At AMRPA, we are working tirelessly to advance the field of medical rehabilitation through advocacy, education, and the promotion of access to care. In 2021, AMRPA launched a number of new policy and operational initiatives and scored a number of victories for members through robust engagement with the Administration and Congressional leaders. In Congress, AMRPA advocated for changes to coverage and reimbursement policies to ensure patient access to inpatient rehabilitation and worked actively to advance bills that align with AMRPA’s policy agenda.
Furthermore, as the association’s membership grows, AMRPA continually identifies and fosters Congressional relationships that correlate with our expanding national presence, which ensures that AMRPA continues to be the leading policy voice for inpatient rehabilitation. On the regulatory side, AMRPA engaged extensively with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and other senior Administration officials in efforts to both champion AMRPA’s regulatory priorities as well as successfully oppose potential policy threats. AMRPA will continue these and other efforts as the post-acute care landscape continues to rapidly evolve.
The AMRPA communications and marketing program aligns with the strategic goal of positioning the association as the leading authority and voice for the field, as well as a vehicle to get information and resources to the consumer audience. AMRPA’s operational and education programs have established the association as the premier source of professional development for the IRF field. Looking ahead, 2022 promises to present new legislative and regulatory challenges as well as opportunities to move the IRF field forward. Your continued AMRPA membership is valued and appreciated.
Below is a sample of AMRPA’s accomplishments in 2021:
- Submitted robust response to CMS on its proposed payment updated for IRFs, resulting in a positive payment update and utilization of COVID-era data for payment adjustments.
- Led coalition of multiple provider groups to directly engage government officials and Members of Congress on harmful proposed review demonstration for IRF field.
- Raised awareness with key stakeholders about harmful impending policy and payment changes for outpatient therapy services.
- Successfully advocated for policies that ensure continuation of rehabilitation physician-led care in IRFs.
- Held multiple meetings with CMS officials and conducted field-wide survey on Medicare Advantage prior authorization practices.
- Engaged with CMS officials on continued need for flexibilities and waivers for providers due to COVID-19.
- Collaborated with U.S. News & World Report to improve its ranking approach for rehabilitation hospitals and units and helped incorporate all-payer data into the methodology.
- Successfully nominated AMRPA representatives to serve on each of the post-acute care-focused Technical Expert Panels convened by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on functional measurement, vaccination policies, and unified post-acute care payment issues and ensured the inpatient rehabilitation hospital/unit perspective helped inform the policies that stemmed from the panels.
- Facilitated the exchange of additional clarifying guidance from both CMS and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) to member IRFs on how to comply with the new COVID-19 Vaccination among Healthcare Personnel Inpatient Rehabilitation Facility Quality Reporting Program (IRF QRP) measure.
- Led the development and submission of a joint comment letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and its contractor RTI International, on addressing issues related to development of a unified post-acute care prototype as mandated under the IMPACT Act. The letter had nine stakeholder sign-ons, representing each post-acute care setting and consumer advocacy groups.
- Selected to be a member of the National Quality Forum, a leading federal quality measure organization that is tasked with recommending measures for use in federal programs such as Medicare’s IRF QRP.
- Successfully advocated for refinement of the Transfer of Health (TOH) Information – Patient quality measure in the IRF QRP.
- Launched new Medical Rehabilitation Management Certification program designed to support new leaders and promote consistency and professionalism in rehabilitation management. Over 100 individuals received the Medical Rehabilitation Management Certification in the first year!
- As part of AMRPA’s marketing campaign titled, The Power of Medical Rehab, AMRPA created and published a dozen infographics, fact sheets, and videos to highlight important information about medical rehabilitation hospitals and units, and why they may be your best choice for post-acute care after an illness or injury.
- Launched new podcast, Medical Rehab Matters. Co-hosted by our very own Dr. Bob Krug and Patricia Sullivan, Medical Rehab Matters discusses the conditions treated and therapies used in inpatient medical rehab hospitals and units while addressing some of the legislative and regulatory issues that impact patients and their families and caregivers.
- Continued to build out AMRPA’s consumer-oriented microsite, which serves as a patient and caregiver information center. The microsite is the recipient of a Digital Health Award, which honored the world’s best digital health resources.