CMS makes changes to Locum Tenens Terminology

In their MLN Matters MM10090 dated May 12, 2017, CMS revealed changes to payment policies and the terminology associated with Locum Tenens arrangements.  The payment policy change affects physical therapists with no changes to the manner in which ophthalmic practices utilize the Reciprocal Billing Arrangements and Locum Tenens Arrangements.  However the terminology change is something about which practices should be informed.

According to the transmittal, effective June 13, 2017, the term locum tenens is being discontinued.  It states:

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.

The majority of ophthalmic practices utilize what will now be known as Fee-For-Time Compensation Arrangements.  These claims require the Q6 modifier.

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