Beginning July 1, 2013, CMS is requiring that you complete functional limitation reporting (FLR) on Medicare part B patients in order to receive reimbursement for your services. While WebPT can monumentally help with this task through our soon-to-be-released integrated functional limitation reporting feature, it’s important that you still understand FLR thoroughly, especially because clinical judgment does play a large role in its completion. So, with that in mind, let’s tackle the basics of FLR.

Why functional limitation reporting?
CMS created FLR to collect information regarding beneficiaries’ functions and conditions, the services therapists provide, and the functional outcomes patients achieve. CMS will use all of this information to better understand the beneficiary population that uses therapy services and how their functional limitations change as a result of the therapy they complete. Furthermore, CMS will use the data they collect to reform future payment structures.

Does FLR apply to rehab therapists?
According to the APTA, “All practice settings that provide outpatient therapy services must perform FLR. Specifically, FLR applies to physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech-language-pathology (SLP) services furnished in hospitals, critical access hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, comprehensive outpatient rehabilitation facilities (CORFs), rehabilitation agencies, home health agencies (when the beneficiary is not under a home health plan of care), and in private offices of therapists, physicians, and non-physician practitioners.”

How does FLR work?
Therapists will report functional limitations (current status and projected goal for initial examination and at minimum every tenth visit or progress note, and then discharge status and projected goal at discharge) using G-codes and corresponding severity modifiers for all eligible Medicare patients.

What are G-codes and severity modifiers?
G-codes are quality data codes therapists will use to describe their patients’ functional limitation—that is, the primary reason they’re seeking therapeutic services. Upon identifying the primary limitation, the therapist will select the corresponding G-code and then assign a severity modifier, which indicates the extent of the severity of the functional limitation. Therapists select an appropriate severity modifier based on the score of an outcome measurement tool as well as their skilled clinical knowledge. Lastly, therapists must also include a therapy modifier (GO, GP, and GN) to indicate that they’re providing therapy services under an OT, PT, or SLP plan of care, respectively. 

For a full list of the FLR G-codes and a severity modifier chart, check out this blog post.

Want to really learn your stuff?
Head to FunctionalLimitation.org and watch our super detailed FLR webinar, download our ultimate guide, and take a quiz. Additionally, stay tuned to our blog this month, because we’ll post a myriad of helpful FLR articles as well as details about WebPT’s new fully integrated FLR feature.

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