Understanding Medicare as it affects Physical, Occupation and Speech Therapy Services
Medicare is split into two parts, Part A and Part B. With Medicare A therapists are required to provide 720 minutes of therapy per week between 2 to 3 of the disciplines of physical, occupational and speech therapy . The patient and the family can decide based on need whether they want 2 or 3 of the disciplines. The most common ones are physical therapy and occupational therapy (Understand the Differences between Therapies Here).
At present anything less than those 720 minutes and the facility will not get reimbursed at all from Medicare. Nothing. And this does not make the therapy bosses happy. Anything over this amount of time the facility does not get anything extra. Again bosses not so happy with the therapists as it means free care. Why is this important to you? There is a reason that when a therapist comes in to a room and a patient only wants to do 10 minutes of therapy that the therapist will give exhortation to go longer. The therapists need to get their minutes in that week. If you only go 10 minutes one day, you will need to do many more minutes the next day to ensure the 720 total minutes per weekis reached. It is a careful tightrope that the therapist walks.
As for Part B it is not such a big issue. Part B of Medicare has no specific minute guideline so it is driven by what is ideal for the patient.
Understanding Medicare services for therapy is helpful so next time you are in the hospital with your loved and they need rehab care, you will better understanding the therapists role. They want your very best but they too are under constraints. Now only if Medicare would cover regular massages for caregivers… 🙂