Update on Hospitals Providing Therapy Services Remotely

May 22, 2020
Rick Gawenda

During a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) “Office Hours” call on May 21, 2020, CMS did confirm the following regarding hospital outpatient therapy departments providing outpatient therapy services remotely to a Medicare Part B beneficiary in their home while the therapist or assistant is physically in the hospital:

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    1. It goes back to whenever CMS first initiated the Hospital Without Walls to allow a Medicare beneficiaries home to be established as a PBD of the hospital.

    1. Regarding my previous question, I am asking does the waiver of the patient home as a PBD also extend to CAH as well?

  1. Regarding #3 above, and the 6 pieces of info requured to send to the CMS Regional Office.

    Has this requirement been completely eliminated, or does that mean we only have to submit the 6 items once to alert CMS to alert them of our intention to furnish services that are relocated?

    1. The 6 pieces of information are not required to be submitted to your CMS Regional Office since outpatient therapy services are paid under the MPFS and Not OPPS.

  2. We have both agency and private practices in the same state. Since the agency cannot bill telehealth we are looking into if we can use the agency staff that is credentialed for the private practice to provide telehealth services. Since they would typically be seen at the agency can we use the private practice number and address to bill?

  3. Hi Rick-
    I am a PT in Texas in a CAH outpatient clinic. The CAH owns the nursing home which is joined to the hospital by a long sidewalk. The NH is not Medicare certified, so “pre-Covid”, we brought the residents of the NH to the outpatient clinic for treatment and was able to receive CAH reimbursement. Since Covid- those residents are not allowed to come to my outpatient clinic. My question- can I physically go to the NH and treat the resident in their facility and still bill through my outpatient clinic in light of all the Covid exceptions and waivers? Would a nursing home be considered a PBD like a patients home would be? For clarification, the NH will allow me to go into there facility and treat the resident in their room.

  4. Hi Rick, as a hospital based outpatient rehab, can therapists perform and bill home visits for outpatient therapy…not just remotely?