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Bipartisan Legislation to Count Recreational Therapy Toward the Three-Hour Rule

Jul 18, 2016

AAPM&R is actively seeking support and co-sponsors from members of the House Ways & Means Committee for H.R. 1906, bipartisan legislation to count recreational therapy towards the “intensity of therapy” requirement in inpatient rehabilitation facilities (IRFs). 

H.R. 1906, the Access to Inpatient Rehabilitation Therapy Act of 2015, would provide needed flexibility to the “intensity of therapy” requirement that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) uses to help determine which Medicare beneficiaries are appropriate for treatment in an inpatient rehabilitation hospital and unit (“IRF”). In order to qualify for treatment in an IRF, Medicare beneficiaries must meet an intensity of therapy requirement, which requires the patient to be able to participate in 3 hours of rehabilitation therapy per day, 5 days per week. By once again including recreational therapy under the 3-hour rule, Medicare beneficiaries in inpatient rehabilitation hospitals and units will regain access to important therapies deemed medically necessary by their treating physicians and therapists. This will also reduce the risk that patients will be inappropriately diverted into less intensive post-acute care settings.