Occupational Therapy Review and Comment Requested!

Taken from the AOTA website…

Measures available on www.usqualitymeasures.org beginning February 8, 2008, through March 10, 2008

New measures are being proposed as part of Medicare’s Physician Quality Reporting Initiative (PQRI). Occupational therapy practitioners are urged to comment on the proposed measures, as they could be affected by the design of the measures as Medicare expands PQRI.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has contracted with Quality Insights of Pennsylvania (QIP) to develop quality measures for specialist physicians and non-physicians. AOTA and volunteers have been working on some of these measures, developing specific measures for occupational therapy and also advocating for occupational therapy practitioners to be able to report on measures developed by other professionals if they fall within the OT scope of practice.

Following the development of the first set of 9 measures, the project’s second phase includes 15 draft quality measures specifically addressing physical therapists, occupational therapists, psychologists, clinical social workers, and chiropractors.

AOTA strongly encourages occupational therapists to review and submit feedback on the measures during the 30-day public comment period, from February 8, 2008 through March 10, 2008. The drafted quality measure specifications are posted on www.usqualitymeasures.org for online feedback submission.

Please comment on how well these reflect current outpatient practice. AOTA also urges therapists to review other measures under the categories of “Therapy” and “Mental Health” to comment as to whether any of these measures should be opened up for reporting by occupational therapists as quality indicators for OT. Even though these were developed by other professions, the PQRI process allows for multiple professions to report on a given quality indicator. AOTA advocated successfully to CMS to permit OTs to report on a measure that was developed for physicians.

The 30-day public comment period is a crucial step and provides an opportunity for the public to give direct, valuable feedback as to whether the quality measures are suitable for use in occupational therapy or are in need of modification.