Podiatrists are sometimes unaware that physical and occupational therapists working in doctors’ office settings can obtain and bill under their own provider number.
Since direct physician supervision is required when the service is billed as an “incident-to-service,” some practices are deeming it more practical to bill these services by the therapist. This resolves the requirement that the physician must be physically present during incident-to-service procedures.
Be aware that physical therapy and occupational therapy services will include an annual payment cap of $1,500. This cap becomes effective on July 1. However, these caps do not apply to therapy services provided by a hospital to an outpatient or an inpatient who is not a covered Part A stay. CMS estimates that imposition of these caps will reduce payments for physical and occupational therapy by $240 million during 2003.
On another note, the Physician Self-Referral Law prohibits a doctor from making referrals of Medicare and Medicaid patients for certain health services with which the provider or close family member has a financial relationship, unless an exception applies.
Table 9 of the Federal Register (Vol. 67, No. 251, Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2002, pp.80017-18) contained the 2003 additions and deletions. A complete listing of applicable codes is available online at: http://cms.hhs.gov/medlearn/refphys.asp#dhsupdate