What Does Functional Limitation Reporting Tells Us?
G-code Modifier Trends
As clinicians, we are well aware of the importance of functional measures in rehabilitation. They are the thermometer of patient functional status and quantify/qualify the reason the patient seeks our professional care. Current CMS requirements to document and collect G-codes and related severity modifier codes in compliance with claims-based outcomes reporting has accelerated data collection and functional limitation reporting activity. In July, it will be a year of data collection and yet to date (April), there exists no published communication about what these data are telling providers.
Concurrently, Mediware has provided a set of online tools to assist therapists with the translation of functional measurement scores to severity modifier codes as prescribed by CMS (CBOR G-code Modifier Calculator). A recent analysis of this activity reveals preliminary evidence of the functional measure use patterns deployed by therapists in clinical practice. With more than 400 functional measures available to clinicians, patterns are evolving. Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists and Speech Language Pathologists exhibit some overlap in choosing which functional assessment instrument is used but predominant choice of most frequently used instruments by each profession is apparent. Before attempting to relate choice of measures to goals of therapy, additional study is warranted, no inference is here implied.
Physical Therapists show strong tendency to utilize balance and lower extremity function measures almost twice the frequency of all other measures available to them.
Occupational Therapists utilize ADL and upper extremity functional measures 40 percent of the time when accessing the CBOR Calculator.
Speech Therapists utilized the CBOR Calculator for Swallowing Measures 40 percent of the time and more than 4 times as often than any other functional limitation measure.