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  • Coronavirus Update, March 22, 2020: CMS and US Treasury Announce Relief Measures for Clinicians

    Employers mandated to provide paid sick leave will be reimbursed, and quality reporting deadlines and requirements — including MIPS — have been relaxed.

    March 22: Feds Announce Reimbursement Program for Employers Required to Provide Leave
    The U.S. Treasury Department, Internal Revenue Service, and Department of Labor announced that small and midsize employers can begin taking advantage of two new refundable payroll tax credits, designed to immediately and fully reimburse them for the cost of providing coronavirus-related paid leave to their employees. The paid leave was mandated as part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act signed into law on March 18.

    The relief measures include reimbursement for up to 80 hours of paid sick leave and expanded child care leave, with the Department of Labor asserting that the funds will be "quick and easy to obtain." Employers required to provide the leave also will be reimbursed for health insurance costs and will receive dollar-for-dollar tax offsets against payroll taxes.

    Employers with fewer than 50 employees are eligible for an exemption from the paid leave requirements. The labor department will be providing guidance to more clearly articulate this standard. Employers with 500 employees or more were not required to provide leave.

    March 22: CMS Relaxes Quality Reporting Deadlines
    Clinicians and facilities participating in CMS quality reporting programs, including the Merit-based Incentive Payment System, also known as MIPS, will have more flexibility in data submission.

    For the MIPS program, 2019 data submission deadlines have been moved to April 30. The previous deadline was March 31.

    In a number of postacute care settings, including inpatient rehab, home health, long-term care, and skilled nursing facilities, April and May submissions are now optional. In addition, CMS states, "no data reflecting services provided January 1, 2020, through June 30, 2020, will be used in CMS’s calculations for the Medicare quality reporting and value-based purchasing programs." CMS also announced reporting relief measures for various hospital programs.

    Visit APTA's Coronavirus webpage for more information and updates.

    Comments

    • How about contingent /PRN staff like me who work for 2 different companies, do I have any relief available?

      Posted by alison on 3/22/2020 6:16 PM

    • I am employed by a small private practice. I would like an update on telehealth coverage for PTs in private clinics. We have many patients where the evisits will be insufficient for their ongoing care. We need to be able to observe movement patterns and exercises, show them corrected form, educate family members as necessary, and demonstrate progressions in their HEP. When will this be approved by insurance companies???

      Posted by Linda Robinson on 3/22/2020 6:49 PM

    • I am working for Rise and Dynamite with the AzEIP. This is a coaching model and lends itself well to telehealth. I am asking for consideration in approving telehealth for physical therapists. My families are calling and asking for visits by video conference. This is a vulnerable population and extra precautions must be made—another reason for approval of telehealth! Is this being considered? And if so how fast could this be approved? I need to respond to the many families I work with! Thank you! Lynn Guyot

      Posted by Lynn Guyot on 3/23/2020 12:10 AM

    • Why is telehealth only being considered for Medicare Part B. The hospital population is a more at risk group and certainly "NOT the optimal environment for care, for anyone involved" Options through many hospitals patient portals would seem reasonable to integrate into patient care, use of applications via patients individual phones etc. Direction and webinars from experts in the field to provide strategies to deliver the best care are needed ASAP.

      Posted by Christine Brussock on 3/23/2020 9:07 AM

    • What are the recommended CPT codes to bill for Telehealth: 97110 therex, 97140 neuro re-ed, 97530 therapeutic activities

      Posted by Eveline Erni on 3/23/2020 2:20 PM

    • What about the companies that have 2000 employees. should we not be covered as well.

      Posted by joan m vaiana on 3/23/2020 8:30 PM

    • PRN, Contingent and contract employees are a huge part of this field and I still have no information regarding the time off I am forced to take at this time. If my companies arn't paid, I'm not paid. What relief will there be available for these employees?

      Posted by Lauren on 3/24/2020 2:03 PM

    • I am a salaried DPT at a private office with less then 50 employees. My 4 children are now home and I cannot afford a babysitter. If I have to stay home does my employer have to pay me my salary without taking my PTO and can my employer get reimbursed for the child care credit while I am not in?

      Posted by Stephanie Caputo on 3/24/2020 3:23 PM

    • I am a retired senior, single, living on a pension and SSI. My highest annual income was far far below the $70,000 listed for the stimulus package for my category. Will I receive any kind of a payment from this stimulus package?

      Posted by Johnny Phillip Rogers on 3/26/2020 6:09 PM

    • Will their be coverage for travel medical professionals who have lost their contracts such as physical therapists, nurses and others?

      Posted by David Minshall on 3/26/2020 8:30 PM

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