Physical Therapists Applaud Representative Blunt Rochester for Supporting Regulatory Reform to Put Patients Over Paperwork

Washington, D.C. – The Alliance for Physical Therapy Quality and Innovation (APTQI) today applauded Representative Lisa Blunt
Rochester (DE– at large) for urging the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to eliminate burdensome regulations that undermine physical therapists across the country.

In a letter to CMS Administrator Seema Verma, Rep. Rochester pointed to gratuitous administrative policies within the Medicare program that drain physical therapy centers of time and resources. More specifically, the Congresswoman highlighted a policy that requires physical therapists to obtain a physician’s signature for each patient’s plan of care – even after that physician already provided the patient with an initial referral for PT services. As a result, physical therapists and their administrative staff must spend excessive amounts of time securing a doctor’s signature in order to receive reimbursement for medically necessary services provided to patients.

“Acquiring a physician certification for a patient that has presented a referral for therapy services is duplicative for both the therapy practice and the referring physician. I believe that removing this requirement would reduce administrative burden while maintaining patient care,” Rep. Blunt Rochester wrote.

Delaware physical therapist Bob McDonnell, and senior regional director for ATI Physical Therapy, in a recent letter in the News Journal wrote, “I look
forward to working with Representative Blunt Rochester to develop a way forward that balances reasonable reporting requirements with physical therapists’ patient-centered approach. By putting patients over paperwork, we can streamline our services, remain financially sustainable, and ultimately invest more time and resources to caring for our patients.”

“We applaud the Congresswoman for taking a clear stand
against unnecessary administrative red-tape that does nothing but siphon resources from the delivery of care to patients,” said Nikesh Patel, PT, DPT, Executive Director of APTQI. “In calling for the reduction of these regulatory hurdles, Rep. Blunt Rochester joins a growing chorus of lawmakers and industry stakeholders fighting on behalf of physical therapists and the patients they serve.”