Inpatient Rehabilitation Facility Prospective Payment System Rule for Fiscal Year 2021


AAPM&R Leads Effort to Unite Team Physiatry to Score an Enormous Advocacy Win

August 4, 2020 - AAPM&R is thrilled to announce that our leadership efforts have resulted in a BIG WIN for physiatry! By bringing together the unified voice of 2,377 physiatrists, 122 patient advocacy groups, state and medical specialties, and large IRF hospitals, as well as 97 of your patients, and gaining support from key Congressional offices, we have successfully defeated a dangerous CMS proposal that would have had a detrimental impact on patient care, the specialty, and the future of inpatient rehabilitation.

CMS heard us! In the rule released August 4, 2020, CMS did NOT finalize their proposal, as written, to amend the IRF coverage requirements to allow non-physician practitioners (NPPs) to perform certain duties that are currently required to be performed by a rehabilitation physician. Learn more.

"Those of us leading this advocacy effort are so pleased that CMS heard our voice and heeded our concerns. There is still work ahead but we are so thankful to everyone who helped us in this effort. Our patients and our specialty are better for it."

Darryl Kaelin, MD, FAAPMR
AAPM&R Past President
Co-Chair, Future of Inpatient Rehabilitation Workgroup

AAPM&R will continue to review the final rule in its entirety and to share further updates with you. To read the finalized IRF Prospective Payment System Rule for 2021, click here.

Team Physiatry’s success is driven by you. Thank you for being a #PMRAdvocate and getting involved! We couldn’t do it without you.

AAPM&R is Leading the Effort for a Unified Response

Your Academy has strongly opposed similar CMS proposals to expand the role of NPPs in IRFs in the past. In response to this proposal, we led an effort to unite all physiatrists, other medical specialties, patient coalition organizations, and additional key stakeholders to oppose this dangerous proposal.

A total of 122 groups signed AAPM&R Stakeholder Sign-on Letter Opposing the NPP Proposal, which was submitted to CMS in opposition to the NPP proposal.

AAPM&R's leadership efforts also resulted in securing bipartisan support from two congressional leaders to oppose the NPP proposal.
Reps. Mike Thompson (D-CA) and Brad Wenstrup (R-OH), both on the House Ways and Means Committee, worked with the Academy’s Health Policy and Legislation Committee as well as members of AAPM&R’s Board of Governors, to secure eight physician congressional representatives from the Doctors’ Caucus to sign on to the comment letter that was sent to CMS and the White House Office of Management and Budget.

Academy in Action: AAPM&R's Game Plan

Thank you for taking these quick and easy steps to join the fight.

  • Thank you for using AAPM&R's talking points or customizable email template to contact your Congressional Representative, asking them to urge CMS not to finalize this proposal.
  • The public comment period for the IRF proposed rule closed on June 15, 2020. A total of 2,377 physicians submitted customized letters to CMS using our template. AAPM&R also created a customizable letter specifically for PM&R Department Chairs and PM&R Division Chiefs to submit to CMS. Read AAPM&R Comments to CMS' FY2021 IRF Proposed Rule.
  • At the end of the public comment period, 97 patients and other key stakeholders submitted customized letters to CMS using our template.
  • On June 2, your Academy held an Advocacy Open Forum: IRF Proposed Rule to solicit feedback from members to help us mobilize our response to this proposal. View the recording.
  • On May 12, your Board of Governors held a virtual town hall to provide members with an update on the Academy's response to this proposal and provided an opportunity to share feedback and input. View the recording.

See how the Academy has been defending physiatric-led care in rehab hospitals.

In the News

  • Team Physiatry's advocacy efforts were highlighted in the August 21 American Medical Association (AMA) Advocacy Update. Thank you for being a #PMRAdvocate!