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A new online resource clearly states that providers who are members of compacts — including the compact system for PTs and PTAs — can be recognized as eligible Medicare providers.

The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services let it be known in February that PTs and PTAs with physical therapy compact privileges can qualify as Medicare providers, but only by way of an email to APTA and the Physical Therapy Compact Commission. In that email CMS said that official notice would be forthcoming: That notice is now here.

Now available: a CMS MLN Matters resource verifying the agency’s recognition of interstate license compacts as "valid and full licenses for purposes of meeting federal license requirements." The statement is aimed at settling confusion over compacts that led to some providers experiencing problems enrolling in Medicare with a compact privilege.

The CMS position is good news for PTs and PTAs in the Physical Therapy Compact, the system that allows PTs and PTAs licensed in one compact state to obtain practice privileges in other compact states. CMS specifically mentions the physical therapy profession's compact in its acknowledgment of what it calls "a new trend in medicine."

According to CMS, Medicare Administrative Contractors will accept enrollment applications from providers in compacts and will attempt to verify the applicant's license — or request documentation directly from the provider. Additionally, CMS says MACs will reopen any applications that were previously denied and continue processing them, establishing the effective billing date as the date the MAC received the original application.

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