Setting up Telepractice for OT, PT & SLP Services: The Basics

In this time of uncertainty when seeing your clients in the clinic may not be safe, telepractice may be an option to ensure continuity of care!

1) Check your national organization website. AOTA, APTA, and ASHA have been in direct communication with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) and updating information regularly.
https://www.aota.org/Practice/Manage/telehealth.aspx
http://www.apta.org/PTinMotion/News/2020/3/16/TelehealthCOVID19/
https://www.asha.org/Practice-Portal/Professional-Issues/Telepractice/

2) Know the current rules and regulations set by CMS regarding OT, PT, and/or SLP services.

3) Know your state practice act and regulations regarding telepractice.

4) Check your payors (insurance, Medicaid, etc) for rules regarding Telepractice services, coding, and reimbursement.

5) Select an appropriate video conferencing platform. Please use this platform in a HIPAA compliant manner. Examples of video platforms: Zoom; Theraplatform; Doxy, Blink Session, Simple Practice.

6) Test your platform: set up the microphone, camera, and speakers. Practice with a family member or friend.
Contact your clients and let them know about your “new virtual office.” Make sure they sign a consent for telepractice!

7) Schedule your sessions.

8) Plan your sessions.

9) Enjoy treating using this new technology!

Many OTs, PTs, and SLPs have reported positive sessions connecting with their clients, gathering insights into family, and carryover with home programs!
Let us know your experience! Do you have helpful links or resources?

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Joann Benjamin - Monday, March 23, 2020
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The telehealth concept has been a pleasant surprise! I just got off of my phone with a patient and her mother, and we all had so much fun. Mom made the comment that doing all of the hands on, with me able to guide her, really gave her a sense of accomplishment, for whatever reason even moreso than when we worked together face-to-face. And, I got to see so much more of what was going on. Lots of positives . . . . Another link that folks might be interested in is off of the HHS website, https://www.hhs.gov/hipaa/for-professionals/special-topics/emergency-preparedness/notification-enforcement-discretion-telehealth/index.html which states that given the current national emergency, HIPAA laws will not be enforced when therapists are using platforms and doing telehealth with discretion. It truly seems as if we can provide the care we would like as long as we make the effort to work in a way consistent with the spirit of patient protection. Look forward to hearing about others' experiences!! Joann

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