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Physical Therapist Assistant Profession Turns 50
2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the first physical therapist assistant (PTA) graduates. Though a half-century may seem like a long time, the rise of the PTA from something that seemed like a good idea to a recognized, well-established, and in-demand profession integral to health care represents a remarkably short ascendance. Today, it's hard to imagine the delivery of physical therapy without PTAs on the team.
Statement Regarding Inpatient Rehab Facilities and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid by CESIG, PTASIG, NCCE (November 27. 2018)
We have known for a long time that Medicare does not consider students to be qualified practitioners. Many of you will remember that we dealt with a similar Medicare regulation in clinical education several years ago with Medicare B. Essentially, the Medicare B regulations allow the student to be in the room and involved, but the therapist is directing all care, is not engaged in anything else, and is present for the whole session. The presence of the student in the room does not make the service unbillable, nor does documentation by a student. We do not know whether this current discussion (PT/PTA Students in Inpatient Rehabilitation Facilities: the minutes that any student treats a patient cannot be counted toward the minute requirement. You cannot get around this by having a therapist co-sign treatments. These seem to be items that reviewers will likely begin to focus on.) will land in a similar place, but we should be reassured that CMS understands the importance of training health professionals and is working with the professional associations.
Until we have more information, we recommend that clinics and CIs use their best judgment on how to involve students in patient care based on the language in the regulations. Documentation by students should indicate that a licensed physical therapist or assistant was present during all patient care.
NYS Worker's Compensation Board Announces Payment Adjustments
On Tuesday, April 17, 2018, the NYS Workers' Compensation Board (WCB) issued a statement indicating that they plan to revise the current WC Medical Fee Schedule. The announcement states that all providers will receive a positive payment adjustment. The new proposal is scheduled to be made public in June, 2018 and will be open to a 60-day public comment period. The WCB's announcement states that they are planning for the new fee schedules to come into effect October 1, 2018. Also mentioned in the announcement are potential changes to simplify claims submissions and to recognize additional providers (including physical therapists) as authorized providers within the NYS Workers' Compensation System.
NPTE Examination Fee Increase in the Year of 2019
NPTE examination fee of $485 was initiated on January 1, 2019.
PTA Class of 2019