On October 1 the new Medicare student supervision requirement, created by the Skilled Nursing Facility Prospective Payment System (SNF PPS) final rule for Fiscal Year (FY) 2012, will take effect. Within this rule, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) discontinued the policy announced in the FY 2000 final rule's preamble requiring line-of-sight supervision of therapy students in a SNF.
The supervising therapist within a SNF now will determine the appropriate level of supervision of each therapy student, consistent with state and local laws and practice standards, starting October 1. However, CMS stated that the student is still viewed as an extension of the therapist, which means the policies regarding individual, concurrent, and group therapy as articulated in the RAI manual are still applicable.
To help association members with the transition to this new policy, APTA has updated its student supervision resources and provided a full summary of the final rule. In addition, APTA, the American Occupational Therapy Association, and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association submitted student supervision guidelines to CMS, which can be found on CMS' Web site.