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California Occupational Therapy Telehealth

Informed Consent

An occupational therapist shall inform the patient or client about occupational therapy services via telehealth and obtain consent prior to delivering those services.

Prior to the delivery of health care via telehealth, the health care provider initiating the use of telehealth shall inform the patient about the use of telehealth and obtain verbal or written consent from the patient for the use of telehealth as an acceptable mode of delivering health care services and public health. The consent shall be documented.

Professional Judgment

An occupational therapist shall determine whether an in-person evaluation or in-person interventions are necessary considering: the complexity of the patient’s/client’s condition; his or her own knowledge, skills, and abilities; the nature and complexity of the intervention; the requirements of the practice setting; and the patient’s/client’s context and environment.

Standard of Practice

An occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant providing occupational therapy services via telehealth must:

    • Exercise the same standard of care when providing occupational therapy services via telehealth as with any other mode of delivery of occupational therapy services;
    • Provide services consistent with section 2570.2(l) of the Code; and
    • Comply with all other provisions of the Occupational Therapy Practice Act and its attending regulations, including the ethical standards of practice, as well as any other applicable provisions of law.

2570.2(l) “Occupational therapy” means the therapeutic use of purposeful and meaningful goal-directed activities (occupations) with individuals, groups, populations, or organizations, to support participation, performance, and function in roles and situations in home, school, workplace, community, and other settings. Occupational therapy services are provided for habilitation, rehabilitation, and the promotion of health and wellness for clients with disability- and nondisability-related needs or to those who have, or are at risk of developing, health conditions that limit activity or cause participation restrictions. Occupational therapy services encompass occupational therapy assessment, treatment, education, and consultation. Occupational therapy addresses the physical, cognitive, psychosocial, sensory-perception and other aspects of performance in a variety of contexts and environments to support engagement in occupations that affect physical and mental health, well-being, and quality of life. Occupational therapy assessment identifies performance abilities and limitations that are necessary for self-maintenance, learning, work, and other similar meaningful activities. Occupational therapy treatment is focused on developing, improving, or restoring functional daily living skills, compensating for and preventing dysfunction, or minimizing disability. Through engagement in everyday activities, occupational therapy promotes mental health by supporting occupational performance in people with, or at risk of experiencing, a range of physical and mental health disorders. Occupational therapy techniques that are used for treatment involve teaching activities of daily living (excluding speech-language skills); designing or fabricating orthotic devices, and applying or training in the use of assistive technology or orthotic and prosthetic devices (excluding gait training). Occupational therapy consultation provides expert advice to enhance function and quality of life. Consultation or treatment may involve modification of tasks or environments to allow an individual to achieve maximum independence. Services are provided individually, in groups, or populations.

Citation

Cal. Bus. and Prof.  Code § 2290.5

Cal. Code Regs., tit. 16 § 4172

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