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General Telehealth Law
Alabama does not currently have a general telehealth law.
ABPT COVID-19 STATEMENT TO PRACTIONERS
The Alabama Board of Physical Therapy would like to take this opportunity to answer the many inquiries we have had in relation to telehealth and the unprecedented challenges in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. We would like to answer a few common questions we are getting:
Can physical therapy telehealth services be provided in the state of Alabama?
Yes. While our current practice act does not explicitly address telehealth, it also does not limit its use for therapy either. All ethical and scope of practice guidelines apply to telehealth practice the same as face to face practice.
Can physical therapy providers licensed in Alabama provide telehealth services to clients in other states without a license in that state?
No. The physical therapy provider must be licensed in the physical location of the client unless a state has a specific exemption specified.
Are telehealth services reimbursed by insurance?
The Board does not involve itself with issues of reimbursement. We encourage you to call your insurance providers and request that telehealth services be covered in the face of the COVID-19 public health crisis.
In 2015, the Federation of State Board of Physical Therapy issued a paper on the minimum best practices for telehealth(attached). The Board recommends this as a guidance for our Practioners who are now being asked to provide telehealth to clients. Your company may require a higher standard, but these are intended to provide the minimum accepted standards as you go forward.
Are there restrictions for seeing our patients?
The Alabama Board of Physical Therapy is a professional licensing board and does not have the authority to mandate or recommend the closure of a practice setting; this authority lies with the Governor in coordination with State and County health officials.
The Alabama Board of Physical Therapy recommends all Practioners follow the guidance provided by the CDC’s guidelines at: CDC.gov Coronavirus
In the weeks ahead as we navigate through the COVID-19 crisis, we encourage all Practioners to rely upon your education and training while we all work through this situation.
The Alabama Board of Occupational Therapy has not addressed telehealth - March 27, 2020
Insurance Parity (State law that requires insurance companies to cover telehealth)
Alabama does not have a parity law.