What can therapists do to be fully informed and prepared when upcoming CMS changes are lurking ahead?
One of the biggest challenges to the healthcare community is keeping up to date with current regulatory requirements, particularly when it comes to rules on coverage, coding, billing, and payment for services provided to patients under Medicare or Medicaid. As the old adage goes, “The only thing that is constant about healthcare is it is always changing!”
As a therapist, it’s critical that you are prepared and fully understand any upcoming CMS changes that could affect your patients (coverage, payments, etc.), your work environment (coding, documentation requirements, etc.), and your professional license (limitations in practice areas, evaluations, treatments, etc.). Below are a few tips to help you stay informed:
1. Review the CMS manual.
The CMS Online Manual System including the Quarterly Provider Updates provide instruction on statues and regulations, guidelines, models, and directives. You can view the CMS online manual here.
2. Take continuing education courses on CMS.
Don’t have time to read hundreds of pages of the CMS manual? Get succinct and practical information via continuing education courses. With the constant influx of new Medicare rules and regulations, choosing high quality continuing education is imperative.
The following courses discuss Medicare & Medicaid provider payments, coding, documentation, and more:
- Assure CMS Rules of Participation and Survey Requirement through Innovative Dementia Care Practices
- Skilled Nursing Rehabilitation: 9 Things Every Successful Therapist Should Know
- Maximizing Your Leadership Skills and Effectiveness in the Rehab Director Position
- Assuring Healthcare Documentation Requirements
- Audit Proof Your Skilled Therapy Documentation
3. Read the CMS email updates and professional organizations’ blogs.
There are many blogs that discuss upcoming CMS changes. Make sure you choose a blog focused on your discipline and job title. And, select blogs from reputable sources that discuss CMS guidelines accurately. APTA, AOTA, and ASHA are good starting places.
CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) also has an email list you can subscribe to. However, sometimes it can be a little challenging to understand CMS rules and regulations. So, try to follow professional organizations that can simplify this information for you.
4. Talk about any upcoming changes with your colleagues and rehab manager.
Having an informative conversation with colleagues and your manager is a good way to gather reliable information. Some organizations also train their managers and employees in advance via conferences and webinars. If you’re interested in learning more about regulatory and compliance training for your staff, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additional Resources on CMS Changes: