Supervision Requirements of Assistants in the Non-Private Practice Setting

July 25, 2016
Rick Gawenda


Under Medicare Part B, what are the supervision requirements of a physical therapist assistant (PTA) and occupational therapy assistant (OTA) in the non-private practice setting (i.e. hospital, skilled nursing facility, rehab agency, CORF)?


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  1. This appears to only address assistants, not students. Please clarify supervision for therapist and assistant students and Part B. Thank you!

  2. Does the Medicare program have a rationale for having stricter supervisory requirements for private-practice setting versus non-private practice setting? Essentially a PTA could treat the same Medicare recipient in both settings only the rules for supervision are different if the setting is “Part B” vs “Part A” (Rehab or CORF settings) depending upon the certification of the facility. Does not seem to make sense.

    1. I do not know why CMS has different supervision requirements for assistants based on practice settings. CMS has never clarified their rationale.

  3. Does United Healthcare have coverage for PTAs? If so, is it general or direct supervision? I searched the policy and could not locate it.

    1. UHC does pay for services provided by a physical therapist assistant or occupational therapy assistant. If UHC does not state the supervision requirements in their policies or your contract, you would then defer to your practice act.