Since the implementation of PDPM on October 1, thousands of therapists have been laid off, reports Modern Healthcare.
The payment system prior to PDPM, RUG-IV, allowed SNFs to bill therapy services they deemed necessary, but some took advantage by ordering superfluous therapy services to gain additional reimbursement from Medicare. PDPM seeks to stop this practice. The new payment model states that therapy minutes cannot account for more than 25% of services rendered to a resident.
Because therapy services can no longer yield as much reimbursement from Medicare, some SNFs have resorted to laying off therapists, as their presence is no longer increasing revenue via Medicare reimbursement. These layoffs have the potential to put a strain on both therapists and residents, as it means more work for employed therapists and less personal attention for the residents receiving therapy.
A petition is calling for therapists to take a stance against SNFs reducing their therapy services for monetary reasons. In part, the petition states that because of the cut in payment and treatment minutes, some SNFs now mandate group therapy sessions over one-on-one therapy, whether or not therapists believe it to be in a resident’s best interest.