State of Connecticut Guidance During Covid-19 Pandemic regarding PT

 

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 the changing regulations, as it impacts the provision of PT.  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:

Licensure

As of March 23rd, the Commissioner of Public Health has suspended the need for Connecticut licensure for a number of health professions, including PTs and PTAs, to practice in Connecticut for the next 60 days.  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.  Click here for the full text of the order.

Telehealth
Executive Order 7F - Expanded Medicaid Telehealth Coverage
This Governor’s order allows the Commissioner of Social Services to waive existing requirements to allow telephone only Telehealth services for this population.  Click here for the Commissioner's emergency regulations.

Executive Order 7G - Flexibility for Medicaid Enrolled Providers and In-Network Providers for Commercial Fully Insured Health Insurance to Perform Telehealth Through Additional Methods.

This Governor’s order includes the following:
(a) allows telephone only care with Medicaid and/or in network provider with existing relationship, if Telehealth is covered
(b) Suspends some requirements for licensure, certification or registration
(c) allows for flexibility of communication system with regard to HIPAA
(d) provides consumer protection by requiring provider identify if a patient has insurance, prohibits additional billings to patient and and sets cap for uninsured at Medicare rate
(e) waives requirement that provider must be at licensed facility in order to initiate a Telehealth session.

Executive-Order-No-7H "Stay at Home"
Physical Therapy offices are included in "essential" businesses that may continue to operate in the Department of Economic and Community Development guidance on the order, issued on March 22nd.

The APTA CT continues to work to encourage the Governor and his administration to support Telehealth for physical therapy even in situations where it isn’t currently part of an insurance plan.    It would be consistent with the Governor’s "Stay at Home" order to encourage Telehealth visits, instead of in office visits.  Of course every PT wants to see patients in person, but in these difficult times, this flexibility, where it can be effectively utilized, can be part of the solution to flatten the curve.

We are also trying to get answers for challenges that are being raised in a wide variety of practice settings.  If you are struggling with these types of questions, please reach out and let us know.

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CTAPTA Liberty Square Group
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