Joint Letter Emphasizes That Patient Need Should Drive Rehabilitation Services

SLP working with older patient

We reported last week on an article in The Wall Street Journal on factors that can sometimes lead to excessive provision of rehabilitation services in skilled nursing facilities (SNFs). Yesterday, The Wall Street Journal published two opinion letters on the controversy. The first—written by Sharon L. Dunn, president of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA)—included the support of ASHA President Judith L. Page and American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) President Virginia C. Stoffel.

 In the letter, Dunn notes that APTA, ASHA and AOTA “have been in dialogue with industry to address the issue of volume-based versus value-based care and to improve compliance.” She goes on to write that, “Ethical service delivery and clinical integrity are priorities. Our goal is to help clinicians navigate complex regulation and payment systems, emphasize their responsibility to report unethical care provision and promote value-based patient care.”

Working together, the three associations developed a consensus statement on clinical judgment that emphasizes clinicians’ responsibility to understand payers’ policies and regulations, to act ethically and to report inappropriate practices. It specifies what clinicians can do if they have concerns about inappropriate practices. ASHA and the National Association for the Support of Long-Term Care also partnered to support reporting of inappropriate practices in SNFs.