Rehabilitation hospitals and units must meet certain requirements to be reimbursed by Medicare. Section 211 of the Medicare Hospital Manual specifies that at least 3 hours a day of physical and/or occupational therapy must be provided to each patient in addition to other required therapies and services. This article discusses the political and professional context surrounding the implementation of these guidelines and some of the practical issues that managers must address in the process. A case report is used to illustrate the management strategies and specific methods that have been implemented in the Occupational Therapy Department at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago in response to the 3-hour criterion. Data are presented to indicate how these efforts have contributed to raising our level of compliance with the criterion during the 1985–1986 fiscal year. The compliance data are discussed in relation to variation in both the number of patients and staff productivity over the course of the year.

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