Coronavirus: Information for Providers


Summary of National Resources from APTA

State Actions Permitting PTs To Provide Telehealth (.pdf) 
State laws and regulations as well as emergency actions since the COVID-19 Crisis

State-Related Actions Related to Nonfederal Payers (.pdf)
State actions relating to Medicaid (includes Medicaid MCO policy changes) telehealth coverage as well as other insurance regulated by state governments.

FSBPT Summary: State Licensure Exemptions and Requirements for PTs and PTAs During COVID-19 (.pdf)
The APTA State Affairs Staff worked with FSBPT staff on identifying language in existing law or in emergency orders that relax licensure requirements during a national emergency, such as the COVID-19 crisis.

Commercial Payer Telehealth Coverage (.pdf)
Commercial insurers covering telehealth that they have identified can also be found on the APTA website.
  

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Patient Care

Across the world, health care providers have taken varying precautionary measures to flatten the curve. In general, when there is an opportunity to practice social distancing, we encourage HCPs to do so. Also, "first do no harm" suggests HCPs should weigh the risks of providing care versus not. As always, patient care is an individualized case-by-case determination for PTs, who are relied on for clinical judgment. Continue to follow available CDC guidance, and remember that the risks of being too cautious may be less than the risks of not being cautious enough.

Coronavirus Reports: What We Know, and What We Don't
While overall risk of catching the disease is low, health care professionals are at higher risk. APTA reminds PTs and PTAs to follow precautions for reducing the spread of infectious diseases — an important aspect of health care to be mindful of at all times, not just during periods of high risk.

Advisory: PTs, Telehealth, and the Coronavirus
Wondering whether you can provide PT services via telehealth during the COVID-19 outbreak

In addition to taking precautions to avoid aerosolization (the production of airborne particles containing an infectious virus or bacteria), we must disinfect surfaces touched by infected people. Thus, in physical therapy clinics, in anticipation of future patients being infected by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, we must think holistically in terms of clinic disinfection and protection.


Added 4/14/20:
Providing Telehealth Services Across State Lines
To be able to determine if you can provide Telehealth services to a patient in another state follow the steps as outlined here (provided by Sarah Gallagher):

Overall - You will need to have a license in the state where the patient is located (originating site). The practice act in that state must allow Telehealth by a Physical Therapist and the state legislation must allow Telehealth by a PT as well. Your CO license needs to be in good standing.

Here are the steps to follow:
1. Review the practice act in the originating site state where the patient is: if the state practice act or PT board allows or is silent on Teleheath proceed to step 2

2. Look at state Telehealth legislation: cchpca.org and search by originating site state to make sure their aren’t any stipulations for practicing in that Telehealth in that state - i.e. special consents etc.

3. Licensure: - if the state is in the compact, you can easily get a license, http://ptcompact.org/ptc-states
- if the state is not in the compact, contact the originating state PT board to request an exception

 

CDC Information and Resources
Includes resources from the White House Coronavirus Task Force.

CDC on Mass Gatherings or Large Community Events
CDC recommends canceling, postponing, or conducting virtually in-person events that consist of 50 people or more for next 8 weeks. Recommendation does not apply to day to day operation of schools, institutes of higher learning, or businesses.

CMS Issues COVID-19 Guidance on Infection Control, Protective Equipment
The ever-growing list of resources from CMS includes guidance related to particular settings including hospice, SNFs, and home health.

CMS COVID-19 Emergency Declaration Health Care Providers Fact Sheet
In response to COVID-19, CMS is empowered to take proactive steps through 1135 waivers and rapidly expand the Administration’s aggressive efforts against COVID-19.

CMS Guidance for Infection Control and Prevention of COVID-19 in Nursing Homes
CMS is providing additional guidance to nursing homes to help them improve their infection control and prevention practices to prevent the transmission of COVID-19, including revised guidance for visitation.

OSHA Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19
Includes information on protection of workers with high exposure risk and personal protective equipment. Other OSHA information can be found here.

The Joint Commission Information and Resources
Includes regular updates.

 

Other Resources: