State of Connecticut Guidance During Covid-19 Pandemic regarding PT

 

State of Connecticut Guidance During Covid-19 Pandemic regarding Physical Therapists

As we all struggle with the daily personal and professional challenges of dealing with the spread of Covid-19, the APTA CT is working hard to keep you up to date on changing regulations, as they impact the provision of physical therapist.  We are also continuing our efforts to expand your ability to offer care to your patients.  We have received a number of calls with regard to the Governor’s Executive Orders, so we’ve compiled the following analysis of what’s come out thus far and have included links to the Executive Orders and other supporting documentation:

Temporary Suspension of Licensure for Out-of-State Healthcare Providers

In recognition of the need to provide for sufficient healthcare providers in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and to prepare for any possible resurgence of infections, the Governor has signed several Executive Orders to authorize the Commissioner of the Department of Public Health to temporarily suspended the need for Connecticut licensure, certification or registration for out-of-state healthcare providers, including PTs and PTAs, to practice in Connecticut.  The order confirms that any such provider must have a valid license from another state, act within the Connecticut scope of practice and maintain malpractice insurance coverage.  Subsequently, that order has been extended and is now in place for the duration of the public health and civil preparedness emergency or until repealed by the Governor.

  • Executive Order 9S (sec. 2) – Continues the temporary suspension of licensure, certification or registration requirements of out-of-state healthcare providers for the duration of the public health and civil preparedness emergency or until repealed by the Governor.
  • The Department of Public Health Order following the signing of Executive Order 7HHH extending the temporary suspension of licensure, certification or registration requirements to allow out-of-state healthcare providers to assist with COVID-19 response.
  • Executive Order 7HHH (sec. 1) – Reauthorizes the continued temporary suspension of licensure, certification or registration requirements of out-of-state healthcare providers for 60-days or until repealed by the Governor.
  • Executive Order 7DD (sec. 3) – Permits the Commissioner of the Department of Public Health to issue an Order to suspend for a period of 60-days licensure, certification or registration requirements of out-of-state healthcare providers.
  • Executive Order 7V (sec. 3) - Permits the Commissioner of the Department of Public Health to issue an Order to suspend for a period of 60-days licensure, certification or registration requirements of out-of-state healthcare providers.
  • The second extension of the Department of Public Health’s Order to authorize the temporary suspension of licensure, certification or registration for a period of 60-days.
  • The original Department of Public Health Order was signed on March 23, 2020 authorizing the temporary suspension of licensure, certification or registration for a period of 60-days. This Order has been extended several times throughout the pandemic by the above Executive Orders.

Telehealth

In a late July Special Session the General Assembly approved and the Governor signed into law HB 6001 (PA 20-2) which extends and expand telehealth services offered by in-network providers for fully-insured health plans in the state as well as those providing care and services to established Medicaid and HUSKY B patients under the Connecticut Medical Assistance Program (CMAP). This legislation will sunset on March 15, 2021 unless extended by subsequent legislation during the 2021 session of the General Assembly. This legislation codifies earlier Executive Orders 7G, 7DD and 7FF

 signed by Governor Lamont.

 

The act allows in-network and CMAP telehealth providers to provide telehealth services via audio only and would authorize the Commissioner of the Department of Social Services to allow Connecticut Medicaid to cover applicable services provided through audio-only telehealth services to extent it’s allowed under federal law. The act allows telehealth providers to use additional information and communication technologies to provide telehealth services.

 

The act requires a telehealth provider to accept the following as payment in full for telehealth services:

  1. For patients who do not have health insurance coverage for telehealth services, an amount equal to the Medicare reimbursement rate for telehealth services or
  2. For patients with health insurance coverage, the amount the carrier reimburses for telehealth services and any costs sharing or other out-of-pocket expense imposed by the health plan.

 

Find here Links to several DSS Provider Bulletins issued on telehealth:

PB 2020-100 – Telemedicine: Update to Place of Service Requirements

PB 2020-87 - CMAP COVID-19 Response - Bulletin 44: Updated Telemedicine Guidance for Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy Services (1/6/21)

PB 2020-85 - CMAP COVID-19 Response - Bulletin 43: Updates to the Temporary Telemedicine Coverage for Therapy Services Billed by Home Health Agencies/Access Agencies (1/6/21)

 

Connecticut Insurance Department Bulletin No. HC-128 – Health Insurance Coverage for Telehealth revised under PA 20-2 and Procedures-Conn. Gen. Stat. 38a-499 and 38a-526a (8/25/20)

 

Other Executive Orders of Interest

Executive Order 7K (sec. 4) – Suspension or Modification of Regulatory Requirements to Protect the Public Health and Safety.

Executive Order 7O (sec. 1 and 2) – 1. Suspension of requirements for licensure renewal and inspections by DPH and 2. Modification of healthcare providers identification badge requirements.

Executive Order 7U (sec. 1) – Protection from civil liability for actions or omissions in support of the State’s COVID-19 response.

Executive Order 7V (sec. 1, 2 and 3) – 1. Safe workplaces in essential businesses, 2. Temporary permits for certain healthcare providers extended and fees waived and 3. Practice before licensure for certain healthcare profession applicants and graduates.

Executive Order 7DD (sec. 9) – Suspension of Continuing Education Requirements for healthcare providers.

 

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