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Arizona Occupational Therapy Telehealth

Can OTs practice through telehealth?

Board staff received clarification on this order from the Governor's office on 3/26/2020.  This order includes occupational therapy assistants, as item 6 states telehealth services may be provided by "any Arizona licensed healthcare provider type including but not limited to...". 

Item 9 means that the practice of occupational therapy is the same as it was before telemedicine was allowed. It does not change scope of practice other than allowing telemedicine.

"Telemedicine" means the practice of health care delivery, diagnosis, consultation and treatment and the transfer of medical data through interactive audio, video or data communications that occur in the physical presence of the patient, including audio or video communications sent to a health care provider for diagnostic or treatment consultation.

Before a health care provider delivers health care through telemedicine, the treating health care provider shall obtain verbal or written informed consent from the patient or the patient's health care decision maker.  If the informed consent is obtained verbally, the health care provider shall document the consent on the patient's medical record.

  • The patient is entitled to all existing confidentiality protections pursuant to section 12-2292.
  • All medical reports resulting from a telemedicine consultation are part of a patient's medical record as defined in section 12-2291.  See Arizona Medical Records.
  • Dissemination of any images or information identifiable to a specific patient for research or educational purposes shall not occur without the patient's consent, unless authorized by state or federal law.

The consent requirements do not apply:

  • If the telemedicine interaction does not take place in the physical presence of the patient.
  • In an emergency situation in which the patient or the patient's health care decision maker is unable to give informed consent.
  • To the transmission of diagnostic images to a health care provider serving as a consultant or the reporting of diagnostic test results by that consultant.


References

A.R.S. § 36-3601

A.R.S. § 36-3602

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