Some states—such as Louisiana and Ohio—had already authorized telehealth as a mode of service delivery for physical therapists. A few state Medicaid programs, such as Minnesota, reimbursed for OT and SLP telehealth services. Of course, Medicare did not authorize rehabilitation providers to deliver services virtually
Last week, CMS announced that PTs—along with OTs and SLPs—are eligible to provide telehealth services to Medicare beneficiaries for the duration of this emergency, which is huge. Rehab therapists have been advocating hard for this move since well before the pandemic struck, and now that this change is on the books,
Slowly but surely, the country is starting to open up again following weeks of state-issued orders to stay home or shelter in place. For many, one of the first changes is allowing elective surgeries and other “non-essential” medical procedures to resume—something that,
On Thursday, April 30, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services officially made physical therapists, occupational therapists, and speech-language pathologists eligible to deliver—and receive reimbursement for—telehealth services for the remainder of the public health emergency period. This change—along with all other temporary provisions included in the full CMS bulletin—is retroactive to March 1, 2020.
Who’s ready for some good news? According to reports from the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has lifted the remaining restrictive NCCI changes the entity implemented this past January.
Because of the coronavirus, many rehab therapy clinics are in dire financial straits. Appointment cancellations are spiking, cash flow is dwindling, and practices are struggling to pay employees. So, when the President signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act into law on Friday, March 27, 2020, many healthcare providers were thrilled to learn it included provisions for accelerated and advance payments from Medicare.
Following several CMS announcements that providers were overusing modifiers 25 and 59 as a means to bypass edit pairs (without supplying proper documentation to support those bypasses), multiple commercial payers—including Anthem, Aetna, and Humana—adopted front-end claim edit policies for claims containing these modifiers.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, regulations are changing and loosening to help facilitate the delivery of remote rehab therapy services. That way, patients can continue to receive the care they need while simultaneously limiting the spread of the virus.
On the evening of Friday, March 27, President Trump signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act—a $2.2 trillion dollar spending bill providing much-needed financial support for businesses and individuals affected by the COVID-19 crisis.
As we reported here, as of March 17, 2020, CMS will reimburse PTs, OTs, and SLPs for certain telehealth services provided during the COVID-19 response. Specifically, these provisions apply to services that occurred on or after March 6, 2020.
As the reality of pandemic sets in, industries across the country are experiencing a significant dropoff in business—and private practice rehab therapy is no different. Many therapy business owners have reached out to us for recommendations on how to address this, with several requesting information on the telehealth opportunities specifically available to them and their patients.
For many of us, the past couple of weeks have been surreal—almost dystopian. We have gone from living our lives as normal—observing the freedoms and routines most of us take for granted—to considering every potential action and activity through a new, exceptionally cautious lens.