Vital Signs

Anonymous Question:

Dear Marcia,

I have heard that a home health physical therapy visit is not billable if the physical therapist does not take vital signs at the patients home. is this true?

Marcia's Answer:

I do not know if this is true. In my 15+ years of home health physical therapy, every company had a different policy about taking vitals signs.

However, as the prevalence of heart attacks and stroke have gone up and technology is now about to track data input of vitals while monitoring medications and overall patient health, most agency's require data input for vital signs during each visit.

Liability is a huge issue today too. Although a heart attack or a stroke may have had nothing to do with your physical therapy visit 10 minutes ago, taking vital signs at the visit may have alerted the professional, the patient and the caregiver to impending danger and allowed the physical therapist to make a better decision regarding treatment for that day.

To recap - I believe that this mandate is coming from agency's and not insurance/Medicare but I can't be 100% sure of this.

You may know the parameters of making a deferred judgement call on exercise. Our blood pressure charts may shock you but the norms can not keep going up while we insist on staying healthy!

Many of my visitors have purchased their own
Personal Desk Reference - it's over half off right now! It's how people nationwide are avoiding home health care!


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