As the world begins to resume operations, many physical therapy professionals are wondering how they can deliver the best possible care to their patients—without putting anyone at risk of contracting COVID-19 in the process.
In these tumultuous times, it is of the utmost importance that we prioritize the safety of our fellow healthcare workers and patients. That is why many providers are seriously considering changing their business model and reallocating resources to telehealth—especially considering that CMS is beginning to reimburse PTs and OTs for certain telehealth services.
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.
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.
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.
In this Q&A, Jaclyn Fulop, MSPT, the owner of Exchange Physical Therapy Group, explains how her practice responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by implementing a telehealth model. Interested in adopting telehealth in your own organization? Be sure to review this comprehensive blog post on leveraging and billing for telehealth in rehab therapy, this FAQ on Medicare’s new e-visit opportunities for rehab therapists, and this free webinar on telehealth and business continuity in the rehab industry. And to keep following what the team at Exchange PT is up to, be sure to check ’em out on Instagram.
On March 19, the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) of the US Department of Homeland Security issued a memorandum and associated guidance designating physical therapists, occupational therapists, and speech-language pathologists as “essential critical infrastructure workers.”
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.
Okay, everyone, are you ready for some good news? I know I am. After much delay, physical therapist assistants and occupational therapy assistants may begin treating Tricare patients starting April 16, 2020. Rejoice!
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.