Bill would ease outpatient therapy supervision requirements

Source: Mississippi Hospital Association

The American Hospital Association on Oct. 6 voiced support for H.R. 6376, legislation that would allow general supervision by a physician for many outpatient therapy services. Introduced by Rep. Earl Pomeroy (D-ND), the bill would require the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to allow a default setting of general physician supervision, rather than direct supervision, for outpatient therapy services and create an advisory panel to establish an exceptions process for risky and complex outpatient services.

The legislation would create a special rule for critical access hospitals that recognizes their unique size and Medicare conditions of participation. The bill also would hold hospitals and CAHs harmless from civil or criminal action for failing to meet CMS’ current direct supervision policy for the period 2001 through 2011.

“Although CMS claims its policy is a ‘restatement and clarification’ of existing policy, it is, in fact, a significant change that has left hospitals and CAHs vulnerable,” AHA said in a letter of support for the legislation.

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