In 2019, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the Proposed CY 2020 Inpatient Rehabilitation Facility Prospective Payment System (IRF PPS) Rule, including a proposal to amend the definition of a rehabilitation physician to clarify that the determination as to whether a physician qualifies as a rehabilitation physician (that is, a licensed physician with specialized training and experience in inpatient rehabilitation) is made by the IRF.” In response to this proposal, AAPM&R convened an ad hoc Rehabilitation Physician Workgroup and submitted a strongly worded letter to CMS urging CMS not to finalize its proposal to weaken the definition of rehabilitation physician and requesting that CMS delay any changes to current regulations until stakeholders can develop a consensus approach for protecting the quality and integrity of IRF care. In additional to several additional advocacy actions, AAPM&R secured support from 40 prestigious organizations representing patients, physicians, and large inpatient rehabilitation hospitals on a stakeholder letter to CMS.
In July 2020, CMS finalized the IRF PPS Rule for 2020. In the final rule, CMS deferred to the IRF to define and assess the definition of “rehabilitation physician.” Despite this outcome, we are immensely proud of the work more than 1,100 of our members put into advocating against this proposal. Our members demonstrated that physiatrists are advocates for their patients, in and out of the treatment setting. We know it will take time and perseverance to be successful, but we are stepping up and planning a long-term, strategic initiative. We are making physiatrists’ voices heard. We are advocating for physiatry’s value in medicine.
Click here to read the full timeline of our past efforts.
Click here to read about AAPM&R’s leadership in scoring an enormous advocacy win for the FY 2021 IRF PPS Proposed Rule.