Proposed CMS Rule Offers Regulatory Relief for Outpatient Therapy Reporting
According to long-term and post-acute care (LT/PAC) industry sources, a provision for significant regulatory relief for outpatient therapy providers is included in the extensive Medicare Part B Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) Proposed Rule for 2019. Specifically, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) want to discontinue the functional limitation reporting (FLR) requirement for Part B rehabilitation therapies, which include physical and occupational therapy as well as speech-language pathology services. This follows years of requests from the American Health Care Association (AHCA) for CMS to make this change.
In addition to eliminating wasteful regulations, the proposed rule announcement states that the continued reporting of FLR data is unnecessary as a result of the enactment of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 that repealed therapy caps and called for targeted review audit protections to ensure therapy services are furnished when appropriate.
Senior Policy Advisor Miranda Franco told Provider that, thus far, the Trump Administration is focused most on regulatory relief when it comes to healthcare. Ms. Franco said that, under President Trump, CMS—as well as the Department of Health and Human Services—"has focused on a number of overarching goals, like promoting consumer-driven policies, reducing administrative burdens and regulations, promoting health information interoperability, and providing more consumer access to health data."