HCFA has proposed new limits on how much long-term-care providers can reimburse therapy contractors for Medicare-covered services. The "salary equivalency" proposals, which aim to ensure that therapy contractors are paid no more than they would be if employed by the provider, are new for occupational and speech therapy and updates for physical and respiratory therapy. In a departure from its past practice on therapy compensation, HCFA is publishing national hourly payment rates. The national rates are:
Physical therapy: $48.78
Occupational therapy: $46.27
Speech therapy: $44.51
Respiratory therapy: $38.51
The hourly rates will be adjusted by geographic indexes specific to states and metropolitan areas.