Are Therapy Changes Putting Daily Skilled Services at Risk?

By Caralyn Davis, Staff Writer - November 13, 2019

The October 1 implementation of the Patient-Driven Payment Model (PDPM) under the Skilled Nursing Facility Prospective Payment System (SNF PPS) for traditional fee-for-service Medicare Part A residents brought quick changes to therapy provision among some providers. Led by Modern Healthcare, multiple news publications reported nationwide lay-offs of therapists and therapy assistants, as well as corporate mandates to provide group or concurrent therapy or to provide a set number of therapy minutes per SNF resident—without regard for a therapist’s clinical judgment of each resident’s individual needs.

 

The situation is so alarming to therapists that the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASLHA), the National Association for the Support of Long-term Care (NASL), and the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) banded together to issue a Compliance Statement to help therapists navigate the process for reporting compliance concerns. These organizations also are working directly with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to identify troubling trends, as evidenced by the AOTA’s October 17 statement, An Important Message About PDPM From AOTA.