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Oklahoma PT/OT Telehealth

March 30, 2020

Emergency Orders

Expansion of Medicaid Telehealth Services  

Physical Therapy

Nothing posted to the board as of March 30, 2020

Occupational Therapy

"Telehealth" means the use of electronic information and telecommunications technologies to support and promote access to clinical health care, patient and professional health-related education, public health and health administration.

"Telemedicine" includes the practice of healthcare delivery, diagnosis, consultation, treatment, including but not limited to, the treatment and prevention of conditions appropriate to treatment by telehealth management, transfer of medical data, or exchange of medical education information by means of audio, video, or data communications. Telemedicine is not a consultation provided by telephone or facsimile machine.

"Telerehabilitation" or "teletherapy" means the delivery of rehabilitation and habilitation services via information and communication technologies (ICT), also commonly referred to as "telehealth" technologies.

Telehealth Regulations

In order to provide occupational therapy services via telehealth defined in 435:30-1-2 of the Code, an occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant providing services to a patient or client in this State must have a valid and current Occupational Therapy or Occupational Therapy Assistant license issued by State of Oklahoma.

An occupational therapist shall determine whether an in-person evaluation or in-person interventions are necessary in lieu of telehealth provision, considering: the complexity of the patient’s/client’s condition; the provider’s 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. Clinical reasoning for providing occupational therapy via teletherapy must be documented at the onset of treatment in the patient’s/client’s record.

All legal, regulatory, and ethical rules applicable to the delivery of in-person occupational therapy shall also apply to the delivery of occupational therapy via telehealth technology.

Audio and video equipment must allow for interactive, real-time communications which permit the occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant and the patient to see and hear each other. Any telehealth technology used by any occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant must comply with confidentiality requirements imposed by federal or state law concerning network connection security in place for video and non-video connections, specifically including requirements under HIPAA.

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

    • 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 occupational therapy in a manner consistent with the standards of practice, ethical principles, rules and regulations for Oklahoma occupational therapy practitioners. Therefore, it is the occupational therapy practitioner’s responsibility to determine when a telehealth encounter is not the appropriate treatment model;
    • Determine if it is medically and clinically necessary for the initial evaluation to be performed in person, and if medically necessary, a licensed healthcare provider trained in the use of the equipment may be utilized at the originating site to "present" the patient, manage the cameras, and perform any physical activities to successfully complete the initial patient evaluation; and
    • Be proficient in the use of the telehealth and/or telemedicine technology.

An occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant that is providing therapy services via telehealth as a mode of service delivery will be required to have two (2) continuing education units in the area of telehealth practice each reporting period.

An occupational therapist may utilize telehealth methods for routine and general supervision of Form 5-registered supervisees, but not when direct on-site supervision is required under 435: 30-1-2.

Fieldwork students must follow the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy 9

Education ("ACOTE") standards, academic program rules, and practice setting policies regarding the use of telehealth service delivery as well as follow all applicable supervision rules under 435:30-1-15 and 435:30-1-16.

Failure to comply with telehealth regulations shall be considered unprofessional conduct as set forth in Section 9 of the Occupational Therapy Practice Act.



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