No referral recommendation from MedPAC

Rehab Regs, November 4, 2004

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) recently chose not to advise Congress to change Medicare's requirement that beneficiaries obtain a referral to see a physical therapist. However, several commissioners have acknowledged that physician referrals do little to control the volume of services. The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) is suggesting that a Medicare demonstration project could address MedPAC's desire for better information on access, utilization, and cost related to direct access, according to PT Bulletin Online. The U.S. Senate adopted this position during deliberations regarding the Medicare Modernization Act, which ultimately charged MedPAC to examine direct access to physical therapists. Congress also required the commission to submit a report by January 2005, according to the Bulletin.

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