Associations to CMS: We oppose requirement

Sunday, September 30, 2007

WASHINGTON - Officials from the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) told a high-level CMS official recently that they want the agency to withdraw its ATP requirement.
CMS will require independent ATPs to conduct evaluations for certain power wheelchairs beginning April 1, 2008.
APTA and AOTA officials told Herb Kuhn, director of the Center for Medicare Management, that there aren't enough ATPs in each state to meet the requirement. Additionally, they told him requiring ATP certification won't necessarily guarantee better evaluations.
"The ATP certification covers a broad spectrum of technology, not just wheelchairs," said Cindi Petito, who attended the meeting with Kuhn. "Therapists who do seating and mobility shouldn't have to study augmentative communications."
Kuhn told APTA and AOTA officials to bring their concerns to the medical directors, who crafted the local coverage determination outlining the requirement. They plan to do that, said Petito, who owns Seating Solutions in Jacksonville, Fla.
If APTA and AOTA fail to get the requirement removed before April 1, they will ask CMS for a delay so they can "come up with an alternative competency program" to the ATP, Petito said.