The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued a long-awaited new directive that allows aquatic therapists in private practice to rent or lease a specific portion of a community pool, rather than being required to rent the entire pool when providing services to Medicare patients.
When therapy services may be furnished appropriately in a community pool by a clinician in a physical therapist or occupational therapist private practice, physician office, outpatient hospital, or outpatient SNF, the practice/office or provider shall rent or lease the pool, or a specific portion of the pool.
The use of that part of the pool during specified times shall be restricted to the patients of that practice or provider. The written agreement to rent or lease the pool shall be available for review on request.
When part of the pool is rented or leased, the agreement shall describe the part of the pool that is used exclusively by the patients of that practice/office or provider and the times that exclusive use applies.
Other providers, including providers of outpatient physical therapy and speech-language pathology (OPTs or rehabilitation agencies) and CORFs, are subject to the requirements outlined in the respective State Operations Manual regarding rented or leased community pools.
Read the complete transmittal. (Pool rental section is on page 14):
220.1.2 - Plans of Care for Outpatient Physical Therapy