Home health therapists must show in patient-record documentation that home health therapy treatment ordered and provided is rooted in patient need, not payment incentives, implores Cindy Krafft, PT, MS, HCS-O and co-founder of Kornetti & Krafft Healthcare Sollutions in her April 11, 2016 blog.
Cindy encourages home health agencies to examine their own practices:
Cindy, immediate past president, and current Federal Affairs Liaison of the American Physical Therapy Association, writes that the home-health industry tends to feel unjustly scrutinized for therapy utilization. And Medpac's referral to the Medicare Integrity Program's (MIP) Recovery Administrative Contractors (RAC) to "further investigate" whether post-acute therapy treatment is patient-need or financially driven and recommendations to remove therapy visits as part of PPS potentially deepen that wound. But Cindy emphasizes that:
". . . We can see with disturbing clarity that payment methodology does impact the delivery of services. An individual provider may be adamant that this has never been the philosophy of the organization and that 'we don't do that here' but enough of it happens on an industry level that the trends are hard to dismiss."
"Therapists are signing off on the care plan inclusive of frequency and duration. The responsible party at the end of the day is the THERAPIST no matter what pressure we may have been placed under regarding the decisions made. Continuing to follow along and do nothing makes us complicit and does not absolve us from accountability. I do mean US in this conversation because our future is being impacted across the board by issues such as these. Silence is seen as agreement. We cannot sit by and do nothing."Read Cindy's blog. This is important!