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Archive for May, 2020

CMS opens up telehealth to therapists

Monday, May 4, 2020 @ 07:05 AM  posted by jbuytaert

Courtesy of the HME News
by: Liz Beaulieu – Friday, May 1, 2020

WASHINGTON – CMS announced last week that it will allow occupational therapists and physical therapists to provide telehealth services during the coronavirus pandemic, a big win for complex rehab stakeholders.

The agency has waived the limitations on the types of clinical practitioners that can furnish Medicare telehealth services. Previously, only doctors, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and certain others could provide these services.

“This has been a major request from us, along with others,” said Don Clayback, executive director of NCART, during a webcast last week. “This opens up significant opportunities for OTs and PTs, not only for complex rehab but also other areas.”

What’s more, CMS announced that it added CPT 97542—a code used by OTs and PTs for “wheelchair management”—to the list of approved codes for telehealth services.

The agency paved the way for this to happen by changing its process of adding new telehealth services to a sub-regulatory process, instead of a rulemaking process, allowing it to consider requests by practitioners.

“It’s a positive that they’re opening up a new system…that will enable them to be more responsive to practitioners actually using those codes,” Clayback said.

NCART will take these latest changes from CMS and share them with state Medicaid programs that have not already allowed OTs and PTs to provide telehealth services.

“The fact that Medicare is opening that up officially should make those states more comfortable,” Clayback said.

COVID-19 Household Checklist

Friday, May 1, 2020 @ 09:05 AM  posted by jbuytaert

As a family, you can plan and make decisions now that will protect you and your family during a COVID-19 outbreak.

Stay informed and in touch
  • Get up-to-date information about local COVID-19 activity from public health officials.
  • Ask your neighbors what their plan includes.
  • Create a list of local organizations you and your household can contact in case you need access to information, healthcare services, support, and resources.
  • Create an emergency contact list including family, friends, neighbors, carpool drivers, healthcare providers, teachers, employers, the local public health department, and other community resources.
Prepare for possible illness
Take everyday preventative steps
  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Be prepared if your child’s school or childcare facility is temporarily dismissed or for potential changes at your workplace.
  • How to Protect Yourself Read more