Blog Weekly News Scan: Study on rehab for stroke patients, Where is physical therapy in the opioid debate? By Taylor Goldsmith, 04.26.19 FacebookTwitterLinkedin This week in the news, we include a look at the new CMS proposed rule featuring a relaxation of the “group therapy” rule for SNFs, where in the world physical therapy is in the opioid debate and more. We hope you enjoy! Stroke patients receive different amounts of physical therapy, Medical Xpress, April 24, 2019: A new study by Brown University researchers has found that Medicare-covered stroke patients have been receiving vastly different amounts of therapy during hospital stays despite the evidence suggesting therapy’s positive outcomes. Treatment varied from no therapy to nearly four hours of therapy during their hospital stay. The study also shows that patients had a higher chance of receiving no rehabilitation care if they had more severe and complex needs. Overall, this study indicates that clearer guidelines need to be set around the timing and amount of rehab services offered during hospital stays. Learn more in this article. Where is PT in the national debate over pain management and opioids?, FierceHealthcare, April 23, 2019: When discussing the opioid epidemic, one fundamental question is somehow still at the forefront of this fight – what treatment alternatives remain to properly treat the chronic and acute pain of Americans? Despite the positive steps made in the national opioid debate, PT has largely been left out of the conversation. Recently, U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams, M.D., described PT professionals as “well-positioned to change the culture around pain management,” proving that our industry does have people at the top fighting for it – we just need to continue impressing upon lawmakers the importance of promoting PT as a pain management alternative. Read more in this article from FierceHealthcare. Proposed SNF Rule Relaxes Group Therapy Requirements, Increases Payment by 2.5%, PT in Motion, April 22, 2019: Strongly supported by the APTA, skilled nursing facilities could soon see more flexibility in the number of residents considered acceptable for “group therapy”. Currently, treatment of four patients performing the same or similar exercises is considered group therapy for purposes of Medicare payment in SNFs. This new proposed rule, which could go into effect FY 2020, would broaden the rule to say groups of 2-6 patients qualify for group therapy, providing more appropriate and available care to patients. Read more about the entire proposed rule in this article. Want even more? Subscribe to our blog digest to get our news scan delivered to your inbox every week. Sign up today.