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What Has to Be on a Physician Order

by • August 6, 2018 • 4 Comments

I am often asked what items must be on a physician order for a patient referred to outpatient physical, occupational and/or speech therapy services. Can a physician or other qualified practitioner just write “Evaluate and Treat”? Must the physician or practitioner list a frequency and duration on the order? As you can imagine, the answer is not simple.

To determine what items must be on a physician/practitioner order for a patient referred to outpatient physical, occupational and/or speech therapy services, you must look at your state practice act, the contract you signed with the insurance carrier as well as the insurance carriers’ therapy policies. Do any of those 3 list what is required on a physician/practitioner order for outpatient therapy services? If yes, follow the requirements of the one that is most restrictive.

The majority of state practice acts do not list what must be documented on a physician/practitioner order. When I read the Aetna, Cigna and UnitedHealthcare online therapy policies,

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4 thoughts on “What Has to Be on a Physician Order”

  1. Ron Ryskalczyk says:

    What does CMS require?

    1. Rick Gawenda says:

      CMS does not require an order for outpatient therapy services. CMS requires a signed and dated plan of care by the physician and therapist.

  2. Jim Milani says:

    An MD and NNP can write and order and sign the POC. Can a podiatrist, dentist and chiropractor also write and sign the POC?

    1. Rick Gawenda says:

      Please read my FAQs on this topic. Scroll down to February 27, 2015.
      https://gawendaseminars.com/faqs/certifications-recertifications/

      Here is an article I published June 5, 2018: https://gawendaseminars.com/2018/current-news-posts/chiropractors-dentists-signing-medicare-plan-care/

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