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.
The Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) has generated a fair bit of mayhem in the rehab therapy space. Surprisingly, though, it’s not the program’s complexity or potential payment impact that’s causing so much trouble—it’s the fact that MIPS participation is optional for many therapists.
According to one 2020 Graham Sessions attendee, the PT field is facing a pretty grim future. “We have a pretty dire landscape,” he said. “It costs more to earn less.” PTs struggle, he argued, because we know what we’re worth—but that value is totally at odds with how the market values us.
It’s been more than a year since CMS added rehab therapists to the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS)—but it’s still the talk of the town. Providers are trying to decide if participation is right for them, but weighing the pros and cons of MIPS is proving to be a little more difficult than expected.
It’s a new decade, and the future is bright—or at least, it could be! That was the overarching message when our expert PT soothsayers, Dr. Heidi Jannenga, PT, DPT, ATC, Co-Founder and Chief Clinical Officer of WebPT; Dr. Dianne Jewell, PT, DPT, PhD, FAPTA, WebPT Director of Clinical Practice, Outcomes, and Education; and Dr. Scott Hebert, PT, DPT, WebPT Director of Product Management, joined forces to make seven predictions about the future of rehab therapy.
Earlier this month, we covered some major changes to the NCCI edit rules set forth by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Per those changes, as of January 1, 2020, PTs, OTs, and ATCs were no longer receiving payment on the following CPT codes when billed with CPT® code 97530 (therapeutic activities) and/or 97150 (group therapy):
At the end of every year, I like to reflect on what’s happened and a look ahead at what’s to come. I have to say, CMS’s end-of-the-year 8% cut announcement was a challenging piece of news, but even with the obstacles it presents for our profession, I am still incredibly hopeful about our future.
New Year’s Eve is a time to celebrate transformation and positive change—and for that, it’s one of my favorite holidays. Not only are you celebrating the year that’s gone past—from your best moments to your trickiest trials—but you’re also celebrating the year that’s about to come.
If you suspect fraud, abuse, or even waste occurring in your PT, OT, or SLP practice, here are some steps for addressing it.