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Alabama SLP Telehealth

Can a licensed Alabama Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) or Audiologist (AUD) provide services via telepractice/teletherapy under ABESPA’s regulations?

Yes. ABESPA’s current provisions permit speech and/or hearing services via telepractice for Alabama licensees or those working in an exempt setting. The Board is currently developing more guidance for practice via telepractice. However, for now, protocols for telepractice are no different than those for “in-person” practice. Alabama licensees or those working in an exempt setting are expected to follow the same protocols and rules as outlined in ABESPA Rules and Regulations and its governing Code of Alabama provisions.

During COVID-19 Crisis, can Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) and Audiologist (AUD) supervise CF and Fourth-Year Interns via telesupervision?

Yes. First, Alabama SLP’s and AUD’s who supervise Clinical Fellows (CF) and Fourth-Year Intern may provide telesupervison. Telesupervision was reinforced by the emergency rule that was passed by ABESPA on Friday, April 10, 2020 and renewed by the Board on August 14, 2020.

Second, supervising SLP’s and AUD’s should follow the established protocols for supervision. ABESPA Rules and Regulations Section 870-X-2.05(7)(c) provides that supervision must include six (6) hours of direct supervision within each segment period. Direct supervision envisions direct interaction with the CF and not just reviewing of notes or records, which is “indirect supervision.”

Finally, the ABESPA Rules and Regulations do not state a specific method or manner of “direct supervision.” There is nothing preventing the direct supervisory review from being conducted via telepractice, video conferencing, telephone or any other electronic means that will provide meaningful review, mentoring, and monitoring that can be properly documented. Additionally, the Rules provide, “these requirements are not intended to supplant or supersede supervisory requirements of appropriate accrediting or certifying entities or academic programs.”

Must Alabama Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) or Audiologist (AUD) adhere to informed patient consent and properly document services rendered when providing service via telepractice/teletherapy?

Yes. Alabama SLP’s and AUD’s are expected to follow the same protocols for “in-person” services when providing services via telepractice/teletherapy. See SLP and AUD Scope of Practice and Code of Ethics provided in the following sections of ABESPA Rules and Regulations:
• SLP Scope of Practice -Section 870-X-7
• AUD Scope of Practice –Section 870-X-8
• Code of Ethics -Section 870-X-6.

Can Assistant Supervision be accomplished via telepractice/teletherapy?

Yes. Per the Emergency Rule passed on April 10, 2020 and renewed by the Board on August 14, 2020, Assistant Supervision can be conducted using telesupervision is permitted for assistants during the COVID-19 crisis.

Reference

Alabama Board of Speech-Language Pathology Covid-19 FAQs

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