Must Progress Reports Be Signed By The Physician

April 30, 2018
Rick Gawenda

Does the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) require physicians to sign and date progress reports that are written by a physical therapist, occupational therapist and/or speech-language pathologist? The answer may surprise you.

CMS does

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  1. Can we accept electronic signatures? We haven’t been able to in the past but it’s getting increasingly hard to convince some doctors’ offices that they need to hand sign Scripts.

  2. The above states progress reports are needed once every 10 days which was my understanding since FLR reporting went into play but then recently I was told CMS reinstated the every 30 days (even if 10 visits have NOT occurred) rule is back from years ago. Also our new EMR has said the 30 day rule is still in effect and pops up reminders for us. Is it back to 30 days or 10 visits or whichever comes first?

    1. Under Medicare Part B, progress reports are due once every 10 visits from the start of care. If your state practice act requires them more often, you would then follow your state practice act.

  3. Is thr rule that the Physician must sign the initial POC within 30days and that another scrip is not necessary unless greater than 90 days? do the progress reports have to be signed after each 10 visit update?

  4. Hi Rick, if a clinician adds a long term goal during their progress note session, must it be sent to the physician for a signature or must an order be signed by the physician with the new update? Thanks.

    1. Please read my FAQs on certifications and recertifications regarding what is a significant change and what is an insignificant change in the plan of care.