CMS Proposes 15% Cuts for Physical & Occupational Therapy Services

The federal government has proposed cuts for Medicare reimbursements for Part B therapy services for the upcoming year. The 2022 Medicare Physician Schedule Proposed Rule is suggesting 2% cuts.

These cuts will directly affect beneficiaries who receive rehabilitation services in skilled nursing facilities.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has also proposed a 15% cut in payment for physical and occupational therapy services. This is to include services provided by physical therapy assistants (PTAs) and occupational therapy assistants (OTAs) both in whole or in part.

For the year 2021, CMS had proposed 9% cuts to Medicare Part B physical and occupational therapy rates. However, in the bill passed, the percentage was lowered to 3%.

The proposed rule for 2022 also introduces a 8-minute rule. A physical therapy assistant or occupational therapy assistant must provide at least 8 minutes of services whereas a physical or occupational therapist must provide no more than 8 minutes of service.

Additionally, CMS is proposing to extend all telehealth services “including rehab services, which were added to the Medicare telehealth services list for the duration of the PHE on a Category 3 basis.” The extension is proposed through the year of 2023.

These proposed cuts are scheduled to go into effect January 1, 2022.