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West Virginia Telehealth
COVID-19 UPDATE 3/24/2020
Current Info and News | COVID-19 UPDATE 3/24/2020
The WVBOPT does not have statute or rules and regulations preventing telehealth. However, it is not in our jurisdiction to guarantee payment for these services.
According to 16-8-6 “In a temporary situation, which causes the absence of the supervising physical therapist up to 1 day, and no more than 80 hours in a calendar year, a licensed physical therapist assistant may continue to render services, under general supervision of the supervising physical therapist, to only those patients for which the licensed physical therapist assistant has previously participated in the intervention for established plans of care not to exceed the regularly scheduled operational hours of the particular day the supervising physical therapist is absent. When this provision is utilized, the level of supervision in subdivision 8.2.a. may be exceeded, and the physical therapist shall document the hours, date and temporary situation.”. The definition of general supervision according to 16-2-6 is ““General supervision” means the physical therapist must be available at least by telecommunications.”
REGARDING PATIENT INFORMED CONSENT
It is the stance of the WVBOPT that informed consent should be obtained at initial evaluation in person. Currently the CMS recommends patient must verbally consent to receive virtual check in services.
REGARDING DOCUMENTATION REQUIREMENTS
It is the stance of the WVBOPT that you document all treatments as you would during an in-person treatment. Also, your note should reflect who conducted the treatment and that this treatment was conducted via telehealth.
PER HOMELAND SECURITY GUIDANCE:
Physical Therapy is considered an essential healthcare service. Physical Therapy outpatient and inpatient clinics may remain open at this time. Physical Therapy serves an essential role in slowing down and decreasing the transmission of COVID-19 by keeping patients out of ER's and physician clinics where conditions may be present. As healthcare providers, physical therapists can educate and communicate with patients regarding COVID-19.
Board Position on TeleHealth
The Board's position on Telehealth has always been that there is nothing in our Code or Legislative Rules that prohibits telehealth as a method of providing services, as long as all provisions of the Code are complied with and the same standard of care is exercised. Our Rules do, however, require the OT be directly involved through a face-to-face visit with the patient during the initial evaluation. The Board has determined that in light of the current situation, video-conferencing could be considered face-to-face. Otherwise, it is up to the therapist to determine if in-person intervention is necessary, or if providing OT services by means of telehealth is in the best interest of the client.
Also, in order to provide OT services to consumers in WV, practitioners must hold a current, valid WV OT or OTA license.