On November 1, 2019, CMS released the CY 2020 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Final Rule. The therapy industry has been anxiously awaiting CMS’s final decision on the application of the therapist assistant modifiers, and the Final Rule makes clear that CMS listened to the almost 9,000 comments they received on the therapist assistant modifiers. CMS finalized the following:
- Only the minutes that the PTA/OTA spends independent of the therapist will count towards the 10% de minimis standard
- A revised definition of a service, where the de minimis standard is applied to include untimed CPT codes and each 15-minute unit of codes timed in 15-minute increments
- And, CMS did not finalize “the proposed documentation requirement to explain in the treatment note, in a short phrase or statement, the application or non-application of the therapy assistant modifier for each therapy service furnished; nor are we finalizing a requirement that the therapist and therapy assistant minutes be included in the documentation.”
For more information:
Access the CMS Fact Sheet here.
Access the Final Rule here.