the Office of Inspector General, and Congress to ensure that they have a clear understanding of the role of physical therapy in the SNF setting so they can make informed decisions regarding changes to Medicare payment policy for these services," the association says. 

    Also included in the statement is information on the resources available to members, such as podcasts on changes to the MDS 3.0, summaries of federal rulemaking, FAQs, and defensible documentation guidelines. Of particular importance, APTA will hold a 2-day seminar October 28-29 in Atlanta that will specifically focus on physical therapists who practice in the SNF setting.

    To read the statement, click here and scroll down to APTA Comments.  


    • Therapists bring this on themselves by gaming the system to max. income especially in the corporate nursing home setting. Our professional reputation is deminished every time therapists put corporate profit ahead of patient care. We did the same thing with the 10 visit home health rule then again with the 6 visit rule. We have become everyones mindless cash cow.

      Posted by Gary Fite on 7/30/2011 8:43 AM

    • This is exactly why I have been saying for years. When higher ups stress "being creative" to maintain a caseload or to keep numbers high, you see therapists pick up residents that are really not appropriate for skilled services. Instead of standing up to them most caved. Now there will be tighter restrictions and less money. In the end the patients and therapists lose. Good job!

      Posted by seth on 7/30/2011 1:20 PM

    • What a mess we have made for ourselves. And I agree, we deserve it. Therapists have become an easy way of making money for a company. How many SNFs have almost no equipment, crammed gyms, strong resistance to buy anything but want max productivity at all costs. How I miss the old days!! Helping people who have true acute conditions, true rehab potential and who really need me!

      Posted by Linda Coetzee on 7/31/2011 7:56 PM

    • Linda, Unfortunatley you hit the nail on the head and it hurts.

      Posted by Carolyn Dixon on 8/2/2011 4:04 PM

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