The Role of the Social Worker in the CORF

The Comprehensive Outpatient Rehabilitative Facility or CORF is a remarkably effective way to serve the entire person.  It is becoming a real staple in adult day programs.  Operating with a well-developed, physician monitored Treatment Plan, a CORF can provide the ongoing services of:

  1. Physicians
  2. Nurses
  3. Clinical Social Workers
  4. Occupational Therapists
  5. Physical Therapists
  6. Respiratory Therapists
  7. Speech Therapists

Questions arise about psycho-social services.  The most important thing to remember is regardless of whether or not these are provided by a psychologist or social worker, the billing is the same.  A social worker must have at least a Bachelor’s Degree and a Psychologist must have at least a Master’s Degree as defined by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Note the actual policy:

40.7 — Social and/or Psychological Services(Rev. 111, Issued: 09-25-09; Effective Date: 07-07-08; Implementation Date: 10-26-09)

Social and psychological services are covered CORF services if physical therapy services represent the predominate rehabilitation services provided in the CORF. Social and psychological services must be included as part of, or directly relate to, the rehabilitation plan of treatment. Social and psychological services must contribute to the improvement of the individual’s rehabilitation condition and may not relate to a mental health diagnosis. Social and psychological services include the assessment and treatment of a CORF patient’s mental health and emotional functioning and the response to, and rate of progress of the patient’s rehabilitation plan of treatment including physical therapy services, occupational therapy services, speech-language pathology services and respiratory therapy services.

CORF social and/or psychological covered services are the same, regardless of whether they are provided by a qualified social worker, as defined at 42CFR485.70(l), or a psychologist, as defined at 42CFR485.70 (g). Therefore, a CORF may elect to provide these services when they are indicated. Qualifications for individuals providing CORF social and psychological services are, at a minimum, a Bachelors of Science Degree for a social worker and a Masters-level degree for a psychologist.


Many CORFs actually employ a social worker to manage day-to-day clinical operations.  This is your choice.  We just want to ensure you understand how all roles are defined.  In the process, your person-centered care will shine like the moon.
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