Forum offers 'reality check' for therapists

Saturday, June 30, 2007

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A group of rehab providers hosted a community forum May 31 at Brooks Rehabilitation Hospital to educate therapists and physicians on the documentation requirements for power mobility devices.
The free forum comprised morning, afternoon and evening presentations by Peggy Walker, a billing and reimbursement advisor for The VGM Group's U.S. Rehab. In all, more than 70 therapists and physicians attended the forum.
"I think the message was, 'Hey, providers can't put out equipment anymore unless they have the right documentation, and you can't blame them for that,'" said Cindi Petito, owner of Seating Solutions, one of the providers who sponsored the forum. "That's the reaction providers have been getting--why are you asking for this and that? This was a reality check."
CMS began revamping the documentation requirements for PMDs in October 2005. Changes included replacing certificates of medical necessity (CMNs) with physician prescriptions and notes.
Even though the requirements have been in place for more than a year now, some therapists and physicians still "don't have any clue what they're doing," Walker said.
"I think 10 people in the whole group knew what they were doing," she said. "Yet, this isn't anything new."
Petito added: "Therapists and physicians haven't had enough time to grasp this stuff," she said. "(CMS) has been too hasty."