Section 455.31 - Physical therapy

455.31 Physical therapy. This functional reporting center must contain all the expenses associated with employing therapeutic exercises and massage and utilizing effective properties of heat, light, cold water and electricity for diagnosis and rehabilitation of patients with neuromuscular, orthopedic and other impairments. Such services are provided in a coordinated and integrated program under the direction and prescription of a physician or a registered physical therapist. Additional activities include but are not limited to the following: the provision of clinical and consultative services; the direction of patients in the use, function and care of braces, artificial limbs and other devices; prescribing therapeutic exercises; counseling patients and their relatives; organizing and conducting medically prescribed physical therapy programs; applying diagnostic muscle tests; administering whirlpool and compact baths; changing linen on physical therapy department beds and treatment tables; assisting patients in changing clothes and other personal needs and participating in discharge coordination as required by the code.

(a) Standard unit of measure: number of treatments. (1) A treatment should be synonymous with a visit. The treatment would consist of one or more modalities and/or procedures rendered during one patient visit. If a patient received two such visits in one day, that would constitute two treatments. The main difference between a skilled (or rehabilitative) treatment and a maintenance visit lies in the purpose and method of provision. A skilled treatment is rendered with the expectation of improving the patient's condition and is given by the licensed therapist or under the therapist's direct supervision. A maintenance procedure is designed to help keep the patient at his/her present level of function and is most often performed by ancillary personnel and does not require direct supervision. Maintenance procedures, for the most part, do not require the therapist's skills and do not utilize the more refined modalities or procedures.

(2) For purposes of reporting under this Article, a count of the total number of treatments, both skilled and maintenance, will be required. However, facilities must also maintain statistics which segregate skilled treatments from maintenance procedures as they will be required for reporting to the Department of Health for other purposes, i.e., management assessment, PMR/IPR's and surveys.

(b) Data source. The number of treatments shall be an actual count maintained by the physical therapy department.
 

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