Locum Tenens Arrangements Renamed and Narrowly Expanded
June 2017 ~
CMS has released amendments to the terminology used to describe locum tenens arrangements and also announced a narrow expansion of the locum tenens billing rules.
Effective June 13, 2017, CMS will describe these agreements as fee-for-time compensation arrangements.
Additionally, CMS has expanded the locum tenens billing rules to permit outpatient physical therapy services furnished by physical therapists in a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA), a Medically Underserved Area (MUA), or in a rural area to be billed under reciprocal billing and fee-for-time compensation arrangements in the same manner as physicians bill.
According to CMS, the purpose of this change is to “implement Section 16006 of the 21st Century Cures Act, which allows outpatient physical therapy services furnished by physical therapists in a HPSA, MUA, or in a rural area to be billed under reciprocal billing and fee-for-time compensation arrangements in the same manner as physicians bill; this is effective June 13, 2017. The term “locum tenens,” which has historically been used in the manual to mean fee-for-time compensation arrangements, is being discontinued because the title of section 16006 of the 21st Century Cures Act uses “locum tenens arrangements” to refer to both fee-for-time compensation arrangements and reciprocal billing arrangements. As a result, continuing to use the term “locum tenens” to refer solely to fee-for-time compensation arrangements is not consistent with the law and could be confusing to the public.”
For full details on this change, refer to the official instructions for “Changes to the Payment Policies for Reciprocal Billing Arrangements and Fee-For-Time Compensation Arrangements (formerly referred to as Locum Tenens Arrangements).”
Source(s): MGMA; MLN Matters;