In late July, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule detailing Inpatient Rehabilitation Facility (IRF) Medicare policies and payment rates which go into effect at the start of fiscal year 2015 on October 1, 2014. As we previously reported, RehabCare took the opportunity to respond to CMS’ earlier proposed rule to advocate on behalf of IRF-level care and those patients who benefit from such care.

Payment Update
The rule finalized the payment increase at 2.4% for the year beginning in October, which CMS estimates will increase aggregate payments to IRFs by $180 million. This was an increase in 0.2% from the proposed rule.

Presumptive Compliance
Within our comments, we specifically addressed proposed changes to presumptive compliance with the so-called 60% Rule. In response to public comment from RehabCare and other stakeholders, CMS delayed the effective date for the revisions to the presumptive compliance codes until review periods beginning October 2015. This reflects a full year delay in implementation.

Therapy Data Collection
In our comments to the proposed rule, we stated: “RehabCare supports changes to the proposed therapy data collections requirements to limit the administrative burden and more accurately define the different therapy modalities.” CMS responded to such comments, and limited the data collection requirements to the collecting of total number of minutes of therapy by mode and discipline for the first two weeks of therapy – rather than the extended reporting period in the proposed rule.

Therapy Definitions
The final rule removes concurrent therapy from the definition of group therapy, therefore the new set of definitions will include individual, concurrent, group, and co-treatment therapies – consistent with RehabCare’s recommendations.

CMS Fact Sheet
In addition to the changes and updates detailed above, CMS issued a fact sheet with additional detail on the final rule for IRFs which can be found here.

By RehabCare