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.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.
Notably, physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech-language pathologists, are barred from delivering telehealth 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...The American Telemedicine Association is the leading international resource and advocate promoting the use of advanced remote medical technologies.
...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..."
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?