The pandemic isn’t over, but many rehab therapy clinics are starting to resume operations. Yet, things aren’t—and can’t be—the same as they were before (at least not for the time being), which means in order to move into this next phase, clear communication is paramount.
The coronavirus pandemic was a catalyst for a new wave of regulatory changes that expanded the rehab therapist toolbox almost overnight. Most recently, CMS made telehealth more widely accessible to rehab therapy providers. (Hallelujah!) While the industry has been fighting for this privilege for years, the swift change cast many providers into the uncharted waters of remote care with very little time to prepare.
“New normal.” It’s a phrase we’re hearing more and more as the US begins to open up and resume operations—at least partially. This tentative move toward some sense of normalcy means many of us will face significant change in the weeks ahead.
COVID-19 has created the perfect witch’s brew of intense stress. People across the country are concerned about the health of themselves and their families; job security is shaky (and household incomes are dropping); and basic necessities like food staples and hygiene supplies are still—even after two months—difficult to find.
Adding new cash-pay services to your clinic’s repertoire can be a challenge. Not only do you have to ensure that you have the legal freedom to provide cash-based services (because you might not), but you also have to price and market them in a way that ensures patients will not only pay for those services out of pocket, but also receive value commensurate to the cost.
This is the third blog post in my series on working on your business, when you can’t work in your business. My intention is to help providers improve sustainability and efficiency within their practices, so they can come out of this pandemic with a renewed spirit and the ability to provide maximum benefits to patients.
It all happened in an instant—or at least it felt like an instant. One day, we were living our lives as normal—going about our work days, our family and social obligations, our routines. Then came news of the outbreak, the pandemic, the national emergency—all in such rapid-fire sequence that before we even had time to process it, we were reeling from the shock of having our lives turned upside down.
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.
Last week, Congress approved an additional stimulus package that, among other things, replenishes the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Though legislation has not yet been signed and the US Department of the Treasury has yet to implement rules for these additional funds, rehab therapy practice owners who are looking to obtain PPP funding should contact their banks immediately to discuss the application process, as these funds likely will be claimed even faster than the first round.
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.
If you’re like me, you may be starting to lose track of time. This seems to be a common problem right now—as we are all adjusting to a new normal and learning new patterns of living and working. Most of us are somewhere between week four and week six of social distancing and non-essential school and business closures.