COVID-19 Information

COVID-19 Information

 

The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly impacted the world as we know it to say the least.  APTA Vermont understands that the physical therapy profession and health care system as a whole is undergoing rapid changes in order to meet the needs of our patients and to do what is safest for all.  We would like to thank all of our members for their hard work and dedication to the physical therapy profession and patients during this difficult time.  Below is a list of resources compiled to help keep you informed and aid decision making in this rapidly changing environment.  If you have additional questions, please reach out to us at vtapta@gmail.com.

 

General information:

 

Telehealth and COVID-19:

 

Telehealth in Vermont

  • When one considers telehealth practice, three major points must be considered: 1) Does the state practice act allow it?; 2) Is it ethical?; and 3) Will I get reimbursed for it?  Please see the following links below for further information regarding these three points.
    • 1) State practice act: Vermont’s state practice act does not specifically permit or prohibit telehealth.  Given this, it is considered to be allowed (https://legislature.vermont.gov/statutes/fullchapter/26/038)
    • 2) Ethics: The APTA Ethics guidelines state that "Ethical practice in telehealth must account for the biological, social, psychological, and cultural needs of the patient while working to improve their health. Additionally, knowing when to urge and how to persuade the patient to seek a face-to-face level of care is key. Before providing telehealth, ensure that you meet all local, state, and federal laws and regulations. To achieve the potential for patient benefit, you must consider the associated ethical issues; specifically, carefully assess the effect on relations between clinicians, patients and clients, and their families and/or caregivers." (www.apta.org/Ethics/)
    • 3) Reimbursement: Insurers are rapidly making changes to regulations in order to meet the needs of patients in light of COVID-19.  In general, all of the following insurers are covering telehealth PT visits EXCEPT Medicare.  However, there are may be changes with regards to billing codes and specific guidelines that must be followed.  In order to ensure reimbursement, it is recommended to confirm policies with specific insurance companies.  Please see links below to policies for common VT insurers.

 

Private Practice:

  • https://ppsapta.org/physical-therapy-covid-19.cfm -- For resources for small businesses and information regarding the CARES Act, signed into law on March 27th, which provides “funding to small business owners and to employees as ways to support them and the economy during this public health crisis.”

 

Acute care PT recommendations:

 APTA

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