On August 4, CMS finalized a Medicare payment rule that further advances our efforts to strengthen the Medicare program by better aligning payments for Inpatient Rehabilitation Facilities (IRFs). The final rule updates Medicare payment policies and rates for facilities under the IRF Prospective Payment System (PPS) for FY 2021. This final rule also includes making permanent the regulatory change to eliminate the requirement for physicians to conduct a post admission visit since much of the information is included in the pre-admission visit. This flexibility was offered during the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Public Health Emergency (PHE), and the rule would make this flexibility permanent beyond the expiration of the PHE. In recognition of the interdisciplinary role that non-physician practitioners are currently performing with patients in the IRF, CMS is also finalizing that a non-physician practitioner may perform one of the three required visits in lieu of the physician in the second and later weeks of a patient’s care when consistent with the non-physician practitioner’s state scope of practice. Additionally, for FY 2021, CMS is updating the IRF PPS payment rates by 2.4 percent.
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