Beginning in 2024, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, and other providers will be able to submit CPT codes for an important part of care: providing training to caregivers of patients living with a functional deficit. The new codes, which apply to training during which the patient is not present, are based on a collaborative submission by APTA, the American Occupational Therapy Association, and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.
The three organizations presented the code change application to the American Medical Association's Current Procedural Terminology Editorial Panel in May 2022, and the panel in turn approved the application, accepting the codes for use beginning in 2024. The codes will be listed in the 97000 series section of the CPT manual (Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation) and can be applied to the provision of training caregivers in "strategies and techniques for patient living with functional deficits."
The creation of the new codes doesn't obligate payers to cover them — APTA will be making the case for payment in its ongoing advocacy efforts.
"APTA applauds the CPT Editorial Panel for its acknowledgement of the essential role caregivers play in a patient’s recovery and management of risk factors for adverse events and preventable decline," said Alice Bell, PT, DPT, APTA senior payment specialist. "There are times when the caregiver must be the focus of skilled care by serving as an extension of the patient."