May 1, 2020

CRT Stakeholders and Friends,

We are pleased to share that yesterday afternoon CMS released additional policy changes and relief relating to the COVID-19 Pandemic. The changes were communicated through updates to prior COVID-19 Waiver Guidance and the issuance of a new Interim Final Rule with Comment (CMS-5531-IFC). You can read the full announcement here

In regards to continued expansion of Medicare telehealth there were two important changes that the CRT Community has been strongly advocating for:

  1. Physical Therapists and Occupational Therapists were added to the list of approved Medicare Telehealth practitioners- This will allow PTs and OTs to perform needed evaluations and consultations for CRT. The APTA and others are seeking further clarification on how this applies to therapists in private practice and those working in institutions. More details to follow. 
  2. The "Wheelchair Management" CPT code (97542) was added to the approved Medicare Telehealth Code list - This code was a needed addition to allow therapists the ability to provide the full range of services relating to CRT wheelchairs.

Preliminary details from the CMS announcement were covered in yesterday's weekly CRT Industry COVID-19 Webinar hosted by NCART, NRRTS, U.S. Rehab, and the Clinician Task Force. We have been receiving positive feedback on the benefits of these webinars and appreciate everyone's attendance. You can download the handout from yesterday's presentation here or watch the recording here.

Thanks to CMS for making these important changes that will significantly improve access to CRT for individuals with disabilities. Additional analysis of the new Interim Final Rule is ongoing. We're also working with the DME Medicare Administrative Contractors to obtain the implementation guidance that had been previously requested. 

Next week's webinar will be held on Thursday, May 7 at 4:00 PM ET. Be sure to get registered now to join us for more updates related to providing CRT and supporting services during the COVID-19 Pandemic.


Don Clayback
Executive Director | NCART
[email protected] |