NEW INFORMATION FOR FAMILIES ON MEDICARE E- Visits for PT FROM A T.E.A.M. Approach Physical Therapy - Robert A. Ruffalo, PT, DC

Many patients of whom are elderly, immunocompromised, and suffer from pre-existing conditions – will be unable to access the safe, effective pain-management treatments they depend on to stay healthy and independent. In instances such as the outbreak of CoVid-19 patients will face difficulties accessing outpatient physical therapy and occupational therapy making it harder for them to regain balance, strength, and mobility following serious illness and injury, putting them at greater risk for accidental falls and other negative outcomes.

This is a problem with no ready solutions, but there is one action that Washington can take right now that will help: expanding access to telehealth-based care services to Medicare recipients as all other NJ insurers have done for Physical Therapy. What then is offered to Medicare Beneficiaries not wanting to go to an office for physical therapy at this time?

Currently E-Visits are offered to Medicare insureds for Physical Therapy:

What is an E-Visit?
A non-face-to-face communication with their clinician without going to the physical therapy office.
Who must initiate the communication?
The patient must generate the initial inquiry and communications can occur over a 7-day period. However, practitioners may educate beneficiaries on the availability of the service prior to patient initiation.
Can PTs use this service with a new patient?
No, these services can only be reported when the billing practice has an established relationship with the patient.
Is this limited to rural areas?
This is not limited to only rural settings. There are no geographic or location restrictions for these visits.
Do PTs need special patient consent for an E-Visit?
The patient must verbally consent to receive virtual check-in services.
Does the patient need to pay for these services?
The Medicare coinsurance and deductible would apply to these services.
Can I use other means to communicate with my physical therapist?
Effective immediately, the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) will exercise enforcement discretion and waive penalties for HIPAA violations against health care providers that serve patients.

Stay Safe and Be Well,
Robert A. Ruffalo, PT, DC

Comments are closed.