Advisory: PTs, Telehealth, and the Coronavirus
Wondering whether you can provide PT services via telehealth during the COVID-19 outbreak? As the coronavirus continues to spread globally, members are asking about the possibility of reducing infection risk by conducting PT services through telehealth. Read more
Guidance on the use of telehealth in the District of Columbia memo.
Note: Both patients and providers are strongly encouraged to check with their insurance carriers to determine costs and coverage before utilizing any telehealth services.
DC Health has waived the licensure requirements for healthcare practitioners who hold a license in good standing in another jurisdiction, so long as that practitioner is (1) working at a licensed DC healthcare facility, or (2) is providing continuity of healthcare services to existing patients who are returning to the Distric
The use of telehealth is one approach that can help keep both patients and providers safe, but PTs and PTAs need to understand the current regulatory and payer telehealth landscape to decide whether telehealth is right — or even a possibility — for them.
- CMS Moves to Allow Digital Communications by PTs through a patient portal. The new regulatory waivers will allow PTs, OTs, and SLPs to engage in patient-initiated “e-visits” for purposes of assessment and management services. This is not telehealth. See the CMS announcement, definition of e-visits and billing codes.
- E-Visits” for PTs: What Does it Mean? Many questions from PTs and PTAs have arisen since the CMS announcement of waivers that would allow for limited digital communication by PTs. Here’s what we know so far about a still-developing system.
- Federal Payer Telehealth or E-Visits Coverage (.pdf)
- Commercial Payer Telehealth or E-Visit Coverage (.pdf)
Advocate for Coverage
Template Letter to Advocate for Coverage of Telehealth with Commercial Payers
If telehealth is not included as a covered service in your contracts with commercial payers, you can use this letter which includes talking points and research.
Help get telehealth covered through CMS. We have developed a template letter you can send to your legislators (word doc) asking them to cosponsor these bills.
APTA also has compiled research studies on telehealth (.pdf) and testimonials from APTA members on how they have balanced in-person and telehealth visits.