• CMS renames and expands locum tenens arrangements

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is changing how it describes locum tenens arrangements. Effective June 13, CMS will use the term “fee-for-time compensation arrangements.” The reason for the change is that the 21st Century Cures Act, which Congress passed in 2016, uses the term “locum tenens” to refer to both fee-for-time compensation arrangements and reciprocal billing arrangements. CMS says the change will avoid public confusion and remain consistent with the law.

    Also effective June 13, CMS will allow physical therapists (PTs) who work in Health Professional Shortage Areas, Medically Underserved Areas, or rural areas to follow the same reciprocal billing and fee-for-time compensation arrangements as physicians. Specifically, this means a PT can engage a substitute PT to perform outpatient therapy services and continue billing under the first PT if the first PT is unavailable to provide the services. The second PT cannot provide the services continuously for more than 60 days unless the regular PT is called or ordered to active duty as a reserve member in the U.S. armed forces.

    The CMS has published additional information in a Medicare Learning Network Matters article.

    – Kent Moore, Senior Strategist for Physician Payment for the American Academy of Family Physicians

    Posted on Jun 02, 2017 by Kent Moore

    Disclaimer: The opinions and views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the opinions and views of the American Academy of Family Physicians. This blog is not intended to provide medical, financial, or legal advice. Some payers may not agree with the advice given. This is not a substitute for current CPT and ICD-9 manuals and payer policies. All comments are moderated and will be removed if they violate our Terms of Use.