In the private practice setting, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) requires that the physical therapist (PT) provide direct supervision of the physical therapist assistant (PTA) and that the occupational therapist (OT) provide direct supervision of the occupational therapy assistant (OTA) when the PTA and OTA are furnishing covered services to a Medicare beneficiary receiving outpatient physical or occupational therapy services, respectively. This means the supervising PT or OT must be present in the office suite at the time the service(s) is provided by the PTA or OTA to the Medicare beneficiary.
What providers want to know is has anything changed with the direct supervision requirement as a result of the public health emergency (PHE) due to COVID-19? The simple answer is
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