Does Hospitalization Require I Discharge My Patient

August 14, 2017
Rick Gawenda

I often receive questions asking if I must discharge my patient from outpatient therapy services if they are admitted to a hospital, either for a condition related to what I am treating or unrelated to the condition I am treating. In this article, I will answer this question.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) does

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  1. If the Medicare patient returns to outpatient physical therapy MUST they have a new prescription, releasing them back to physical therapy?

    1. Each case, in my opinion, would be unique based on several factors including, but not limited to, your state practice act, insurance carrier rules and regulations, reason(s) why patient was admitted to hospital, etc.

  2. My current facility requires us to create a new account number each month and reregister the outpatient if their recurrent visits extend into the next month. Is there any regulatory or payer rationale driving this? It is inefficient and leads to omissions when we receive record requests or audits.

    1. There is no regulatory or payer policy dictating this. I agree with you in that it is inefficient, creates unnecessary extra work and can lead to notes not being included when medical records are requested.