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  • Proposed Rule Updates SNF PPS Payment Rates for FY 2014

    The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released a proposed rule yesterday that outlines Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 updates for Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) prospective payment system (PPS) payment rates. The updates included a 1.4% estimated SNF market basket update to FY 2014 payments, with CMS estimating a $500 million increase in FY 2014 aggregate payments. CMS also noted that providers were not negatively impacted by FY 2012 allocation of group therapy minutes and implementation of the change of therapy.

    Additionally, the proposed rule would add items 00420 (Calendar Days of Therapy) to the Minimum Data Set and clarify that "classification criteria for the Rehabilitation RUG categories require that the resident receive the requisite number of distinct calendar days of therapy to be classified into the Rehabilitation RUG category." RUG stands for resource utilization group. The RUG level, which is based on facility needs, nursing care, and therapy minutes provided per week, determines the amount of money per day that Medicare will pay for a patient's stay at a facility.

    The proposed rule would also invite suggestions to identify alternatives to current methods used to pay for therapy services under the SNF PPS, and require SNFs, beginning October 1, 2013, to record the number of distinct calendar days of therapy provided by all rehabilitation disciplines over the 7-day look-back period for the current assessment.

    CMS will accept comments on provisions of the proposed rule until July 1, 2013. APTA will provide a comprehensive summary of the proposed rule in the next few days and will submit comments on behalf of the membership.

    Move Forward Radio Discusses NEJM Study on Meniscal Tears and Knee OA

    The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) study showing physical therapy to be as effective as surgery for some patients with meniscal tears and osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee was the topic of conversation in today's episode of Move Forward Radio.

    Clare Safran-Norton, PT, PhD, MS, OCS, who participated in the MeTeOR Trial (Meniscal Tear in Osteoarthritis: A Random Controlled Trial), discussed the study, which showed no significant differences in functional improvement after 6 months between patients who opted for surgery with postoperative physical therapy and those who received standardized physical therapy alone.

    APTA promoted the episode and other supporting consumer resources such as the Physical Therapist's Guide to Meniscal Tear and the Physical Therapist's Guide to Osteoarthritis of the Knee via social media.

    Move Forward Radio airs approximately twice a month. Episodes are featured and archived at MoveForwardPT.com, APTA's official consumer information website, and can be streamed online via Blog Talk Radio or downloaded as a podcast via iTunes.

    APTA members are encouraged to alert their patients to the radio series and other MoveForwardPT.com resources to help educate the public about the benefits of treatment by a physical therapist. Ideas for future episodes and other feedback can be e-mailed to consumer@apta.org.

    APTA to Hold Virtual Career Fair June 6

    Attend APTA's online Virtual Career Fair on Thursday, June 6, 1:00 pm-4:00 pm ET. This live, online event is a great way for you to engage directly with employers about their current and future physical therapy opportunities.

    Participate in the Virtual Career Fair for as long as you wish, chatting 1-on-1 with recruiters to discuss your background and experience, and their current and future career opportunities.

    Space is limited, so register now.