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I am currently writing this blog while sitting on a plane, traveling for work and as I am in the air looking down on the clouds, I realize that my entire afternoon highlighted the modes in which I functioned thus far in my journey.

Let’s take a look:

  • Drove my truck to the airport, drove my truck independently, but traveled with other vehicles in a group setting;
  • Parked my truck in the airport parking lot, retrieved my briefcase and suitcase from my truck, and walked into the airport terminal independently;
  • Stood in line to check my suitcase in a group setting and the ticket agent checked myself and another passenger in concurrently;
  • Headed to security independently and through security where the TSA agent worked with me and other passengers on placing our personal items on the conveyor belt to have scanned concurrently;
  • Boarded the plane with a group of five passengers in a single file line, correcting my balance when the lady in front of me lost her footing while ascending the steps to the plane;
  • One flight attendant assisted multiple passengers with placing their carry-on items in the overhead compartment while I took my seat;
  • Sitting with a plane full of passengers in a group setting.

It’s amazing to me the misconception that group and concurrent therapy is unethical. Why? What I just described above wasn’t me walking, driving, conversing, standing, ascending, correcting balance, and sitting all by myself, independently one on one with a therapist.  We ALL function in concurrent and group settings, just about every moment of every day. We work in a group and concurrent setting, we go to church, shop, go out to eat, just about everything we do is either in a group or concurrent setting. Why shouldn’t our residents have the same therapeutic intervention in order to be successful in the community? Why would we not prepare them for community/home reintegration after their SNF stay?

Providing multiple modes of therapy delivery will better prepare our residents for real life situations, and perhaps decrease falls and rehospitalizations.  Group and concurrent is not intended to be the ONLY mode of therapy delivery; it definitely needs to be an adjunct to individual treatment because truly we function daily in all modes. CMS says in the 2020 Final Rule that the flexibility and ability to use different modes of therapy may better simulate real-life situations for many patients and that with all clinical situations, there should not be a one-size-fits-all approach.

Think about it, try it, manage it, and see the benefits of group and concurrent therapy delivery. Perhaps it is unethical if we don’t provide group and concurrent in addition to individual therapy interventions!

Gina Tomcsik

Director of Compliance and Regulatory Strategy