"Physical therapy is not a subspecialty of the medical profession and physical therapists are not medical doctors; we are a separate profession that provides a unique service that physicians are unable and untrained to provide."

Letter to the AMA from the APTA, Dec 2009

Sunday, May 1, 2011

American Telemedicine Association Advocates for Physical Therapists

The American Telemedicine Association (ATA) is advocating for physical therapists to deliver telerehabilitation services and receive Medicare reimbursement in order to succeed under Medicare Accountable Care Organizations (ACO):
"Medicare law bars some providers from delivering telehealth services - even as they are otherwise permitted under Medicare.
Notably, physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech-language pathologists, are barred from delivering telehealth services."
The ATA sent Medicare administrator Dr. Donald Berwick a letter on April 25th asking for five regulatory waivers, including the restriction on physical therapists performing telerehabilitation services.

The ATA request reads:
"ATA strongly urges the Secretary to waive this restriction. Otherwise, the ACOs will fail to fulfill Congressional and Agency intent...

...section 1834(m)(4)(E) needs to be waived... to permit any beneficiary to get the otherwise covered Medicare services of physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech-language pathology and audiology..."
The American Telemedicine Association is the leading international resource and advocate promoting the use of advanced remote medical technologies.

ATA and its diverse membership, works to fully integrate telemedicine into transformed healthcare systems to improve quality, equity and affordability of healthcare throughout the world.

The ATA 2011 annual meeting started today, Saturday April 30th in Tampa, Florida and runs through Tuesday, May 3rd.

I'll be attending the pre-course meetings, presentations and trade shows and posting the technology and innovations I find to this blog.

Tell me what you'd like to know about the emerging telemedicine industry.

How do you think physical therapists should fit into this new paradigm?

Free Tutorial

Get free stuff at BulletproofPT.com

Tim Richardson, PT owns a private practice at Medical Arts Rehabilitation, Inc in Palmetto, Florida. The clinic website is at MedicalArtsRehab.com.

Bulletproof Expert Systems: Clinical Decision Support for Physical Therapists in the Outpatient Setting is a manager's workbook with stories, checklists, charts, graphs, tables, and templates describing how you can use paper-based or computerized tools to improve your clinic's Medicare compliance, process adherence and patient outcomes.

Tim has implemented a computerized Clinical Decision Support (CDS) system in his clinic since 2006 that serves as a Reminder, Alerting, Prompting and Predicting CDS using evidence-based tests and measures.

Tim can be reached at
TimRichPT@BulletproofPT.com .

"Make Decisions like Doctors"

Copyright 2007-2010 by Tim Richardson, PT.
No reproduction without authorization.

Share PTD with your Peers!

American Physical Therapy Association

American Physical Therapy Association
Consistent with the American Physical Therapy Association Vision Statement for Physical Therapy 2020, the American Physical Therapy Association supports exclusive physical therapist ownership and operation of physical therapy services.