A new web resource helps physical therapists (PTs) provide Medicare beneficiaries with access to their services and remain in compliance with laws and regulations. Since 2005, Medicare beneficiaries have been able to access PT services without a referral or visit to a physician. The 2005 revisions to the Medicare Benefit Policy Manual eliminated the physician visit requirement. However, a patient must be "under the care of a physician," which is indicated by the physician certification of the plan of care.
The Direct Access and Medicare webpage provides information on what the rules say, how they affect PTs, and how to report information on the certifying physician/nonphysician practitioner on claims for outpatient therapy services.