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April 1, 2020: Update from SGI re Teleheath and billing

April 1, 2020
Update - SGI/Primary Level Physiotherapy – COVID-19

SGI is continuing to abide by the recommendations of the Chief Medical Health Officer of Saskatchewan. As a result, please review the updated directive regarding the services for SGI injury customers.

The Public Health Order of March 20, 2020 states that:

(d) Dental, Optometrists, Ophthalmologist, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Podiatry clinics shall only provide urgent services or procedures.

The Saskatchewan College of Physical Therapists website posted on March 22, 2020, that the recommendation is to follow the Public Health Order for Physical Therapy Clinics, as outlined above.

SGI continues to encourage any physical therapy services to adhere to the direction from the Chief Medical Health Officer of Saskatchewan, the Canadian Physiotherapy Association and the Saskatchewan College of Physical Therapists.

Where possible, SGI encourages therapists to implement and monitor home programs for SGI customers. SGI also supports continuing with Return to Work programs in progress.

SGI will support continuing treatment/monitoring through phone and/or a virtual platform; however, the platform being utilized must be secure and adhere to the requirements of your regulatory body. The platform being utilized must be HIPA/PIPEDA compliant. Physical Therapists shall ensure compliance with all relevant privacy and security requirements when sharing medical documents with other health care providers and patients.
Note: Skype, FaceTime, Google Hangouts, Facebook Messenger are not considered secure or appropriate for care.

Currently SGI is not approving Telehealth services for completion of initial assessments, as there is not a proxy examiner in the room with the customer. Therefore, Telehealth services would be applicable for existing SGI customers only, where an in-person initial examination has been completed prior to March 22, 2020, and where the customer provides informed consent to receive Telehealth services.

For customers/situations that are considered urgent or emergent, we encourage the Physical Therapists to follow the guidance of their licensing body and/or the Chief Medical Health Officer of Saskatchewan.

Virtual services (Telehealth) are appropriate when they provide therapeutic benefit and where the goals of the session are primarily addressed by:

  • Active exercise,
  • Functional progression,
  • Education, Self-management,
  • Self-mobilization, or
  • Monitoring.

Where continuing care is not an option, it will be considered a ‘pause’ in treatment.

For billing purposes, the SGI ePay Fee Guidelines will apply.
There is no separate fee code for conferencing.

There may be flexibility in reporting requirements based on the individual situation. SGI encourages communication with the customer’s Personal Injury Representative, or one of the Medical Facilitators, Renee Wollbaum 306-775-6476 in Regina, or Stacey Forgrave 306-683-2191 in Saskatoon.

Please note that this directive will be in effect only for the period that the COVID-19 restrictions are in effect. Once the Chief Medical Health Officer deems it is safe to resume in-person care, it is expected that the clinics revert to seeing SGI customers in their clinics.

If you have further questions, please contact Jamie Rissling at 306-751-1399.

Thank you for your co-operation and all your efforts to maintain continuity of care through this challenging time.

Jamie Rissling CIP
Director, Corporate Rehabilitation Services