Thanks to Physical Therapists for working with us to resume treatment of current injured workers whose care was interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. With your dedication to care, most workers are now receiving some form of tele rehab care and appear to feel they are being well served.
A few therapists have asked that WCB now turn our attention to workers with new injuries, including relatively recent post-operative cases. These workers, of course, present unique challenges as they have not been physically examined by the PT and cannot be brought into a clinic due to the provincial infection control protocols during the current pandemic, except in urgent or emergent situations.
WCB understands that through the SCPT practice guideline #24 that tele rehab may be an option for this clientele. Bullet 5 of the practice guideline indicates, in short, that physical therapists shall ensure that tele rehab is the most effective and appropriate way to provide services, and that outcomes equivalent to other care can be reasonably expected.
At this point, WCB is willing to fund a screening consultation with the new client to determine if ongoing tele rehab can reasonably be expected to achieve some improvement, in the absence of direct patient contact, or determine that an urgent in-person appointment is needed.
The following should meet the needs of this injured worker group for the initial tele rehab contact and, where appropriate, subsequent tele rehab sessions. These tele rehab fee codes are in place for the period of the COVID-19 pandemic. Further discussion regarding tele rehab will occur at a later date.
1. Telephone or tele rehab consultation to:
a. Screen the worker to determine if the client meets the SCPT definition of urgent and requires an in-person examination, with careful COVID-19 screening and precautions
b. Or tele health can be reasonably expected to improve the worker’s condition
c. And determine the workers current status
2. Education on the worker’s condition
3. Appropriate exercise prescription and other advice
4. Tele rehab follow-up, typically up to once per week. If further frequency is required, discussion is required with the WCB primary physiotherapy consultant.
5. Submission of the WCB on line PTI form with a clear statement that “the therapist did not physically examine this worker in person”. No Functional Outcome Measures are required, but can be included if available.
These previously identified billing codes will continue to be funded:
a. Telephone Consultation: fee code 2015: for calls to a care provider only
b. Exercise therapist led education: fee code 603:
c. Exercise therapist led individual regional exercise: fee code 601
d. Exercise therapist Return to work interventions: fee code 604
e. PT Education: fee code 2011
f. PT Return to work: fee code 2002
g. PT Individual/regional Conditioning: fee code 2008
h. PT Reporting fee codes
i. Conferencing (not applicable for the new patient)
Billing for this initial consultation will be no more than 2 codes plus the reporting code. Please be reminded that there is only one billing code for each 20 minute block of time and no double billing should occur and that the therapist needs to alert Chris Drobot if a worker qualified for an urgent in clinic examination.
As usual, WCB personnel are available to answer your questions: