On 3/30, Medicare issued new guidance to providers nationwide. Part of that guidance included some information about therapy services, including physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy. While the communication was very convoluted, Medicare has still not approved PT, OT, and SLP for full telehealth services as of this information.
Based on at attempt to interpret the document, even if it is to be added, it may only be for so-called distant site practitioners, which is a category that Medicare itself says that vast majority of therapy professionals do NOT fit into.
Providers can continue to offer or consider offering so-called e-visits, which are not full-on telehealth but at least offer some may to maintain a connection with existing patients.
The Bottom Line
Advocacy continues by many to get Medicare to allow PT, OT, and SLP services by telehealth but that does not appear to be the case of this blog post – 3/30/20. Things continue to be changing quickly and the passage of the CARES act may also help.