Amid financial challenges, health systems are finding reasons to invest in virtual musculoskeletal services after the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services introduced remote therapeutic monitoring billing codes last year.
The Hospital for Special Surgery, a New York-based academic medical center, spun off a virtual musculoskeletal physical therapy company in October 2022. In December, Yale New Haven Health in Connecticut rolled out a virtual physical therapy program with IncludeHealth.
MSU Health Care will use both remote therapeutic monitoring and time-based billing codes to get reimbursed for this service. For those without insurance, there will be an option to pay out of pocket.
RecoveryOne CEO Mark Luck Olson said no money was exchanged between the two organizations for this deal. Instead, the startup will collect a portion of the money that MSU receives for each virtual physical therapy visit.
Olson said the CMS billing codes represent a monumental shift forward for the virtual delivery of physical therapy services. RecoveryOne has worked with insurers such as Cigna to cover its services in the past.
“For the first time in the 35 years I’ve been in healthcare, there is funding for remote healthcare embedded in the reimbursement system,” Olson said. “It doesn’t require a separate contract.”