APTQI Commends Representative Olson for Promoting Regulatory Reforms

Rep. Olson’s Letter to CMS Administrator Seema Verma Urged the Agency to Remove Regulatory Barriers by Requiring Either a Physician Referral or a Signed Care Plan—But Not Both

Washington, D.C. –– The Alliance for Physical Therapy Quality and Innovation (APTQI) today commended Representative Pete Olson (TX-22) for urging the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to remove unnecessary burdens that physical therapists across the country face every day.

In a letter to CMS Administrator Seema Verma, Rep. Olson highlighted the unnecessary administrative barriers that Medicare policy creates for physical therapists. Specifically, he detailed concerns about the requirement for physical therapists to secure a physician’s signature on each patient’s individual care plan in order to get reimbursed by Medicare—even after that physician already referred the patient to physical therapy. Because of these requirements, physical therapists are forced to spend an inordinate amount of time and resources securing physician signatures, which takes away valuable time that could be spent providing more care to more patients. Rep. Olson urged CMS to streamline the process by “[requiring] either a physician referral or a certified plan of care, but not both.”

“We thank Rep. Olson for his leadership in advocating for the removal of unnecessary regulations that force physical therapists to focus more on paperwork than doing what we do best: treating patients,” said Nikesh Patel, PT, DPT, Executive Director of APTQI. “By requiring either a physician referral or a physician signature on a patient’s care plan—but not both—physical therapists will be less burdened by bureaucratic and physicians will be in a better position to expand our services to treat more patients in our communities.”