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The analysis of any legal or medical billing is dependent on numerous specific facts — including the factual situations present related to the patients, the practice, the professionals and the medical services and advice. Additionally, laws and regulations and insurance and payer policies are subject to change. The information that has been accurate previously can be particularly dependent on changes in time or circumstances. The information contained in this web site is intended as general information only. It is not intended to serve as medical, health, legal or financial advice or as a substitute for professional advice of a medical coding professional, healthcare consultant, physician or medical professional, legal counsel, accountant or financial advisor. If you have a question about a specific matter, you should contact a professional advisor directly. CPT copyright American Medical Association. All rights reserved. CPT is a registered trademark of the American Medical Association.

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Montana PT/OT Telehealth

April 6, 2020

Emergency Orders

Montana Medicaid

Health Plans actions on Telehealth

Interstate Licensure Registration

As authorized by 10-3-118 MCA, and Governor Steve Bullock’s directive, The Montana Department of Labor and Industry has implemented an interstate licensure registration for out of state licensees in response to COVID-19. Licensed professionals from out of state can register in Montana to work for a defined period of time. We will evaluate your home state license according to licensing regulation in Montana, to verify it is currently active, unrestricted, and in good standing, and issue you a registration to work in Montana. If you are looking to work in Montana longer than the current state of emergency is in effect, please also submit a full application through our regular online process.

Physical Therapy

"Physical therapy" means the evaluation, treatment, and instruction of human beings, in person or through telemedicine, to detect, assess, prevent, correct, alleviate, and limit physical disability, bodily malfunction and pain, injury, and any bodily or mental conditions by the use of therapeutic exercise, prescribed topical medications, and rehabilitative procedures for the purpose of preventing, correcting, or alleviating a physical or mental disability.

"Telemedicine" has the meaning provided in 33-22-138.

33-22-138. Coverage for telemedicine services. 

(1) Each group or individual policy, certificate of disability insurance, subscriber contract, membership contract, or health care services agreement that provides coverage for health care services must provide coverage for health care services provided by a health care provider or health care facility by means of telemedicine if the services are otherwise covered by the policy, certificate, contract, or agreement.

(2) Coverage under this section must be equivalent to the coverage for services that are provided in person by a health care provider or health care facility.

(3) Nothing in this section may be construed to require:

  • a health insurance issuer to provide coverage for services that are not medically necessary, subject to the terms and conditions of the insured's policy; or
  • a health care provider to be physically present with a patient at the site where the patient is located unless the health care provider who is providing health care services by means of telemedicine determines that the presence of a health care provider is necessary.

(4) Coverage under this section may be subject to deductibles, coinsurance, and copayment provisions. Special deductible, coinsurance, copayment, or other limitations that are not generally applicable to other medical services covered under the plan may not be imposed on the coverage for services provided by means of telemedicine.

(5) This section does not apply to disability income, hospital indemnity, medicare supplement, specified disease, or long-term care policies.

(6) For the purposes of this section, the following definitions apply:

  •  “Health care facility" means a critical access hospital, hospice, hospital, long-term care facility, mental health center, outpatient center for primary care, or outpatient center for surgical services licensed pursuant to Title 50, chapter 5.
  •  “Health care provider" means an individual:
    • licensed pursuant to Title 37, chapter 3, 4, 6, 7, 10, 11, 15, 17, 20, 22, 23, 24, 25, or 35;
    • licensed pursuant to Title 37, chapter 8, to practice as a registered professional nurse or as an advanced practice registered nurse;
    • certified by the American board of genetic counseling as a genetic counselor; or
    • certified by the national certification board for diabetes educators as a diabetes educator.
  • "Store-and-forward technology" means electronic information, imaging, and communication that is transferred, recorded, or otherwise stored in order to be reviewed at a later date by a health care provider or health care facility at a distant site without the patient present in real time. The term includes interactive audio, video, and data communication.
  • "Telemedicine" means the use of interactive audio, video, or other telecommunications technology that is:
    • used by a health care provider or health care facility to deliver health care services at a site other than the site where the patient is located; and
    • delivered over a secure connection that complies with the requirements of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, 42 U.S.C. 1320d, et seq.
  • The term includes the use of electronic media for consultation relating to the health care diagnosis or treatment of a patient in real time or through the use of store-and-forward technology.
  • The term does not include the use of audio-only telephone, e-mail, or facsimile transmissions.

Reference

Mont. Code Ann. § 33-22-138

Occupational Therapy

FAQs Question

1: I am currently licensed under the Montana Board of Occupational Therapy Practice. Am I allowed to conduct telepractice/telehealth in order to provide services to clients located in Montana?

Response 1: The board has no position at this time. The Governor’s Administration intends for the telehealth directive to be broadly applicable and construed. It will thus apply to ALL Montana licensed health care practitioners during the pendency of the emergency period Question

2: I am currently licensed under the Montana Board of Occupational Therapy Practice and I am going to be conducting telehealth/telepractice for the first time. Does the board have any training requirements or recommend any particular types of training so I have more information on how to practice telehealth while complying with all of the laws under this board?

Response 2: Staff and the board cannot give legal advice so we cannot recommend nor endorse any particular trainings or protocols/best practices. You might try contacting your state and/or national professional association(s) to see if they have any recommendations. As a licensee you are still held to all the other statutes and rules including ethics, unprofessional conduct, privacy, etc. regardless of the method you are using to deliver those services.

Reference

Covid-19 FAQs at http://boards.bsd.dli.mt.gov/Portals/133/Documents/otp/OTP%20Covid19%20FAQ.pdf?ver=2020-04-02-142202-957


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