Advocacy & News

AMRPA Helps Score Major Advocacy Win for Inpatient Rehabilitation Hospitals & Rehabilitation Patients

AMRPA Helps Score Major Advocacy Win for Inpatient Rehabilitation Hospitals & Rehabilitation Patients
CMS significantly scales back proposals in FY 2021 IRF PPS Final Rule after strong concerns raised by AMRPA and other industry leaders

(WASHINGTON – August 5, 2020) – The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) yesterday released the federal fiscal year (FY) 2021 Inpatient Rehabilitation Facility Prospective Payment System (IRF PPS) Final Rule, which is scheduled to go into effect on October 1, 2020.

In response to zealous advocacy from the American Medical Rehabilitation Providers Association (AMRPA), along with the vast majority of IRF stakeholders, CMS significantly scaled back its proposal to allow non-physician practitioners (NPPs) to perform certain IRF services that are currently required to be performed by a rehabilitation physician. These services include completing the pre-admission screening, developing the individual overall plan of care, performing three face-to-face visits per week and leading interdisciplinary team meetings.

Citing many of the points raised by AMRPA in its comment letter submitted last month, CMS only finalized a portion of the proposed policy. Significantly, this limits the original proposal to only allow NPPs to conduct one of the three required face-to-face physician visits with the patient per week, beginning with the second week of the patient’s admission to an IRF.

AMRPA also applauds CMS for its decision to remove the post-admission physician evaluation (PAPE) requirement, consistent with AMRPA’s advocacy efforts related to burden reduction and the elimination of duplicative paperwork.

The association’s full summary of the final rule, which was distributed to members in the hours following the rule’s release, provides more information on NPP visit limitations, the PAPE requirement removal and each of the other key policy provisions.

Dr. Robert Krug, AMRPA Board Chair, said, “CMS’s decision to directly respond to many of our leading concerns in its final rule constitutes a big win for AMRPA and, most importantly, the quality of care provided to our patients and their outcomes. We applaud CMS for this action and are gratified that CMS leadership recognized the immense value that IRFs and direction under rehabilitation physicians offer.”

Dr. Krug went on to highlight the continued importance for patients needing specialized care from licensed providers and the growing role that IRFs and their care teams play in COVID-19 recovery.

“The work and judgment of these specialized rehabilitation physicians in IRFs is central to the successful outcomes of complex IRF patients, and this component is one of several that distinguish IRFs from other less intensive post-acute care settings – particularly during the public health emergency.”

In line with its vision to advancing the field of medical rehabilitation through advocacy, education and the promotion of access to care, AMRPA will continue to engage with CMS, congressional leadership and members of the Administration to ensure the overall health and wellbeing of IRFs, their staff and the patients they treat.

For more details on the FY 2021 IRF PPS Final Rule, view the full text and the accompanying fact sheet.

For inquiries on this story, please contact:
Adam Robertson
Marketing Communications Manager
American Medical Rehabilitation Providers Association (AMRPA)
(815) 901-2632 | [email protected]