A new Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services rule currently in review would allow for the delivery of OT services via telehealth as soon as the year 2020.
If approved, the motion would take effect as soon as next year
The website for the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) reports that the organization has been lobbying both Congress and CMS for years to allow OT via telehealth. More recently, those efforts have shifted to ensuring occupational therapy services were included in any final legislation to broaden telehealth services under Medicare. Thanks in large part to these efforts, the introduction of multiple bills over the past decade or so have included occupational therapy.
The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 gave CMS the initial flexibility to include telehealth therapy services in Medicare Advantage (MA). The current rule proposed by CMS would implement this section of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 to include occupational therapy among the services that could be provided via telehealth through Medicare Advantage.
Currently, the proposal is said to be in the final stages of the review process, meaning a final ruling could be issued any day.