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Delaware Occupational Therapy Telehealth

Definitions

“Originating site” means a site in Delaware or outside of Delaware if the patient is a Delaware resident at which a patient is located at the time health-care services are provided to him or her by means of telemedicine or telehealth, unless the term is otherwise defined with respect to the provision in which it is used; provided, however, notwithstanding any other provision of law, insurers and providers may agree to alternative siting arrangements deemed appropriate by the parties.

“Store and forward transfer” means the transmission of a patient’s medical information either to or from an originating site or to or from the provider at the distant site, but does not require the patient being present or that the transmission be in real time.

“Telehealth” means the use of information and communications technologies consisting of telephones, remote patient monitoring devices or other electronic means which support clinical health care, provider consultation, patient and professional health-related education, public health, health administration, and other services as described in regulation which may not require the use of technology permitting visual communication.

 “Telemedicine” means a form of telehealth which is the delivery of clinical health-care services by means of real time 2-way audio, visual, or other telecommunications or electronic communications, including the application of secure video conferencing or store and forward transfer technology to provide or support health-care delivery, which facilitate the assessment, diagnosis, consultation, treatment, education, care management and self-management of a patient’s health care by a licensee practicing within his or her scope of practice as would be practiced in-person with a patient and with other restrictions as defined in regulation which may not require the use of technology permitting visual communication.

License

An occupational therapy practitioner is required to be licensed in Delaware if the practitioner provides occupational therapy services to a client who is in Delaware.

Informed Consent

Before services are provided through telehealth, the licensee shall obtain written, informed consent from the patient, or other appropriate person with authority to make health care treatment decisions for the patient.

    • The use of electronic communications in the provision of care;
    • The potential breach of confidentiality, or inadvertent access, of protected health information using electronic communication in the provision of care.

Confidentiality

The licensee shall ensure that the electronic communication is secure to maintain confidentiality of the patient's medical information as required by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and other applicable Federal and State laws. Confidentiality shall be maintained through appropriate processes, practices and technology, including disposal of electronic equipment and data.

Competence and Scope of Practice

    • The licensee shall be responsible for determining and documenting that telehealth is an appropriate level of care for the patient.
    • The licensee shall comply with the Board's law and rules and regulations and all current standards of care requirements applicable to onsite care.
    • The licensee shall limit the practice of telehealth to the area of competence in which proficiency has been gained through education, training and experience.
    • The occupational therapist who screens, evaluates, writes or implements the plan of care is responsible for determining the need for the physical presence of an occupational therapy practitioner during any interactions with clients.
    • Subject to the supervision requirements, the occupational therapist will determine the amount and level of supervision needed during telehealth.
    • The licensee shall document in the file or record which services were provided by telehealth.

Reference

Del. Code tit. 24 ยง2002

24 De. Reg. 380.40

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