The Maryland Board of Physical Therapy Examiners has experienced an increase in the number of questions from practitioners on whether the Maryland Board of Physical Therapy Examiners permits the use of telehealth. The intent of this position statement is to acknowledge the “intra-State” use of telehealth by Maryland licensees practicing physical therapy within the State of Maryland and to clarify that:
- Physical therapy practitioners must hold a valid Maryland license prior to providing physical therapy services via telehealth to clients physically located in Maryland; and,
- The practice of physical therapy, via telehealth or otherwise, in the State of Maryland must be in accordance with the Annotated Code of Maryland, Health Occupations Article, Title 10, and The Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR), 10.38.01 – 10.38.11.
Challenges and Opportunities in Telehealth: A Q&A With the Experts
January 8, 2020
Telehealth is in the news lately, as state and federal lawmakers debate the necessity and logistics of remote patient care and payment, including the Creating Opportunities Now for Necessary and Effective Care Technologies (CONNECT) for Health Act of 2019. The bill, which APTA supports, would expand the use of telehealth services and ease restrictions on telehealth coverage under Medicare, as well as encourage the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation to identify which services delivered via telehealth can result in cost-effective and positive patient outcomes.
#PTTransforms Blog spoke to APTA members Sarah Gallagher, PT, DPT, and Alan Lee, PT, DPT, PhD, about the possibilities, challenges, and current use of telehealth across health care professions. Gallagher is the owner of South Valley Physical Therapy, a Colorado private practice specializing in neurologic and vestibular physical therapy that began providing telehealth services to solve an access to specialty care problem. Lee is the telehealth lead for the APTA Frontiers in Rehabilitation Science and Technology (FiRST) Council and vice president of the Technology in Physical Therapy Special Interest Group of HPA The Catalyst, APTA's section on health policy and administration. >> Read APTA's #PTTransforms Blog
Payment & Billing Considerations
- Medicare's current list of approved providers does not include physical therapists, occupational therapists, or speech-language pathologists.
- There is no list of third-party payers that pay for telerehab, so check with each payer. If you are in network with a specific provider, call and request documentation of their policy related to telehealth.
- There are no limitations for self pay patients/clients
- Maryland’s telehealth parity law requires telemedicine services to be reimbursed at the same rate as in-person medical services.