• CMS Withdraws Proposed Amendment to Definition of Rehabilitative Services
  • December 4, 2009
  • Law Firm: King & Spalding LLP - Washington Office
  • On November 23, 2009, CMS officially withdrew the August 13, 2007 proposed rule amending the definition of “Rehabilitative Services” under Medicaid. The August 2007 proposed rule sought to amend the definition of Medicaid rehabilitative services to include a requirement for a person-centered written rehabilitation plan and maintenance of case records. According to CMS, the proposed rule also sought to ensure that rehabilitative services were provided in a coordinated manner and by qualified providers.

    The withdrawal of the proposed rule follows clear guidance from Congress that CMS should not implement the proposed rule. On December 29, 2007, as part of the Medicare, Medicaid, and SCHIP Extension Act of 2007, Congress enacted a moratorium that prohibited CMS from issuing a final rule that restricted the coverage or payment for rehabilitative services. See Pub. L. 110-173, § 206. Congress extended the moratorium until April 1, 2009 as part of the Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2008. See Pub. L. 110-52 § 7001(a)(2). Ultimately, Congress enacted section 5003(d) of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which indicated that the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services should not finalize the proposed rule addressing rehabilitative services.

    Finally, in announcing the withdrawal, CMS indicated that it received 1,845 comments in response to the proposed rule and acknowledged the “complexity of the underlying issues.” CMS further indicated that the withdrawal will provide the agency flexibility to re-examine the issues and alternatives.