Legislation to Allow OTs to Perform Initial Assessments
Wednesday, March 9, 2016
by: Visiting Nurse Associations of America

Section: Public Policy and Advocacy

Senators Dean Heller (R-NV) and Ben Cardin (D-MD) have recently introduced S. 2364, “The Medicare Home Health Flexibility Act,” which would allow home health agencies to have occupational therapists (OT) perform initial assessments for certain beneficiaries.  This new provision would only apply for beneficiaries for whom occupational therapy is ordered as part of the plan of care in which skilled nursing care is not required. The legislation does nothing to change the underlying eligibility criteria for home health services. Key members in the House are considering introducing a companion bill in the next months. 
VNAA is working with bill sponsors to fully understand the impact of this bill, including its chances on the Hill. We encourage your feedback if you have any examples of how this would impact your agency and your ability to serve beneficiaries who need OT services.
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