New Medicare Requirements for Hospital Inpatient Supervision of Speech-Language Pathology Students In April the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will implement a new policy for Part A inpatient hospital therapy services that will provide greater independence for speech-language pathology students. Effective April 1, students will be considered to be under the direct supervision of a qualified speech-language pathologist if ... Policy Analysis
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Policy Analysis  |   March 01, 2007
New Medicare Requirements for Hospital Inpatient Supervision of Speech-Language Pathology Students
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  • Mark Kander, ASHA’s director of health care analysis, can be reached at mkander@asha.org or at 800-498-2071, ext. 4139.
    Mark Kander, ASHA’s director of health care analysis, can be reached at mkander@asha.org or at 800-498-2071, ext. 4139.×
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Regulatory, Legislative & Advocacy / Policy Analysis
Policy Analysis   |   March 01, 2007
New Medicare Requirements for Hospital Inpatient Supervision of Speech-Language Pathology Students
The ASHA Leader, March 2007, Vol. 12, 16. doi:10.1044/leader.PA2.12042007.16
The ASHA Leader, March 2007, Vol. 12, 16. doi:10.1044/leader.PA2.12042007.16
In April the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will implement a new policy for Part A inpatient hospital therapy services that will provide greater independence for speech-language pathology students. Effective April 1, students will be considered to be under the direct supervision of a qualified speech-language pathologist if the clinician is present on the same unit or same floor while the patient is treated.
The SLP must be “immediately available according to the circumstances appropriate to the service rendered,” sign all documentation, and actively participate in treatment, according to the CMS transmittal on changes in coverage policies for outpatient therapy services (Chapter 15 of the Benefit Policy Manual). This change in policy helps speech-language pathology students better learn how to practice on their own, and also allows qualified SLPs to treat other patients while the student is performing treatment activities.
The current student services policy for Part B outpatient services remains unchanged. The supervising SLP must be present and directly overseeing the evaluation or treatment session.
The same CMS transmittal establishes that coverage policies for outpatient therapy services apply to inpatient hospital settings unless there are specific national inpatient policies that differ. “Inpatient hospitals” are defined as acute care hospitals, inpatient rehabilitation facilities and units, long-term care hospitals, critical access hospitals, and inpatient psychiatric facilities and units.
The full text of the revisions to the Medicare Benefit Policy Manual [PDF] is available on the CMS Web site.
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March 2007
Volume 12, Issue 4