BCBS TELEHEALTH UPDATE (March 25, 2020)
ALAPTA has heard from BCBS of Alabama, and the news in positive. They have determined that physical therapy telehealth services will be paid for their members seeking services.
What do we know?
- Effective March 1, 2020, members with Alabama Blue and Blue Advantage plans can receive telehealth physical therapy services when delivered by a provider within the BCBS network.
- The waiver is allowed through April 16, 2020 and will be reevaluated at that time.
- The Telehealth PT visits will count as a visit against the member’s max therapy limits, just as they would if delivered in person.
- Member copayments are waived for all identified telehealth services, regardless of whether there is a diagnosis related to COVID-19.
- The Telehealth PT visits must include both audio and visual technology.
- NOTE: This is different than Medicare’s E-visit waiver. E-visits do not require a visual component. They can be billed when communication is made via phone call or email.
- BCBS has posted this telehealth Billing guide for Providers: https://providers.bcbsal.org/portal/documents/10226/306297/Telehealth+Billing+Guide/b92b12c5-585f-471c-5921-72465c49b16f.
What do we NOT know?
- What must be documented.
- ALAPTA recommendation: Document the telehealth visit just as you would an in-person visit. Insure you support the type of service provided, as well as the length of time spent providing each service(s).
- How it should be billed. We do not know whether we will be instructed to use CPT™ codes with a telehealth modifier, or whether we will be given special Telehealth codes to use.
- ALAPTA recommendation: Keep good records so you will know what to bill once the guidelines are released. Keep track of the services using CPT™ codes, and the amount of time spent for each CPT™ as well as the total time spent.
- What you will be paid for the service(s).
- Since we don’t know what codes will be billed, we cannot give you fee schedule allowable charges.
ALABAMA PT & PTA PROGRAM STATEMENTS REGARDING COVID-19 (March 24, 2020)
Visit this page for a list of links and updates from colleges and universities as they make accommodations for the COVID-19 pandemic: www.ptalabama.org/covid-19-updates/alabama-colleges-universities/
TRICARE EAST TELEMEDICINE BENEFIT (March 18, 2020)
If a beneficiary meets all other criteria for a covered service for speech therapy and for continuation of PT/OT, (but not initiation of PT/OT), it is covered using telemedicine, using any coding modifiers as you would for a TRICARE network provider office visit.
E-VISIT WEBINAR SLIDE DECK (March 20, 2020)
Thank you to those who were able to join us last night on the webinar about how to do E-visits. Ellen has reorganized the slide deck with some additional information to hopefully add some clarity based on some of the questions received. Due to technology issues, the recording is not available.
As we stressed during the call, the situation is fluid. This handout is current as of now. Please be on the lookout for additional resources if updates to the regulation are announced. We will provide information as quickly as we can. The slides at the end of the deck provide additional resources for you as well as information on how to advocate for physical therapy services to be allowed through the CONNECT Act.
BCBS OF ALABAMA COVID-19 UPDATE (March 20, 2020)
The BCBS of Alabama PT Advisory Committee met with BCBS representatives this week in an effort to address licensees’ concerns about the impact of the COVID-19 on patient care and continuity of care. They announced that they are “moving forward with coverage for telehealth in regards to limited physical therapy”. They asked PT clinics to not file claims yet. They have not worked out the details, but will be forthcoming with those.
To monitor those developments, check this website regularly:
As always, ALAPTA will post information as soon as we get it.