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Texas PT/OT Telehealth

April 16, 2020

Emergency Orders

Texas Department of Insurance COVID-19 Information

Texas Medicaid Updates and Telehealth Expansion

Texas Medicaid: Claims for Telehealth Service for Occupational, Physical, and Speech Therapy

Physical Therapy

When used in the rules of the Texas Board of Physical Therapy Examiners, telehealth is the use of telecommunications or information technology to provide physical therapy services to a patient who is physically located at a site in Texas other than the site where the physical therapist or physical therapist assistant is located, whether or not in Texas.

Requirements to provide telehealth services

Physical therapy telehealth services must be provided by a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant under the supervision of the physical therapist who possesses a current:

  • Unrestricted Texas license; or
  • Compact Privilege to practice in Texas.

The provision of physical therapy services via telehealth requires synchronous audiovisual or audio interaction between the physical therapist or physical therapist assistant and the patient/client, which may be accompanied by the use of asynchronous store and forward technology.

Standard of Care

A physical therapist or physical therapist assistant that provides telehealth services:

  • Is subject to the same standard of care that would apply to the provision of the same physical therapy service in an in-person setting; and
  • The physical therapist is responsible for determining whether an evaluation or intervention may be conducted via telehealth or must be conducted in an in-person setting.

Informed Consent

A physical therapist that provides telehealth services must obtain and maintain the informed consent of the patient, or of another individual authorized to make health care treatment decisions for the patient, prior to the provision of telehealth services.

Confidentiality

A physical therapist or physical therapist assistant that provides telehealth services must ensure that the privacy and confidentiality of the patient's medical information is maintained during and following the provision of telehealth services, including compliance with HIPAA regulations and other federal and state law.

Supervision

Telehealth is a mode for providing one-on-one physical therapy services to a patient/client and is not a means for supervision of physical therapy aides.

Disciplinary Action

The failure of a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant to comply with this section shall constitute detrimental practice and could subject the licensee to disciplinary action by the Board.

Reference

3 Tex. Admin. Code §322.5

Occupational Therapy

How does the board define telehealth?

Telehealth--A mode of service delivery for the provision of occupational therapy services delivered by an occupational therapy practitioner to a client at a different physical location using telecommunications or information technology.

Can I use telehealth to treat patients outside of Texas?

No. Telehealth refers only to the practice of occupational therapy by occupational therapy practitioners who are licensed by the Board with clients who are located in Texas at the time of the provision of occupational therapy services.

What kind of technology is required?

Synchronous audiovisual technology or in person. Other telecommunications or information technology may be used to aid in the intervention session but may not be the primary means of contact or communication.

Can telehealth be used to conduct an evaluation?

The occupational therapist is responsible for determining whether any aspect of the evaluation may be conducted via telehealth or must be conducted in person.

The occupational therapist must have contact with the client during the evaluation via telehealth using synchronous audiovisual technology or in person.

Devices that require on-site care

Devices that are in sustained skin contact with the client (including but not limited to wheelchair positioning devices, splints, hot/cold packs, or therapeutic tape) require the on-site and attending presence of the occupational therapy practitioner for any initial applications.

The occupational therapy practitioner is responsible for determining the need to be on-site and attending for subsequent applications or modifications.

Reference

3 Tex. Admin. Code §362.1

3 Tex. Admin. Code §372.1


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