An online intermediate, pediatric course available through the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) offers a two-part competency-based assessment involving the foundations of clinical documentation and coding, and billing required for the delivery of aquatic therapy services.

A course description in the APTA Learning Center website notes that Part 1 of the course will address several components, including minimum documentation requirements, practice standards for documentation, incorporating APTA’s five elements of patient/client management, establishing medical necessity of aquatic therapy services, defining “reasonable and necessary services,” and using functional reporting.

The description states that Part 2 of the course will encompass key information regarding the use of correct coding to bill for aquatic therapy services, fraud, abuse, and denials. The course provides built-in knowledge checks through the use of case studies designed to improve participants understanding of the content.

Upon completion of the course, the site notes that participants will be able to pinpoint vital elements of documentation required for aquatic therapy services. Participants will also have gained the ability to establish the APTA’s five elements of patient/client measurement for documentation of aquatic physical therapy services. Additional objectives include describing the components of documentation that are required to support or justify the medical necessity of aquatic physical therapy services, interpret the current CMS guidelines for reimbursement of aquatic physical therapy services, and analyze and apply current private insurance guidelines for payment of physical therapy services. Particpants will also be able to evaluate case studies and answer questions regarding documentation of aquatic physical therapy services.

Course presenter Christine A. Taylor, PT, DPT, PCS, is a physical therapist in private practice and specializes in pediatrics. The site notes that during the past 11 years, she has owned and operated Theraplay Inc and Therapy Solutions PC in Middle, Tenn. Taylor earned a Bachelor of Science degree in physical therapy in 1996 from Tennessee State University in Nashville and a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree, with an emphasis in pediatrics, from Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions in Provo, Utah, in 2011. She is a member of the APTA and is credentialed as a pediatric-certified specialist.

[Source: APTA Learning Center]