Code 97535 is for self care and home management training, yet I seldom see this code billed for physical therapy services. In therapy, we assess and educate patients for safety procedures, adaptive equipment and compensatory training to assist patients to gain their highest level of function when at home. Since we do this, perhaps we should ensure our documentation supports our treatments and is appropriately coded for the skilled treatment we provide.
I see too many therapists do excellent work with patients for balance training, fall recovery, patient education for safety and sequencing with preventive strategies if a fall does occur as well as instruction with adaptive devices, yet bill therapeutic activity or therapeutic exercise for their skilled service.
Often it is the PT who enters the codes to be billed for services and maybe because of the way code 97535 is described, many assume incorrectly the code is for OT services only. It is similar to the constant diagnosis code of 719.7 (difficulty walking). Is there not another code that might more accurately describe a patient's therapeutic diagnosis?
I know time management has a lot to do with it but the scrutiny we are under with our documentation and ability to appropriately apply our knowledge should come across with the coding for patients. Just as our hands-on treatments should reflect what billing codes to use for those sessions.