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New Mexico PT/OT Telehealth

March 29, 2020

Emergency Orders

Temporary Expansion of Telehealth Services

COVID-19 Guidance for Insurance

General Telehealth Law

Definitions

As used in the New Mexico Telehealth Act:

"health care provider" means a person licensed to provide health care to patients in New Mexico, including:

  • an optometrist;
  • a chiropractic physician;
  • a dentist;
  • a physician;
  • a podiatrist;
  • an osteopathic physician;
  • a physician assistant;
  • a certified nurse practitioner;
  • a physical therapist;
  • an occupational therapist;
  • a speech-language pathologist;
  • a doctor of oriental medicine;
  • a nutritionist;
  • a psychologist;
  • a certified nurse-midwife;
  • a clinical nurse specialist;
  • a registered nurse;
  • a dental hygienist;
  • a pharmacist;
  •  a licensed independent social worker;
  • a licensed counselor;
  •  a community health representative; or
  • a licensed athletic trainer;
"Originating site" means a place where a patient may receive health care via telehealth. An originating site may include:
  • a licensed inpatient center;
  • an ambulatory surgical or treatment center;
  • a skilled nursing center;
  • a residential treatment center;
  •  a home health agency;
  • a diagnostic laboratory or imaging center;
  •  an assisted living center;
  • a school-based health program;
  • a mobile clinic;
  • a mental health clinic;
  • a rehabilitation or other therapeutic health setting;
  •  the patient's residence;
  • a federally qualified health center; or
  • a community health center;

"Telehealth" means the use of electronic information, imaging and communication technologies, including interactive audio, video, data communications as well as store-and-forward technologies, to provide and support health care delivery, diagnosis, consultation, treatment, transfer of medical data and education.

The delivery of health care via telehealth is recognized and encouraged as a safe, practical and necessary practice in New Mexico. No health care provider or operator of an originating site shall be disciplined for or discouraged from participating in telehealth pursuant to the New Mexico Telehealth Act. In using telehealth procedures, health care providers and operators of originating sites shall comply with all applicable federal and state guidelines and shall follow established federal and state rules regarding security, confidentiality and privacy protections for health care information.

The New Mexico Telehealth Act does not alter the scope of practice of any health care provider or authorize the delivery of health care services in a setting, or in a manner, not otherwise authorized by law.

Because the use of telehealth improves access to quality health care and will generally benefit the citizens of New Mexico, health insurers, health maintenance organizations, managed care organizations and third-party payors offering services to the citizens of New Mexico are encouraged to use and provide coverage for telehealth within the scope of their plans or policies. The state's medical assistance program is also encouraged to include telehealth within the scope of its plan or policy.

Reference

NMSA 1978, Sections 24-25-1 through-5

Physical Therapy

See Above

Occupational Therapy

Re: Guidance for Providing Patient Care by Electronic Means during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency

During this extraordinary situation as New Mexico addresses the COVID-19 pandemic, the New Mexico Board of Examiners for Occupational Therapy (the “Board”) supports the use of alternative means to provide expanded care options.

To that end, we are taking this opportunity to remind you that the delivery of health care via telehealth is recognized and encouraged as a safe, practical and necessary practice in New

Mexico pursuant to the Telehealth Act, NMSA 1978, Sections 24-25-1 through -5 (2004, as amended through 2007). “Telehealth” includes the use of electronic information, imaging and communication technologies, including interactive audio, video, data communications as well as store-and-forward technologies, to provide and support health care delivery, diagnosis, consultation, treatment, transfer of medical data and education. NMSA 1978, § 24-25-3(C).

Pursuant to the Telehealth Act, no health care provider, including occupational therapists, shall be disciplined for or discouraged from participating in telehealth. See NMSA 1978, § 24-25-4. In using telehealth procedures, health care providers shall comply with all applicable federal and state guidelines and shall follow established federal and state rules regarding security, confidentiality and privacy protections for health care information. Id.

Therefore, the use of electronic means – internet, email, texting, telephone – to assess and provide responsible care to any patient in New Mexico during the COVID-19 Emergency as declared by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham is encouraged. In providing such care through electronic means, providers should otherwise comply with the rules of the Board, including those rules regarding the supervision of limited permit holder, person practicing with a provisional permit, occupational therapy assistants, and aides. See NMSA 1978, § 61-12A-5 and NMAC 2015, § 16.15.3.

This guidance will remain in place until the emergency declaration is lifted by the Governor or at the election of the Board.

Sincerely,

Michael Katko

Chair, Board of Examiners for Occupational Therapy

occupationaltherapy@state.nm.us

Reference

http://www.rld.state.nm.us/uploads/files/OT_Guidance%20for%20Providing%20Patient%20Care%20by%20Electronic%20Means.pdf

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