Telehealth Resources



telehealth ADVOCACY, NEWS and Resources

Since COVID-19 started impacting FPTA members and their patients, our leadership and staff have worked diligently to keep you informed and at the ready to engage in advocating for the profession. Our providers know Telehealth works for the patients we treat. There are no reasons for barriers to exist any longer. This crisis demands change – we must engage to cause change.

For many years FPTA advocated for Physical Therapists to be included as a provider of Telehealth Services. We succeeded in 2018 when PT was included in Florida Statute as an eligible health care provider of Telehealth. The time is now to advocate for our services and fair reimbursement when providing care to patients through Telehealth.

Telehealth is changing the way care is delivered across the state of Florida and America. From emergency department care to remote patient monitoring for chronic care management and access to care from specialists, telehealth is changing the way health care is provided –- both expanding patient access to routine and specialty care while improving patient satisfaction and outcomes. As PT professionals it’s time for us to demonstrate our expertise using this new delivery medium through telehealth services.

Unite now, engage by utilizing the FPTA Telehealth Advocacy Kit. Read it! Use it! Take time to write a letter that personalizes why you and your clinic need to be able to treat your patients through telehealth and be reimbursed for your time and expertise. No more excuses – no one can advocate for you and your patients except you!

DOWNLOAD TELEHEALTH ADVOCACY KIT

Aetna Now Covers Telehealth Delivered by PT's

April 3, 2020 - Private insurer Aetna announced that it will now cover a range of services delivered by PTs through telehealth—a significant expansion of its earlier COVID-19-related policy that limited coverage to e-visits. The change comes after APTA engaged in collaborative work with the company to rethink its temporary benefits policy...

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Thinking About Providing Telehealth? Here's Our Top 10 'To-Do' List

April 3, 2020 - The COVID-19 pandemic has caused patients and providers, as well as state and federal governments, to consider the use of telehealth on a wider scale, including in physical therapy. It's a complicated topic that deserves your time — not just because of the immediate need for change...

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Ask CMS to Cover Expanded PT Telehealth Services

April 1, 2020 - The CARES Act, signed into law on March 27,2020, gives broad waiver authority to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to waive the restrictions on the types of providers who may provide and bill for telehealth services furnished to Medicare beneficiaries during the COVID-19 emergency period. But it does not REQUIRE the Secretary to take such action.

That's why we're asking YOU to tell CMS to expand the types of providers eligible to furnish telehealth services under Medicare to include physical therapists and physical therapist assistants during the COVID-19 public health emergency. Click the button below to quickly and easily send a letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
 

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General Guidance for Telehealth

Before You Begin Practicing Via Telehealth

The use of telehealth is one approach that can help protect the patient and provider during this time of crisis. Investigate and consider the issues within the following areas as you make decisions on whether or not to use telehealth in your practice. In addition, become familiar with some of the commonly used terms in telehealth.

Telehealth: Billing and Coding Considerations Medicare

Billing physical therapy services that have been provided through telehealth  is an emerging challenge. Due to the 1135 waiver authority and Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is expanding access to Medicare telehealth/e-visit services so that beneficiaries can receive a wider range of services from their providers without having to travel to a healthcare facility. For the first time, PTs will be allowed to bill Medicare for telehealth/e-visits under codes associated with online assessment and management services (HCPCS codes G2061: Qualified non-physician healthcare professional online assessment, for an established patient, for up to seven days, cumulative time during the 7 days; 5–10 minutes; G2062: Qualified non-physician healthcare professional online assessment, for an established patient, for up to seven days, cumulative time during the 7 days; 11-20 minutes; G2063: Qualified non-physician healthcare professional online assessment, for an established patient, for up to seven days, cumulative time during the 7 days; 21 or more minutes). Providers must use place-of-service code “02” and “GT” modifier. The payment rates are significantly lower than the traditional payment for an in-person visit under the CPT 97000 code series. To determine the reimbursement rates for G2061-G2063, visit the  CMS Physician Fee Schedule lookup tool . Medicare coinsurance and deductible apply to the services.

To qualify as an e-visit, three basic qualifications must be met: 

  1. The billing practice must have an established relationship with the patient, meaning the provider must have an existing provider-patient relationship;
  2. The patient must initiate the inquiry for an e-visit and verbally consent to check-in services; 
  3. The communications must be limited to a seven-day period through an "online patient portal." 

Although the patient must initiate the service, CMS allows "practitioners to educate beneficiaries on the availability of the telehealth service prior to patient initiation." For example, if a patient cancels treatment because they can’t come to the clinic or are concerned about leaving home, then the PT may advise the patient that she or he can “virtually” contact the therapists as needed.

Florida Medicaid: CMS Approves First State Request for 1135 Medicaid Waiver in Florida

Florida Medicaid Telemedicine Guidance for Medical & Behavioral Health

Third-Party Payers

Payment for telehealth depends on your contract with your payer. There is no list of third-party payers that pay for telerehab. Also confirm with each payer whether the originating site can be a private home or office, if services must be real-time or can be asynchronous, and any other limitations to your use of telehealth. 

For third-party billing, there are "telehealth" CPT codes. But before reporting CPT codes you traditionally use for clinical visits or billing for telephone services (98966-98969), check with your payer. Many of the physical medicine and rehabilitation codes (97000 series) specify "direct 1-on-1 patient contact," which by strict definition would exclude telehealth unless you and your payer have agreed to include these services. A payer also may require an addendum attached to the bill that identifies the service as being provided via telehealth, along with an explanation of the charges, so be prepared to outline the reasoning for using telehealth.

You also should check with your payer about using place-of-service code "02" when billing for telehealth services to specify the entity where service(s) were rendered. Regardless of the payer or policy, if you provide and bill for services using telehealth, make sure that you are practicing legally and ethically, and are adhering to state and federal practice guidelines and payer contract agreements. 

Two commercial telehealth platforms are eVisit  and VisuWell .  If you use them, it's a good idea to check their information against the primary sources of state law.

Physical Therapists should consult the CMS recommendations for additional guidance.

APTA is also a fantastic resource for regularly updated information, especially at the national level. Please bookmark and access regularly APTA’s  Coronavirus  page.

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AMA Quick Guide to Telemedicine in Practice

March 26, 2020 - In an effort to keep our health care workers and patients safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the American Medical Association (AMA) has designed this quick guide to support physicians and practices in expediting the implementation of telemedicine, so care can continue to be provided to those who need it most.

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Download Telehealth Consent Form

This form was developed for FPTA by our legal counsel and can be used for the purposes of practing Telehealth. Click below to download the PDF.

consent form

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PT News: Furnishing & Billing E-Visits

Recent waivers by CMS that allow for limited digital communication with patients have triggered a wave of questions. Here are our answers to the ones we hear most often.

pt news article

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United Health Care adopted a PT Telehealth Policy

United Healthcare will reimburse physical, occupational and speech therapy telehealth services provided by qualified health care professionals when rendered using interactive audio/video technology.

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Additional Resources from Telehealth.com

TelehelathPT.com has answered the call over the last week by giving away thousands of hours of free content to providers struggling to find a Telehealth solution with the sudden impact of Covid-19.

#1 - We hare happy to provide you with the most up to date information about insurance reimbursement with a podcast we just completed last night with Rick Gawenda, PT of https://gawendaseminars.com/

Over 1 hour of expertise on Telehealth billing and Rick held absolutely nothing back! Watch this now or bookmark this for when you get home!
https://youtu.be/Gc1Or2aZtbY

#2 - We have a collaborative effort for those who have asked what they should do to make it through these times when it comes to their business and how can they be sure they're doing the right thing when it comes to Telehealth, HIPAA, patient privacy, wellness vs. PT, consent forms, etc?!

We reached out and crafted a document package and live Q&A video webinar featuring a rare gem of an attorney/PT - Gwen Simons, Esq, PT, OCS, FAAOMPT. Since 2007, she has become trusted legal counsel for 40+ physical therapy practices in Maine and 300+ entrepreneurial practitioners nationwide who have started Telehealth, consulting and cash practices. We are bringing her in to provide concrete answers along with a rare presentation followed by a Q&A session which you can join this Friday, March 27th at 1:00pm-2:30pm EST.

We will have a limited amount of space for this webinar, and we are releasing it 36 hours prior in order to limit the number of practitioners and clinic owners taking part of the Q&A. Grab your seat here: Telehealth Legal and Business Planning during Covid-19: Steps to Bridge the Gap for Your Private Practice

This will also include a live Q&A with Rob Vining, MSPT for the first time since the outbreak. Hear up to date best practices and actionable details to ensure your patients thrive as you provide your expertise digitally.

The package has boiled down the most important videos taken from TelehealthPT.com's library of how-to's and walkthroughs.

This package will be kept up to date with any updated/recent legal requirements and Telehealth best practices so that you will continue to benefit from future need-to-know information.

With the above two objectives covered, we truly believe that using the "Everything You Need" package, we want PTs/PTAs/Physios and the entire profession to thrive after this is all said and done.  Take advantage of this webinar now and set yourself up for future success.

Sign up today for Friday's Q&A with attorney Gwen Simons at https://www.telehealthpt.com/legalbusiness and see everything that will be included.

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