PT and OT advocates have made significant progress during the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only can physical and occupational therapists now provide an array of remote care services to their patients, but many payers also now cover PT- and OT-provided telehealth—even Medicare!
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, telehealth wasn’t a common means of treatment delivery for rehab therapists. After all, rehab therapy is largely hands-on—and telehealth was largely absent from rehab therapy state practice acts, Medicare coverage guidelines, and commercial payer policies.
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As part of the COVID-19 response, Medicare and many commercial payers have opened new opportunities for rehab therapists…
On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared the outbreak of the COVID-19 coronavirus a major pandemic. In an unprecedented turn of events, people across the globe are now struggling to not only protect themselves and their families, but also keep their businesses afloat and care for their communities.
In the wake of social distancing orders, shelter in place decrees, and, in some cases, mandated business closures, many rehab therapy providers are turning to telehealth and other remote care options to help support patient care continuity—and keep their practices afloat. But while Medicare—along with some commercial insurance carriers—have introduced new options to help make that a reality, navigating the world of telehealth and e-visits can be overwhelming for PTs, OTs, and SLPs.
As our nation unites to fight the spread of COVID-19, many rehab therapy practices have reduced or eliminated in-person treatment sessions. Unfortunately, PTs, OTs, and SLPs aren’t universally authorized to provide telehealth services. Well, there’s never been a better time to change that—starting with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).
Rehab therapists have been included in the MIPS program for more than a year now—which means you’ve endured a full year of trying to learn about (and navigate!) the twists and turns of MIPS. While simply understanding MIPS is hard enough, therapists have also been tasked with separating fact from fiction, as some vendors continue to use the cloud of MIPS-related confusion and unease to sell their MIPS-specific products.