CMS Extends Telehealth to Institutional Providers

May 28, 2020
Rick Gawenda

On May 27, 2020, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) expanded telehealth services to include outpatient physical, occupational and speech therapy provided in institutional settings. This expansion includes Rehabilitation Agencies, Skilled Nursing Facilities doing Part B, Comprehensive Outpatient Rehabilitation Facilities, Hospital Outpatient Therapy Departments (including Critical Access Hospitals) and Home Health Agencies providing outpatient therapy in the home.

To read the announcement from CMS, click

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In addition, click HERE to read my telehealth questions and answers when treating Medicare beneficiaries via telehealth in all outpatient therapy settings.

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  1. As a hospital based OT, PT and Speech provider this is great news. Please confirm that making the beneficiary’s home a provider-based department (PBD) would no longer be required since we are not providing “remote” therapy but recognized telehealth services. Thank you.

    1. If doing telehealth, that is different than delivering services remotely and you would not add the patients home as a PBD of the hospital.

  2. Thank you so much for this update. This is fantastic news! Do you know if CMS has stated a retroactive date?

    1. We believe the retro-active date will be March 1, 2020 and hope to confirm this with CMS next week.

  3. Do we still need to append the PN and CR modifiers? What has changed (other than the wording telehealth vs. therapy provided via telecommunications in the patient’s home) for outpatient hospital clinics?
    Thank you!

  4. Is this time limited legislation? Meaning, only extending these privileges to a certain date secondary to the pandemic and then it reverts?

  5. Just need clarification….telehealth can be done with Med A pts in a SNF, but just can’t separately bill (which I understand)?

  6. Hi Rick,
    Did you hear if there was clarification on if CMS is retro activating institutional settings’ telehealth coverage to March 1st?

    1. Yes, if allowed by the insurance carrier and your state practice act and other administrative rules.

  7. Hi Rick,
    Is there a link to the June 2nd office call or a written CMS document that confirms the expiration of telehealth is currently scheduled for July 24, 2020 at the end of the Public Health Emergency?

    1. Updates will be posted on my website when they occur. As I answer your question, the current Public Health Emergency expires on July 24, 2020.