Written By: Kathy Boyarko, PT, CDP, Program Development Manager

Utilization of Functional Assessment Tools as justification for G-code severity rating choices... 

You may be asking yourself why therapists are now being required to place G modifiers and report functional outcomes on our Medicare Part B patients. Unfortunately, the answer is because often times patients receive a large amount of therapy and then report that they are no better off afterwards. Medicare is aware of this and is currently collecting our outcome measures to see what affect we really are having on our patients. The implications of the results of their data collection could be disastrous to our field and our careers if the outcomes are not good. Therefore, it is very important to be able to show the differences that we do make with our patients and the best way to do that is by using Functional Assessment Tools. Medicare is strongly recommending the use of at least 1 tool when determining your severity rating of your G-code.

Therefore at Blue Sky we have designed a “Functional Assessment Tool” folder which we provide to each of our facilities.  The folder includes test forms for several Functional Assessment Tools for all 3 disciplines (PT, OT and speech).  In addition we have an online training website for our employees to log onto to watch experienced therapists performing or describing various Functional Tests on patients. 

Although, performing functional assessment tests seem to be just another thing to add to an already very busy schedule, once a therapist does a test a few times, they become very easy to do and most do not take much longer than a typical therapy evaluation /treatment time does anyway.