Specialized Rehabilitative Services in Long-Term Care Hospitals (LTCHs)

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The Medicare program has finalized rules that offer much needed reform to requirements Long-Term Care Hospitals (LTCHs) must meet. Respiratory therapy services have been added as a specialized rehabilitative service to reflect the most current needs of facility residents. The specialized rehabilitative services can be provided by staff or contracted out. If the services are contracted, CMS has stated that they must be furnished by a “Medicare and/or Medicare provider of specialized rehabilitative services”. In comments to CMS, AARC asked for guidance to ensure RTs would not be excluded. The definition in the final rule was changed to read “a provider that is not excluded from any federally funded health care program”, which would allow RTs to furnish services.