Tune in for a SIG Town Hall: Support each other, the children, and the families we serve

We are a community! The APTA Academy of Pediatric Physical Therapy Special Interest Groups (SIGs) are holding town hall meetings so you can meet with others who are in similar practice areas dealing with similar challenges as we all face the constantly changing healthcare landscape of COVID-19. You are welcome to join as many meetings as you are interested in. You do not need to be an APTA Pediatric or a SIG member to attend.


Monday, March 30

8:30 pm EST


School SIG Town Hall

Region II: CO, IA, KS, MN, MO, NE, ND, SD, WY



Tuesday March 31

10:00 am EST

School SIG Town Hall EST

Region VI: AL, FL, GA, KY, MS, TN



Wednesday, April 1

7:00 pm EST

Hospital/Outpatient SIG and Neonatal SIG Joint Town Hall



Thursday, April 2

7:00 pm EST

Early Intervention SIG Town Hall


Friday, April 3

6:00 pm EST

Adolescent/Adult with Developmental Disabilities & Pediatric Sports Fitness SIGs Town Hall



Monday April 6

4:30 pm EST

School SIG Town Hall

Region IV: CT, DE, ME, MA, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, VT



Tuesday, April 7

7:00 pm EST


Academic & Clinical Education SIG Town Hall


Monday April 27

5:00 pm EST

School SIG Town Hall

Region III: IL, IN, MI, OH, WI



Monday April 27

7:00 pm EST

School SIG Town Hall

Region V: DC, MD, NC, SC, VA, WV



Wednesday April 29

7:00 pm EST

School SIG Town Hall

Region I: AK, CA, HI, ID, MT, NV, OR, UT, WA




School SIG Town Hall

Contact: Jeannine Moore SSIGRegion6@gmail.com

Region VII: AR, AZ, LA, NM, OK, TX



Providing Pediatric Physical Therapy Services via Telepractice (Updated 3/30/2020)

The American Physical Therapy Association and the APTA Academy of Pediatric Physical Therapy are working to keep practitioners abreast of current concerns and precautions as the spread of COVID-19 progresses. Regulations are changing quickly and are difficult to keep up with both for our organization as well as for individual practitioners.

Practitioners are increasingly exploring alternative service delivery models. Terms such as “telemedicine”, “telehealth”, “tele-intervention”, and “telepractice” are used interchangeably to describe the delivery of health care services using information and communication technology.

APTA Pediatrics would like to address questions regarding telepractice that have been raised by our membership. There is no clear-cut determination or one-size-fits-all solution regarding telepractice for pediatric services, even in an unusual situation such as the one we are now facing. The regulations are fluid and change quickly.


Each practitioner must take responsibility for knowing the legal, state, federal, organizational, and ethical rules that regulate alternative service delivery models. A great deal relies on the case, specific considerations of each context/situation, clinical reasoning, and the individual determination by the practitioner of whether telepractice is appropriate.

No matter what service delivery model your employer or organization is trying to establish, you are ultimately responsible for the legal and ethical delivery of PT services. We encourage you to consider each of the following prior to initiating telepractice:

  • Know exactly what service delivery model you are considering. There is a differentiation between e-visits and other telehealth models. E-visits must be initiated by the “patient,” the patient must be an established patient for the provider, and the visit must be delivered through an already established patient portal.
  • Consult your state regulatory board to determine whether telepractice for physical therapists is within the scope of practice for your state as this is a state by state decision. As of November 2019, there were only 16 states which included “telerehabilitation” within their practice act.
  • Consult the agency, clinic, hospital, program, or school district you work for to determine whether telepractice is approved or will be supported.
  • If you are serving Medicaid patients, consult your state agency to see if telepractice is reimbursable and, if so, what is appropriate coding. This again is a state by state decision.
  • Ensure that the patient/family insurance carrier will reimburse for telepractice and determine appropriate coding.
  • Ensure that any vehicles used for telepractice (eg, computers, storage, internet carriers) meet HIPAA and/or FERPA requirements.                     
  • Consult the law if you work in a setting under IDEA part B or part C. Changes to service delivery in an IFSP or an IEP require team consensus and a formal IFSP or IEP change of location of service.
  • Ask if special training is required to qualify practitioners to provide telepractice.
  • If you deem that telepractice is legal and safe for your practice, you must then make a determination that telepractice is helpful and ethical on a case by case basis for each patient and family you serve. You must also give thoughtful consideration to the qualifications and training required by the “on-site” person who carries out your interventions.
  • Does your organization have telepractice policies and procedures addressing situations such as emergencies?

Below are links to websites that might be helpful to gain greater insight into the issues that must be addressed prior to changing a service delivery model. Every effort will be made to update this document and the links below given the time complexities for the volunteers who are generously sharing their time for the benefit of our profession during this challenging time.


APTA resources:

Additional APTA Pediatrics resources:

Medicaid and Medicare resources:





Visit APTA Pediatrics (https://pediatricapta.org/) and APTA’s Coronavirus page (http://www.apta.org/Coronavirus/) for additional information as the situation evolves.


Update on IDEA During COVID-19

Thank you to all members who contacted your legislators regarding the threat of IDEA Rights being waived as part of the proposed COVID-19 Stimulus Package. Initial language in this bill authorized the Secretary of the Department of Education to completely WAIVE the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. After receiving pressure from the disability rights community (of which APTA is a part) and all of YOU, revised the language will now report which aspects of IDEA the secretary wants to be waived, subject to congressional approval.  The latest Senate bill can be read here: https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/senate-bill/3548

“(3) IDEA REPORT.—Not later than 30 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Education shall prepare and submit a report to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions and the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate, and the Committee on Education and Labor and the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives, with recommendations on any additional waivers the Secretary believes are necessary to be enacted into law under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C. 1401 et seq.) and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. 701 et seq.) to provide limited flexibility to States and local educational agencies to meet the unique needs of students with disabilities during the emergency involving Federal primary responsibility determined to exist by the President under the section 501(b) of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5191(b)) with respect to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).”