What's an RTS?

Friday, September 14, 2012

WASHINGTON – CMS created confusion over acronyms in August when it sent out bulletins about its decision to designate K0005 as complex rehab.

In the bulletins, the agency made references to requiring an assistive technology professional (ATP) to provide the wheelchair, but it also made references to a rehab technology supplier (RTS). In the industry’s view, they are not one in the same.

"RTS describes a person's function," said Simon Margolis, executive director of NRRTS. "It's what everybody does. An ATP is an RTS who takes the test and gets certified as an ATP."

Medicare's apparent use of the terms ATP and RTS interchangeably could cause confusion down the road, stakeholders fear. 

CMS clarified its stance in an MLN Matters article on Sept. 11, stating "A qualified RTS is an individual that has one of the following credentials: Certified Rehabilitative Technology Supplier (CRTS); Assistive Technology Supplier (ATS) (discontinued 12/31/2008); Assistive Technology Practitioner (ATP) (discontinued 12/31/2008); Assistive Technology Professional (ATP) (effective 1/1/2009).”

So even though stakeholders and CMS may view the term RTS differently, it appears they’re on the same page about what’s required to provide a K0005 wheelchair. 

"When you read the whole thing, it's clear," said Peggy Walker, a billing and reimbursement adviser for U.S. Rehab. "You're all set as long as you have an ATP or CRTS."

The MLN Matters article is available at http://www.cms.gov/Outreach-and-Education/Medicare-Learning-Network-MLN/MLNMattersArticles/Downloads/SE1233.pdf.