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.
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.
In the not-too-distant past, telehealth was unexplored and unfamiliar territory for rehab therapists—long-time advocates of the in-person visit. Yet practically overnight, therapists were forced to dive head-first into the telehealth pool and start providing care via hybrid or fully remote treatment models. And now that many major payers are covering therapy services delivered via telehealth, c
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.
On March 19, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security designated physical therapists, occupational therapists, and speech-language pathologists as essential critical infrastructure workers. However, the pandemic has significantly limited rehab therapists’ ability to treat patients, as social distancing presents unique challenges for providers whose care is predominately hands-on.
In a way, telehealth is like the wild, wild west for rehab therapists. It’s totally new, relatively unexplored, and chock full of opportunity for patients and providers alike. That said, just because therapists are beginning to venture into the unknown, it doesn’t mean patients are ready to follow along.
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.
World events have created a boom in all things video conferencing. Kids, teenagers, grandmas, and office workers alike are turning to video services like Zoom or Skype to connect with their friends, family, or colleagues—while staying safe at home.
New patient volume is incredibly important for rehab therapy practices. After all, you’ve likely spent quite a bit of effort marketing directly to patients or referral sources to ensure those patients who could benefit from your services actually do.
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.