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Weekly News Scan: New CPT codes causing a buzz, Reasons admin staff might be your key to success

This week in the news, we include a new survey shedding light on the importance of soft skills and wait times outside of the treatment area, a new generation posing concerns around healthcare costs and more. We hope you enjoy!

New CPT Codes Allow PTs to Conduct, Bill for Remote Monitoring, PT in Motion, January 7, 2019: While MIPS was the headliner from the 2019 Medicare physician fee schedule, new CPT codes allowing PTs to conduct and bill Medicare for remote patient monitoring is causing quite the buzz as well. It’s important to understand that these new codes don’t fall under “telehealth” for PTs, but they do apply to chronic care and allow physicians and “other qualified healthcare professionals” to remotely monitor patients. Many questions remain about how CMS will implement the new codes, but the APTA is developing resources to make this easier to navigate for providers.

Patients love their providers. They are less thrilled about administrative staff survey finds, Fierce Healthcare, January 8, 2019: A new survey is suggesting that providers seeking to improve patient satisfaction should first put their focus on administrative and billing staff. As patients are more willing than ever to switch physicians, things like low wait times, soft skills at the front desk and other admin support are what tend to keep patients coming back. In fact, this survey showed that 87 percent of patients praise their clinicians but that 67% said admin and support staff didn’t show enough respect. Learn more about this survey and what clinics can do here.

Out-of-Pocket Insurance Costs Challenge Pre-Medicare Patients, Patient Engagement HIT, January 9, 2019: As healthcare costs soar, the much-discussed millennial group aren’t the only ones struggling with out-of-pocket healthcare costs. Nearly 50 percent of patients aged 50-64 are expressing concerns with their healthcare costs before they are Medicare eligible, a recent poll showed. This group showed they have little to no confidence in their ability to afford healthcare once they retire, but are still not Medicare eligible, and unfortunately, the options they face aren’t ideal. This is important to understand when working with patients and discussing their options for continuing therapy and why it’s so important to their continued health.

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