CMS Confirms No Changes to Student Considerations

IRFs, hospital services provided by students discussed but ultimately unaffected

Back in December, representatives of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) met with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to discuss the idea of students performing services within acute hospital and inpatient rehabilitation facilities (IRFs).

A call back on November 15 has raised some concerns between the representative organizations, concerns that were adequately addressed in the December meeting, as CMS confirmed that their positions on the matter had not changed. In summary, the following points were confirmed:

  • The meeting with CMS staff was collegial.
  • CMS confirmed that there has been no policy change this year on the use of students.
  • CMS confirmed their support for clinical education for students.
  • CMS agreed to provide additional clarification in writing to the representative organizations in a very short timeline.

The three organizations issued a joint statement back in November outlining their positions on each of the relevant issues. Fortunately, it appears each Association will begin 2019 with a clearer understanding of CMS’ position.

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