CMS has issued additional guidance for, and changes to, requirements that rehabilitation agencies must meet to participate in the Medicare program, including changes that will impact their operations. State surveyors will use this guidance in determining whether or not providers are in compliance with regulations.
Among the significant changes in the March 15 Transmittal 83, CMS established "criteria" for approval of extension locations, which includes a requirement that the extension location be "situated within a 30-mile radius of where 90 percent of the agency's primary site's population lives." CMS indicates that if unusual geographic features exist, consideration would be given for longer or shorter distances. Other areas addressed in the transmittal include requirements related to administration, policies, care planning and patient care, staffing, emergency care, equipment maintenance, and infection control.
Rehabilitation agencies should carefully review the guidance in Transmittal 83 and implement any necessary changes to ensure compliance with the new guidance. APTA will be seeking further clarification and requesting that CMS address concerns with some of the requirements included in the transmittal.
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