CompHealth Favors New Bill for PTs and Medicare Reimbursement

October 31st, 2014 1 Min read CompHealth Favors New Bill for PTs and Medicare Reimbursement Blog
pt_medicareA new bill introduced in the Senate would allow physical therapists (PTs) to bring in a travel provider to care for Medicare patients in their absence. The travel provider would treat patients and bill Medicare through the PT’s practice provider number. The law currently allows locum tenens filling in for doctors of medicine, podiatric medicine, optometry, chiropractic, dental surgery and optometry to treat Medicare patients and bill Medicare through the practice provider number. This law, however, does not extend to physical therapists. That means private practice PTs who take vacation or extended absences are unable to bill Medicare for services provided by a PT temporarily taking his or her place. Therese Kelly, the operations manager of the travel physical therapy team at CompHealth, is excited about this bill and the new opportunities available to both travel PTs and facilities with vacancies. “We work with talented PTs every day who have the right skills, qualifications and licensing to fill these assignments. But when they find themselves limited by their Medicare enrollment status, it can get really frustrating,” Kelly says. “When facilities can’t get the right coverage, they’re faced with either overworking their current staff or turning patients away.” Should the bill pass, facilities will no longer have to make such decisions. “This legislation would simplify the process for facilities facing provider shortages. Allowing them to bill the traveler’s care under the absent PT’s Medicare number relieves the burden on the current staff and, most importantly, ensures uninterrupted care to the patients they treat,” Kelly expresses. “That’s everyone’s goal.” The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) is currently advocating for the bill and monitoring its progress, especially as other larger Medicare reforms move through Congress. Learn more about the bill by visiting the APTA’s locum tenens page.


Lindsay Wilcox

Lindsay Wilcox

Lindsay Wilcox is a communication professional with experience writing for the healthcare and entertainment industries as well as local government. When she's not circling typos, she's enjoying fish tacos and hanging out with her family.

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