There’s no denying that functional limitation reporting is a little more work to get the same (or less if you consider MPPR) reimbursement and that ignites fear among some in our industry. But you shouldn’t be fearful; you should be frustrated at our own inability to document to a standard that shows our clinical relevance and the amazing outcomes we achieve every day in clinics across the US. We haven’t effectively demonstrated evidence-based practice yet, nor have we properly articulated progress through functional gain. Medicare has been warning us that something like this was coming, and we never ponied up. Now, we have functional limitation reporting (FLR).

I believe we’re moving toward a pay-for-performance structure. FLR is the initial facilitation of that with Medicare patients, and it’s only a matter of time before other carriers follow suit. Essentially, resistance is futile. But why resist? That’s my point in this month’s founder letter: do not resist; do not be afraid; and do not let frustration get the best of you. Because FLR is actually good. How? This reporting affords us the opportunity to demonstrate our expertise and relevancy—and get paid for it. You are essentially already completing these things every day in your clinical practice—now you just have to document it. So get fired up. We need to prove ourselves, and prove ourselves we will. Let’s tell Medicare to bring it on!

With that said, FLR is not about crosswalking a score for an objective measure to a category of severity—in fact, doing so would defeat the purpose of FLR. In reality, FLR is about using your clinical expertise to determine limitation and severity. It’s about your clinical judgment. How many times do you give a patient a self-evaluative outcome measurement tool to complete and the results leave you wondering how he or she came to those conclusions? It’s clear that the patient has an entirely false sense of self, and you know it. FLR requires that you incorporate your clinical judgment to truly assess the severity of a patient’s functional limitation as well as his or her progress. Ultimately, you shouldn't rely solely on a patient’s’ potentially faulty self-assessment as you develop your plan of care. Instead, you should apply your expertise to provide better, more objective treatment.

I cannot stress it enough: you’re proving your worth and getting paid for it. So, stop getting bogged down on modifiers, codes, and progress notes. Really, once you “get it,” FLR becomes second nature in your documentation workflow. (Plus, this month WebPT will launch a fully-integrated FLR feature, so it’ll be super streamlined.) You’re simply telling the story in a way that validates your services.

With FLR, we finally have an outlet to prove that what we do clinically is relevant and deserves payment. We should all view these new requirements as an opportunity for us to finally demonstrate the value of our profession. We’re badasses; we know this. Now let’s show it.   

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  • How to Complete Functional Limitation Reporting in WebPT Image

    articleFeb 19, 2014 | 4 min. read

    How to Complete Functional Limitation Reporting in WebPT

    As of July 1, 2013, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) requires that therapists complete functional limitation reporting (FLR)—through the use of  G-codes and severity modifiers —on all eligible Medicare Part B patients at the initial evaluation, re-evaluation if applicable, every progress note (minimum of every ten visits), and discharge in order to receive reimbursement for their services. Today, several other private insurance companies also require FLR data as a condition of reimbursement. Good thing …

  • articleFeb 4, 2014 | 3 min. read

    February Founder Letter: WebPT is So Much More

    We’ve been in business for six years now, and most people know us for our documentation. As Members, you use our documentation platform daily. But did you know that your Membership with WebPT includes so much more than documentation? We’ve adopted a mission of empowering rehab therapists to achieve greatness in practice. So, while we might have started out as a documentation company, we have evolved into a solutions company. So, to take a page from Aladdin, …

  • articleNov 7, 2013 | 2 min. read

    FLR and PQRS: How Are They Different?

    Functional limitation reporting (FLR) and PQRS both fall under the ever-widening umbrella of Medicare regulations, and they both involve outcome measures and data codes. Still, they are completely separate requirements, each with its own set of rules. Confusing, we know. To help you sort out the differences, we’ve put together a short breakdown of each one as well as a detailed compare/contrast chart: The Basics of FLR On July 1, 2013, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services …

  • articleJul 3, 2013 | 5 min. read

    Most Frequently Asked Questions From June’s FLR Webinar

    Last month, WebPT hosted another fantastic functional limitation reporting (FLR) webinar . If you missed it or simply want a refresher, this post is for you. Here were the most frequently asked questions and answers: Q: How do I handle functional limitation reporting after July 1 for a current patient with no FLR data on record? A: If you haven't submitted functional limitation reporting data on a patient prior to July 1, you should submit it (current …

  • Founder Letter: Happy One-Year FLR Anniversary Image

    articleJul 1, 2014 | 3 min. read

    Founder Letter: Happy One-Year FLR Anniversary

    Today marks the one-year anniversary of the mandatory implementation of functional limitation reporting (FLR). While it might not be an occasion worthy of streamers, cake, and noisemakers, this anniversary definitely warrants a moment of reflection. Despite the months-long FLR testing period, July 1, 2013, still hit our industry like a punch to the gut. Assuming you’re a medical professional who provides outpatient therapy services to Medicare patients, you may have experienced this FLR gut punch, too. Since …

  • articleNov 5, 2013 | 3 min. read

    Founder Letter: PQRS 2014

    Well, it’s November already, and that means two things: Thanksgiving and Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS). Sure, PQRS doesn’t involve mouthwatering roasted turkey, savory stuffing, or creamy mashed potatoes, but it has become quite the November tradition for us here at WebPT. You see, this is the time of year that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) typically confirms the details of next year’s reporting requirements, thus allowing us to update our PQRS solution (claims- …

  • articleNov 6, 2013 | 2 min. read

    Functional Limitation Reporting in a Nutshell

    Hopefully, you’ve been working your functional limitation reporting (FLR) magic for months now, so you’ve got it down pat. If not, you’re probably running into more than your fair share of claim denials. Don’t worry; we’re here to help. Here are some FLR basics in a convenient chestnut shell. (It is almost that time of the year , after all). What is FLR? Beginning July 1, 2013, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) require that …

  • Functional Limitation Reporting: Flowchart and SmartArt Image

    articleMay 13, 2013 | 2 min. read

    Functional Limitation Reporting: Flowchart and SmartArt

    If you’ve been paying attention to our blog posts , our webinars , and functionallimitation.org for the past few weeks, you might think we here at WebPT have gone a little FLR-crazy. And you’d be right. You see, the latest CMS regulation—functional limitation reporting (FLR)—has some pretty severe consequences for noncompliance. Namely, if you don’t comply, you don’t get paid. I don’t know about you, but that seems like an awful lot of pressure. So, we’ve set …

  • articleMay 8, 2013 | 3 min. read

    Why WebPT for Occupational Therapists

    We believe in empowering the entire rehab community to achieve greatness in therapy practice. That’s why we created WebPT, an intuitive, web-based EMR solution exclusively for rehab therapists that offers comprehensive documentation, scheduling, practice management, and billing services. Don’t let the name fool you; WebPT isn’t solely for physical therapists. Rather, it’s for the entire rehab therapy community, and we’ve custom tailored our EMR solution to suit the practice of occupational therapy. Here’s how: OT-Specific Documentation WebPT …

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