CMS allows therapy services to be furnished in a community pool by a clinician in a physical therapist or occupational therapist private practice, physician office, outpatient hospital, or outpatient SNF. For therapy services provided by those clinicians the community pool (all or part of it) must be rented or leased.
The use of that part of the pool during specified times shall be restricted to the patients of that practice or provider. The written agreement to rent or lease the pool shall be available for review on request. When part of the pool is rented or leased, the agreement shall describe:
- The part of the pool that is used exclusively by the patients of that practice/office or provider
- The times that exclusive use applies
Is your practice providing therapy in a community pool? Do you have a lease for the rental of space at the community pool? Is the lease in accordance with CMS requirements for “part of the pool for exclusive use” and the specified times?
Compliance Tip: For private practices and therapists in physician offices direct supervision of PTAs and OTAs is required when therapy is provided in a community pool.
Be sure to review this post on Aquatic Therapy Compliance.
Use of Community Pools by Rehab Agencies and CORFs
Other providers, including rehabilitation agencies (often referred to as OPTs or ORFs) and CORFs, are subject to the requirements outlined in the respective State Operations Manual regarding rented or leased community pools.