Ask the Experts

Ask the expert: Beginning skilled therapy

Q: What day should a new admit to a skilled nursing facility begin the skilled therapy that is ordered by a physician if that resident is going to be Medicare Part A secondary to therapy?

A:  Most of the time patients have other nursing skilled needs in addition to the therapy.  However, in order to be paid at a therapy RUG from day 1, therapy has to commence by day 4 and be delivered for a minimum of 5 days within the 1st eight days of the admission in order to meet the Medicare skilled therapy requirements.  In an ideal situation, therapy would commence as soon as possible in the stay, including on a weekend, if necessary.