Official guidance and best practices change rapidly as the COVID-19 outbreak continues to evolve. APTA is curating critical advice from trusted sources such as the CDC and CMS in addition to developing resources to support you during the pandemic. Check back frequently for updates.
APTA Statement on Patient Care and Practice Management During COVID-19 Outbreak
As actions are taken across the country to reduce the spread of COVID-19, a virus that spreads easily from close contact, APTA encourages physical therapists to use their professional judgment to determine when, where, and how to provide care, with the understanding this is not the optimal environment for care, for anyone involved. (March 17, 2020)
Letter From President Dunn on COVID-19 Impact
This is a challenging time to be in health care. We need each other. (March 20, 2020)
Letter to Students Regarding COVID-19
In times like this, it's more important than ever to remember why we chose the profession of physical therapy, and to look for any opportunity to be a positive force in the health of society. (March 23, 2020)
Physical Therapy Support During Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic
In response to COVID-19, APTA is working with other members and organizations to match facilities who need physical therapy services with volunteers who are willing to serve. If you're a facility looking for assistance, or a PT, PTA, or physical therapy student who would like to volunteer, go to this webpage to learn more and provide information to enter this volunteer network.
APTA Coronavirus Updates
Coronavirus Update: March 30, 2020
Practice guidance for pediatric physical therapy, a new volunteer resource, accelerated Medicare payments, and more.
Coronavirus Update: March 27, 2020
A Medicare payment increase, PT telehealth for UnitedHealthcare, APTA tracks telehealth payment changes, and more.
Coronavirus Update: March 26, 2020
New PT practice guidelines for COVID patients in acute hospitals, Cigna opens up telehealth for PTs, a call for postacute care COVID preparedness, and more.
View all Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates.
Telehealth and E-visits
APTA Telehealth Webpage
Find regulations, coding and billing resources, and practice guidance on providing telehealth services.
Telehealth in Physical Therapy In Light of COVID-19
The use of telehealth is one approach that can help keep both patients and providers safe, but PTs and PTAs need to understand the current regulatory and payer telehealth landscape to decide whether telehealth is right — or even a possibility — for them. (And be sure to tell Congress to waive restrictions on the use of telehealth!) (March 16, 2020)
APTA Quick Reference to Using E-Visits for Physical Therapist Services
CMS has waived certain Medicare restrictions on digital communication in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, including "e-visits."Here is brief guide to using e-visits under Medicare. (March 24, 2020)
Furnishing and Billing E-Visits: Addressing Your Questions
Recent waivers by CMS that allow for limited digital communication with patients have triggered a wave of questions. Here are our answers to 25 of the ones we hear most often. Also see this recorded webinar and Facebook Live discussion. (March 18, 2020)
General and Pediatric-Focused COVID-19 Guidance for PTs, PTAs, Students
Topics addressed in the new resources include when a PT should tell patients to cancel an outpatient visit and factors to consider when providing remote school-based services as part of an IEP. (March 30, 2020)
Access: General guidance resource | pediatric physical therapy resource
Practice Guidelines Emerge for Physical Therapy and COVID-19 in Acute Hospital Setting
The guidelines stress the use of well-trained, experienced PTs and careful screening of patients. (March 26, 2020)
Novel Coronavirus: A Wake-up Call for Best Practices in Preventing Pathogen Transmission
In addition to taking precautions to avoid aerosolization (the production of airborne particles containing an infectious virus or bacteria), we must disinfect surfaces touched by infected people. Thus, in physical therapy clinics, in anticipation of future patients being infected by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, we must think holistically in terms of clinic disinfection and protection. (March 10, 2020)
Implementing Telehealth in Your Practice STAT: Practical Guidance from Experienced Telehealth PTs
Recorded webinar. (March 26, 2020) | Recorded Q&A (via Facebook Live) (March 30, 2020)
Additional Resources and Information
COVID Stimulus Package Includes Payment Increase, Opens Possibility of Increased Telehealth, More
The stimulus package contains provisions of particular interest to PTs, PTAs, physical therapy students, and patients. (March 27, 2020)
UnitedHealthcare Allows Telehealth for Physical Therapy
Beginning immediately, the payer will reimburse physical therapy delivered via telehealth services. (March 27, 2020)
National Health Emergency Triggers CMS Waivers for Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP
The "blanket waiver" system now in effect eases a wide range of requirements, but CMS still won't reimburse for telehealth by PTs. Take action! (March 16, 2020)
CDC Information and Resources (updated frequently)
Includes information for providers including infection control and preventing transmission in health care settings, guidance for clinical and home care, contact information for local and state health departments, and more; plus information for facilities, families, schools, communities, and businesses.
CMS Issues COVID-19 Guidance on Infection Control, Protective Equipment (March 11, 2020)
The ever-growing list of resources from CMS includes guidance related to particular settings including hospice, SNFs, and home health.
CMS Guidance for Infection Control and Prevention of COVID-19 in Nursing Homes (March 13, 2020)
CMS is providing additional guidance to nursing homes to help them improve their infection control and prevention practices to prevent the transmission of COVID-19, including revised guidance for visitation.
Visit the websites of the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education, the American Council of Academic Physical Therapy, and the Academy of Physical Therapy Education for information they are providing related to the impact of COVID-19.
APTA Events and Operations
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, APTA is suspending in-person meetings and APTA business travel by staff or members through July 1, 2020.
This includes moving our House of Delegates to a virtual format and canceling the NEXT Conference & Exposition that was to occur in Phoenix. A smaller virtual NEXT is currently in development to occur over the original June 3-6 dates.
This decision by APTA national does not dictate the status of activities hosted by APTA chapters and sections.
We will continue to monitor the developments around the spread of coronavirus. As with all public health situations, we primarily rely on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, and the U.S. Office of the Surgeon General for the best information and preventive strategies.
If you are registered for an APTA event beyond July 1, 2020, and don't want to attend due to coronavirus, contact APTA member services and you will be given a refund. (For quickest service, email firstname.lastname@example.org with the name of the event and the reason for your cancellation. If you have any other questions, please contact us.)
We will continue to update this page if there are further changes to APTA's events and operations.