Telehealth + COVID-19

Updates & Resources

A LIBRARY OF RESOURCES INCLUDING ARTICLES, TIPS SHEETS, WEBINARS

Last updated at 10:31am EST, June 4, 2020

Telehealth is the use of electronic communication to remotely provide health care information and services. Due to the recent COVID-19 impact on our communities and professions, telehealth is at the center of attention in the physical therapy industry. Providers want to continue providing care while taking appropriate health safety measures and patients are seeking continued and effective care. Telehealth can be effective and cost-efficient, however PTs and PTAs need to consider federal and state legislation and regulations that govern their practice, risk management implications, billing and coding issues, and hardware/software requirements. Regardless of the payer or policy, PTs and PTAs must ensure that when providing telehealth services or billing for them, they are practicing legally and ethically, and are adhering to state and federal practice guidelines and payer contract agreements.  Each state has its own guidelines that PTs/PTAs should follow.

Source: American Physical Therapy Association

Returning to Work?

As state and federal guidelines are updated in regards to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Academy of Pelvic Health Physical Therapy has received requests from members for guidance in re-opening their practices.

American Physical Therapy Association (APTA)

Cigna and Telemed

As federal guidelines continue to evolve in support of the COVID-19 pandemic, Cigna is adopting a position consistent with the federal public health emergency period, which ends on July 24, 2020. As such, Cigna is extending the customer cost-share waivers and other enhanced benefits, including our interim virtual care policy, through at least July 31, 2020.

Q: Will Cigna allow for physical therapists to provide virtual care?

Yes. PT providers can now deliver virtual care for any service that is on their current fee schedule. We have removed the previous guidance that CMS also had to cover the service virtually. PT/OT/ST providers should continue to submit virtual claims with a GQ, GT, or 95 modifier and a face-to-face place of service code (e.g., POS 11).

Additionally, if a provider typically bills services on a UB-04 claim form, they can also provide those services virtually. In these cases, the provider should bill as normal on a UB-04 claim form with the appropriate revenue code and procedure code, and also append the GQ, GT, or 95 modifier.

Important notes

  • While we encourage PT providers to follow CMS guidance regarding the use of software programs for virtual care, we are not requiring the use of any specific software program at this time.
  • We maintain all current medical necessity review criteria for virtual care at this time.
  • Our national ancillary partner American Specialty Health (ASH) is applying the same virtual care guidance, so any provider participating through ASH and providing PT/OT services to Cigna customers is covered by the same guidance.

Webinars

Center for Connected Health Policy / The National Telehealth Policy Resource Center

Department of Labor

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)

Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC)

In the Media

American Physical Therapy Association | State Chapters

Regardless of the payer or policy, PTs and PTAs must ensure that when providing telehealth services or billing for them, they are practicing legally and ethically, and are adhering to state and federal practice guidelines and payer contract agreements.  Each state has its own guidelines that PTs/PTAs should follow. Below are links to respective APTA State Chapters where you can find additional information and resources pertaining to your specific state.

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