General COVID-19 Resources

COVID-19 GENERAL RESOURCES

(UPDATED 4/6/2020)

 

GENERAL

President APTA, Sharon Dunn address to membership: http://www.apta.org/Coronavirus/PresidentLetter/

From National Health Law Program https://healthlaw.org/coronavirus-resources/

 

MEDICAID

3/30/2020 COVID-19 Changes to HCBS Using Appedix K: Approval Trends https://healthlaw.org/resource/covid-19-changes-to-hcbs-using-appendix-k-approval-trends/

3/19/2020 Overview on Using Medicaid to Respond to COVID-19 https://healthlaw.org/resource/overview-on-using-medicaid-to-respond-to-covid-19/

 

EDUCATION

Department of Education COVID 19 resources: https://www.ed.gov/coronavirus

Student Privacy Policy Office FERPA & Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) March 2020:

https://studentprivacy.ed.gov/sites/default/files/resource_document/file/FERPA%20and%20Coronavirus%20Frequently%20Asked%20Questions_0.pdf?utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_name=&utm_source=govdelivery&utm_term=

CDC’s Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19) Guidance for School Settings has been updated and is posted at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/index.html.

 

President Post-Town Hall Summary (4/1/2020)

Let me start by saying that I am incredibly grateful to be connected with all of you and to be a part of this amazing profession and association. I am more confident than ever, after last evening, that we are all going to emerge from this crisis better and stronger; because we are ALL IN THIS TOGETHER. We are a group of diverse, independent, action-oriented, bold, thoughtful thinkers that open our hearts, minds, and vision to see all possibilities and to adapt to what can be. 

Last evening’s town hall certainly got off to an unexpected, uninvited start. We learned afterward that the Zoom platform was hacked yesterday morning or possibly sooner and unfortunately Zoom did not alert their clients. We appreciated your patience as we took a deep breath, regrouped, and were able to reconnect. I was disappointed the slides could not be shared (they were pretty cool...); however, your engagement and interactions were priceless. Everyone’s willingness to share and support each other brought tears to my eyes when I read the thread again this morning. Thank you all, for not only sharing your experiences and practice management tips, but for the kind words of encouragement.

CURRENT PLAN:

  1. I will rerecord the session with the slides and Communications Director Jason Cook will merge it with the conversion.
  2. Jason has posted the chat box conversion on Forums under COVID 19 Specific Discussion. (If you haven't set up your preferences on the Forums, do so now at www.pedatricapta.org under Forums.)
  3. Practice Director Jan McElroy is regrouping with the SIG chairs, working to protect the platform and will reschedule the SIG Town Halls (thank you to all that sent information and tips). Look for announcements in Milestones, in each SIG’s communication network, and on social media.
  4. Telehealth was the emergent theme: I will add slides with a summary of the chat, as well as additional resources we have collected. Forums: great way to share information and connect (https://forums.pediatricapta.org).
  5. Explore a webinar on pediatric telehealth tips
  6. Find available resources for the handful of questions on the chat that were not related to telehealth.
  7. We welcome your input on other ideas you have or would like to see us address.

I leave you with some thoughts from Fred Rodgers,“If you could only sense how important you are to the lives of those you meet; how important you can be to the people you may never even dream of. There is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting with another person.

Mr. Rodgers knew the key to ultimate success:  The first way is to “BE KIND;” the second way is to “BE KIND;” The third way is to “BE KIND”

Thank you for your kindness last evening. Hugs to all and stay safe,

Cindy Miles, PT, PhD

Board-Certified Pediatric Clinical Specialist

President APTA Pediatrics

SIG Town Hall Meetings Postponed

Zoom calls have been the victim of some nasty hacking recently. The SIG Town Hall meetings are being postponed until we can be reasonably sure that our meetings can be secure. At this time, we do not know how long the wait period will be.

Please continue to watch this NEWS section on the APTA Pediatrics site for new dates as the meetings are rescheduled. New dates will also be shared via Milestones (our member newsletter) and through social media. 

We apologize for this change of plans, however, it is important that we communicate on a safe platform.

Providing Pediatric Physical Therapy Services via Telepractice (Updated 4/6/2020)

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.
  • Check to see that your malpractice covers you when providing services via telepractice.
  • 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.

GENERAL TELEPRACTICE

APTA resources:

Additional APTA Pediatrics resources:

Medicaid and Medicare resources:

SERVICE DELIVERY IN SCHOOLS:

SERVICE DELIVERY IN EARLY INTERVENTION:

SERVICE DELIVERY IN HOSPITALS AND OUTPATIENT FACILITIES:

PRIVATE PRACTICE

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).”