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  • Coronavirus Update: March 17, 2020

    APTA provides a statement, resources, and guidance; CMS allows limited digital services by PTs; the CDC says gatherings should be fewer than 50 people, and more.

    Practice Guidance

    March 17: APTA Statement on Patient Care and Practice Management During COVID-19 Outbreak
    "Physical therapists have a responsibility to review CDC guidance, to understand who is at highest risk and how to best reduce exposures, and to use their professional judgment in the best interests of their patients and clients and local communities," writes the APTA Board of Directors.

    March 17: APTA Offers Template Letter to Advocate to Payers on Telehealth
    The association has developed a template letter for you to use in advocating to your payers — private, Medicare Advantage, and Medicaid (both fee for service and MCOs) — for coverage of telehealth furnished by PTs and PTAs to ensure that patients continue to have access to the rehabilitative care they need amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Instructions are included at the top of the letter.

    March 16: APTA Shares Guidance on Telehealth for PTs, PTAs
    The use of telehealth can help keep providers and patients safe, but the current regulatory and payer landscape can be confusing. We've created guidance and links to resources that can help you decide whether telehealth is appropriate — or even a possibility.

    From CMS

    March 17: CMS Moves to Allow Limited Digital Services by PTs
    New regulatory waivers will allow PTs, OTs, and SLPs to engage in patient-initiated "e-visits" for the purposes of assessment and management services.

    March 17: CMS Offers Coronavirus Partner Toolkit
    CMS has created a portal that centralizes updated resources related to COVID-19, including topical areas aimed at clinicians, Medicare beneficiaries, health care settings, and more, along with information from the CDC.

    March 16: 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.

    From the CDC

    March 15: CDC Recommends Ban on Gatherings of More Than 50 People
    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has updated its guidance on mass gatherings and community events.

    In The Media

    March 16: White House Issues Advisory to Avoid Gatherings of More Than 10 People
    The guidelines also urge the elderly and individuals with serious underlying health conditions to stay home and avoid contact with other people.

    March 16: As Coronavirus Spreads, So Do Malware and Phishing Scams
    Beware emails and websites that offer information about the pandemic — an increasing number of seemingly helpful apps and emails are actually damaging ransomware or phishing attempts, including harmful hacks sponsored by nation states.

    March 15: Gov't Testing for COVID-19 Will Prioritize Medical Professionals, Elderly
    According to government officials, testing for individuals with COVID-19 symptoms will first focus on health care workers and older adults. According to an administration spokesman, testing sites could potentially screen anywhere from 2,000 to 4,000 per day.

    March 13: Experts Identify Risk Factors for More Severe Outcomes
    Patients with COVID-19 are at higher risk of developing acute respiratory dysfunction if they are of older age, have neutrophilia, and/or have organ and coagulation dysfunction.

    March 13: Researchers Learn More About SARS-CoV-2 Transmission
    Preliminary research findings indicate that the aerosolized virus could be found in the air up to three hours later. The virus was present for four hours on copper, two to three days on plastic and stainless steel, and up to 24 hours on cardboard. The article should not yet be used to guide clinical practice, as it has not yet been peer-reviewed.

    Visit APTA's Coronavirus webpage for more information and updates.

    Comments

    • The fact that you are not requiring physical therapy offices to close is very irresponsible and putting the public and our country at risk.

      Posted by Samantha on 3/18/2020 9:38 AM

    • You MUST mandate the closure of outpatient facilities immediately. This is an absolutely nonessential facility that is only furthering the spread of the disease. We are unable to abide by staying 6 ft away from our patients when performing manual therapy. We are unable to ensure proper disinfection of equipment. This is a hazard. This must be addressed.

      Posted by Michael on 3/18/2020 2:56 PM

    • Can we please get N95 masks for health care workers ASAP!! We need more made, < 4 day supply

      Posted by Karen on 3/18/2020 3:17 PM

    • Hello, Please clarify if the updates to Telehealth therapy coverage apply to home health. Also I would like to know if CMS will advise triaging home health Physical Therapy patients so that patients in high risk categories for COVID-19 are only seen if they have urgent therapy needs. Thank you

      Posted by Lauren on 3/18/2020 4:45 PM

    • I am an aide and our facility cannot stay 6ft away from each other and have the cleaning supplies. People keep coming and they should be at home. They are putting everyone in danger and I am afraid of spreading it to our older patients (which is 85%)! It is very irresponsible not to be closing these facilities down. The PTs are double dipping in the lotion and no one is wearing masks or gloves.

      Posted by Christine on 3/18/2020 5:42 PM

    • I am a patient who is required to attend appointments due to a worker’s compensation case. Treatment has been ongoing and not considered “urgent” (in my opinion at this time, as expert health care specialists worldwide are truly defining what the word “urgent” means in this time of crisis). This is BEYOND IRRESPONSIBLE when I am also possibly exposing my family members (who live with me, one elderly) to this virus. I have been informed that if I do not attend appointments at this time my workers comp. benefits will probably be cut off by my attorney, even while the federal government is asking people to “self distance”. CDC now states virus can stay airborne for possibly up to three hours. How can therapy places fix that especially with the number of other patients who have been there before my appointment. My physical therapy office keeps trying to reschedule me ASAP thru the next couple of days. How many others are in my same situation? This is all about the $$$$$$$! I guess other people truly are expendable as long as there is money to be earned or lost. I will never recommend my clinic’s services after this due to their desperation to keep me on schedule. I think this is irresponsible for ALL physical therapy offices for treatment of NON-URGENT care.

      Posted by Missy on 3/18/2020 11:29 PM

    • We need a mandate for closures of outpatient PT clinics. Our companies are only following current guidelines they have to, not should. Suggested social distancing and no contact with patient care is by no means possible in our setting. I am not providing life saving activities in an outpatient setting, however at this point may be spreading a life threatening virus due to no official testing of my patients I am treating.

      Posted by Carrie on 3/18/2020 11:57 PM

    • Many physical therapy offices are depending on the APTA to give correct guidance regarding how to proceed to curb infections in USA because they do not have time or ability to fully inform themselves. Asking offices to use their professional judgment when they are looking at you for what to do does not make sense, the time for strong leadership is now.

      Posted by Alan on 3/19/2020 12:02 AM

    • This is BEYOND IRRESPONSIBLE. Attending therapy due to a workers compensation case, I have been informed that I will more than likely loose benefits in my case if I do not attend. I have been receiving care for several months. I do not consider it “urgent” as to what is currently defined as “urgent health care or emergency by worldwide or state/local health specialists during this time of health crisis as outlined by the CDC. I can do certain exercises at home for the time being but not receive the “hands-on” treatment. In addition, it is reported the virus can stay in the air for up to 3 hours. How do clinics “disinfect”or fix that after other clients have been in the facilities or I am contact with the therapists being “hands-on”. Laying my head on a pillow??? Not sure a clean pillow case is going to stop transmission to actual pillow insert underneath the pillow case. I have to then return to my home and direct family, which includes an elderly individual with health issues and hope I am not infecting myself or loved ones. So much for self distancing as requested and pleaded by federal and state officials. I am sure I am not the only person being put in this position of overwhelming vulnerability and at health risk. My clinic has almost been haranguing me over keeping appointments. I guess people are expendable when it comes to the loss or earning of money for their own means. Before I would have recommended my PT clinic, now I will not. I believe they are putting their therapists (who have families also) at an extremely high risk But I notice they are not the only clinic pushing patients to “keep” their appointments. I am truly disgusted by this all.

      Posted by Jules on 3/19/2020 12:09 AM

    • I am also very confused as to why out patient PT clinics are not being closed. We are often less then 2 feet from someone’s face and direct contact with there bodies. I see a lot of info on e-visits and telemedicine but I need to be healthy and virus free in order to be able to provide that treatment. We are at risk if out patient clinics don’t close and put our efforts into providing treatment electronically.

      Posted by Dante on 3/19/2020 12:17 AM

    • Please make a statement that Out patient PT services are non essential during this crisis and should be discontinued right now. These out patient clinics are not closing unless they are told to do so. Also, I want to bring to your attention that while some out patients from large hospital systems Are closing they are sending their out patient therapists to the hospitals for “training “ in acute care. This happened to me today. Over 70 out patient therapists were sent for “training”. This hospital system is over staffed by Therapists. And having this surge in staff is causing therapists to use all the PPE. Please advocate for us therapists to protect us. PT is non essential right now.

      Posted by Anne on 3/19/2020 2:31 AM

    • UPDATE: “For organizations that serve people who are at higher risk of serious illness (elderly), cancel events or groups of 10 people or more.” This was updated by the CDC on 3/16. Why haven’t we done anything about this yet?! As medical professionals we need to be proactive, not reactive! Our patients lives are at risk!!

      Posted by Kayla on 3/19/2020 2:35 AM

    • I understand at the core our profession is a business; we are paid for the service we were trained to provide. It is blatantly clear via the frequency of APTA updates on telehealth that reimbursement is being taken very seriously; however, it is also clear that the most important standard of our practice, the health and wellness of our pts and therapists, is being undermined for profitability. The APTA is in the uncomfortable position of experiencing pressure from all sides: PT corporations need continued attendance of pts and their therapists to sustain them while, at the same time, therapists need to practice the distancing and quarantine guidelines recommended by the CDC, OSHA, Fed Govt. and several other bodies to ensure the safety of themselves and their families. The APTA Code of Ethics exists to guide us not when we are without challenges but during times of great difficulty when unpopular decisions are made for the greater good of our nation; the APTA is disregarding it's very Code by remaining unabashedly in favor of nonessential/nonurgent outpatient clinics open. It is very clearly indicated in principles 3A and 8B dictate, without the shadow of a doubt whatsoever, that professional judgement should lead to the temporary closure of outpatient clinics in order to mitigate the spread of this deadly virus to the pts and their families as well as the families and loved ones of all staff. I emplor this body to recommend closure of these facilities despite its unsavorability to those corporations continuing to profit from dangerous and heath-jeopardizing treatment at this time. The APTA will lose all it's efficacy as a governing body if it does not act swiftly today to align it's statement will all other healthcare professions. Peoples lives are knowingly being placed in danger and a blanket curtailing outpatient tx sessions at this time is the only way to ameliorate the situation. If the APTA waits for a country wide or statewide governmental lockdown to catalyze clinic closures in lieu of proactive decision making it will SURELY lose all credibility in the future.

      Posted by John on 3/19/2020 10:53 AM

    • APTA - please do the responsible thing and close outpatient therapy centers. We are unable to protect ourselves and our patients in these environments. You are putting all of us in danger by allowing these facilities to remain open.

      Posted by Stephanie on 3/19/2020 12:58 PM

    • I'd have to agree with the comments above. This is very irresponsible and quite honestly embarrassing as a profession. Staying open is financially motivated by my corporate office and every single employee disagrees with the decision as we feel we are doing more harm. Most of us will end up quitting after this is over due to the lack of quality leadership. We were told that even in a lock down, we would remain open as we are "essential" and not to cancel non urgent appointments despite the recommendations, as they are just recommendations and not mandates. I understand we are essential, but not at a time like this. As a healthcare professional we should know better and do better. I wish I was a PT in Canada or the other countries that have taken the right stance during this time and done their part to "flatten the curve." We are all being exposed and risking our patients, ourselves and our loved ones. This is just downright ignorant. The facts speak for themselves.

      Posted by Sara on 3/19/2020 1:26 PM

    • APTA, wake up! Shut it all down for now, stop being stupid.

      Posted by Eric on 3/19/2020 5:04 PM

    • Got an email from our corporate today telling us that the question was up in the air whether we were considered non-essential or essential. Apparently we (outpatient PT) are considered ESSENTIAL. How is this even feasible?? We have elderly pts whom are general therapy still coming in despite this pandemic! Although we have had many pt cxs the traffic coming in and out of the clinic is still present and the ability to keep 6ft is near to impossible. I DO think post ops are needed to be seen over anyone, but that is what HEPs are for. Being available to pts via email and phone is very doable as well. This all needs to be address! OUTPATIENT CLINICS SHOULD NOT BE OPEN AT THIS TIME! Please listen to us as we are all concerned for the pts and who they come in contact with AS WELL AS us and our own family whom we go home to at the end of the day. Thank you.

      Posted by Jourdan on 3/19/2020 6:07 PM

    • My daughter works as a receptionist at a physical therapy facility. It appears that most patients could do at home exercises. Not closing these facilities and making people interact with potentially infected people is beyond irresponsible. As healthcare facilities, they should do more to protect both patients and workers in this extraordinarily difficult time. No one should be unnecessarily exposed.

      Posted by Joe on 3/19/2020 6:18 PM

    • ATTENTION APTA: Providing non-essential Physical Therapy to physically vulnerable patients during a national pandemic that has mandated social distancing, is no less than a crime against the governing body of APTA who is requiring it of their members. As the parent of a PT employee who is being forced to have face to face physical contact with over 15 patients daily, or risk losing their job, I live in constant fear of my child’s increased chances of contracting and spreading the Covid-9 virus. Wake Up APTA! This is all going to get A Lot Worse in the very near future. By requiring that clinics stay open during this crisis, you are unnecessarily risking the lives of the people you are supposed to be supporting and advocating for. Is money and profit really your bottom line?

      Posted by Jayne on 3/19/2020 7:19 PM

    • URGEN! Close all outpatient physical therapy offices. Everyone is being exposed and lives are at stake. $$$$$ is not that important if you are not alive to enjoy it. The virus will keep spreading if we do not act responsibly. Please mandate that all Physical Therapy outpatient offices close. It just doesn't make sense. Schools are closed, salons, etc. but PTs can keep touching patients up close.

      Posted by Lauraine Wells on 3/19/2020 7:55 PM

    • It is also home health physical therapists who are at risk while providing in home care. Going from home to home puts the clinician, patient, patient families and clinician families at risk daily.

      Posted by Kennedy on 3/19/2020 9:53 PM

    • Mandate closure of OP PT!! This is outrageous. You are jeopardizing the public and PTs by allowing clinics to remain open. We need to set an example for the public! “Use best clinical judgement” is not acceptable.

      Posted by Steve on 3/19/2020 9:53 PM

    • I am the owner of a small private outpatient clinic, and I have voluntarily closed, because I am not willing to put human lives at stake for economic gain. I just think it would be really tough to have to call patients to explain to them that you decided to stay open, treated someone who later showed symptoms or was tested positive, and you put that person and everyone else you treated after that at risk. Think about their families and loved ones. It is really worth it? We are all in the same boat. Pandemics don't care about our money, our business, our bills so get out of it's way and let it pass. It's not forever. Mandate the closure of outpatient so these employees who don't have a voice don't have to feel responsible when the hospitals are so full we have to decide who lives and who dies.

      Posted by Amanda B St Pierre on 3/19/2020 10:35 PM

    • Please! Shut down all outpatient facilities NOW! These are not urgent and it is the perfect location for the coronavirus to spread. I cannot believe it has not been done already!!!

      Posted by Sarah on 3/19/2020 10:40 PM

    • The APTA organization is a joke and leadership should be fired! I’m sure none of those making decisions are out working with patients. Close all outpatient clinics. It is so irresponsible and if I get sick I suing the Organization .

      Posted by Stacy on 3/19/2020 11:23 PM

    • Home health physical therapist should not be going in and out of patients homes. They should be mandated to cease work to prevent the spread of this virus. Too many at risk. Patient, therapists, and families. Many of these patients are elderly and ill with underlying medical conditions.

      Posted by Kennedy on 3/19/2020 11:28 PM

    • I agree with the comments above, clinicians like me are subliminally being forced to work, if i leave voluntarily I don't get unemployment and a way to survive the lock down, I feel morally wrong for performing unnecessary outpatient services and being part of a machine that is putting people at risk, risking myself, my family and my patients, but if i dont make money somehow I will be homeless. My brother is in the same profession and is doing the same thing and feels the same way. thank god i do not pay the apta for a membership, Maybe if you step up and be an association and put the outpatient clinic pea tree dishes on hold as opposed to being another cash-box;(a month ago we are a family and community business etc.) a cash box willing to risk the health and lives of others just like our clinics for a few more bucks, and yes you the apta is putting us at risk because maybe if it was somebody else other than you guys they would take care of this, maybe this is a sign that this association should shut down and we will shut it down. PLEASE.... you can prove to us why we should have apta membership not to mention save some lives other than your own which is the only thing the owners and leaders of these companies care about, they arent even reading this cause they are at home not in contact with people... not working while we are out performing unnecessary task at who knows what risk. Ya im pissed furthermore I think we should look into the APTA being shut down, if they dont do anything about this, you arent just a magazine with advertisements right?

      Posted by My name is I dont want to get fired for this on 3/19/2020 11:28 PM

    • I understand everyone’s concerns. Non essential is subjective to your patient. Your patient may disagree with describing their care as unnecessary now that you expressed the importance of therapy when they agreed to participate. They don’t classify emergencies and essential like we do. As PTs we have entered into a plan of care. As an individual you have the right to refuse to treat if you feel unsafe. However, you can not expect someone to pay you for something you are not doing. If you have a screening process in place and a system to contact your patients as therapist to Patient to urge them to stay home if they have risk factors, questionable exposure, or anything else you fear, that is a good starting point. We’re fighting a fight we can’t fully see. There’s no end in sight and no guarantees. Staying home if you are exposed is a good idea. Nobody disagrees with that, But we’re exposed to a lot of things, MRSA, c-difff and we are walking around with all of that. We build relationships with our pts. They trust us. Abandoning recklessly due to fear is harmful to our profession. System wide mandates infringe upon individual rights. If you ask for this mandate, I guarantee that you will get more of them that you don’t want down the line. We entered into responsibility when we activated a need for skilled services at time of eval. Make safe discharge plans on individual bases and go home if you want to. Do not expect the government or the APTA to make your decisions for you or your employer to take the financial hit alone.

      Posted by NJ on 3/20/2020 12:08 AM

    • My husband is afraid to close down his clinic for fear he’ll never be able to be opening. He is working despite the high risk self in the other aids in there. The APTA needs to order these outpatient clinics close so at least he knows he is not alone. I am extremely fearful each day he brings the virus home to his family from someone having shared it with him at the clinic. Despite what he thinks, there’s no way they are able to disinfect each of the patient tables and areas therapy is performed.

      Posted by Sylvia on 3/20/2020 1:26 AM

    • I am closing my outpatient PT clinic today 3-20-20. I have already stopped treating elderly patients in the clinic & have given them the option of Skype or FaceTime for check-ins, but many do not have the technology for this. I feel that at this point in our nation’s pandemic, it is extremely irresponsible to remain open. The APTA or state chapters need to make this mandatory-NOW. It really is a matter of life or death.

      Posted by Jennifer on 3/20/2020 2:34 AM

    • I am a NYC resident and a PT patient. I took a fall some months ago and began PT thereafter. I am down to one visit per week. The PT is extremely helpful. However I agree - the therapist cannot really give me treatment from 6 feet away. As this is medically necessary but not urgent, I wonder about the wisdom of going in there. I feel perfectly fine and I am sure the therapist does too. With the shortage of masks and protective gear, I am not sure it is wise for me to go there. I feel safe, but I am not sure the PT’s feel safe.

      Posted by Anonymous on 3/20/2020 3:17 AM

    • We have to have a decision TODAY from the APTA to close down outpatient physical therapy clinics. It is clear we are not only a source of spreading the virus but could be inflicting the ultimate “harm” causing death by exposing patients and staff unnecessarily. We can not put profit, veiled in ‘taking care’ of patients, over the lives of staff and patients and ultimately the community. We are violating “first do no harm” as a professional organization by staying open. It must be mandated, as most clinics work on a slim financial margin and will choose to stay open because they are fearful of the financial losses as well. Understandable, but money is worth nothing compared to life itself. PLEASE ACT NOW, APTA! Also, if you step up for us now, more clinicians will join the APTA in the future knowing you protected us in a time of crisis. If not..... shame on you.

      Posted by Can’t publish due to fear of repercussions on 3/20/2020 8:41 AM

    • I have read the APTA's statement on addressing patient care during this time and I am disappointed. Asking physical therapists to "understand who is at highest risk and how to best reduce exposure, and to use their professional judgment" is not true guidance or leadership. As physical therapists, we are not experts in disease spread or prevention, and that is why we need clearer guidelines on how to operate clinics that are currently providing outpatient services. I hope that a more direct statement comes out soon.

      Posted by Michelle on 3/20/2020 9:41 AM

    • I am currently a physical therapist working at an Outpatient Clinic in Illinois. At a time like this, we need to shut down all Outpatient Clinics and consider ourselves “non-essential”. We are putting ourselves and our elderly patients at risk everyday we remain open. The point of a lockdown, which is bound to happen any day now in IL, is to stop the spread by social distancing which is not possible if we remain open. PLEASE listen to everyone else on this thread and take action ASAP!

      Posted by Anonymous on 3/20/2020 9:51 AM

    • To all of you. If YOU don’t feel safe at work tell your employer you want to stop working. If your PATIENTS don’t feel safe they should be allowed to cancel. BUT we ARE healthcare personnel and if you are a surgical patient or a patient with severe pain it is our duty to use precautions and treat them. If all of you can honestly tell me that you have not gone to a grocery store and stood less than 6 feet away from someone then you are being hypocritical. All the elderly should be canceled unless they are in a confined area and all precautions are taken. Let’s remember how this is spread and let’s not go crazy. Let’s practice safe medicine and be leaders not spew hate to the APTA.

      Posted by Dahlia Fahmy on 3/20/2020 10:14 AM

    • If you are providing non essential services than please stop billing insurance companies and patients for what you do. Stop yelling at the APTA. When it comes time to stop a medicare cap all of you think you are very essential and under appreciated. When it comes time to get unemployment you are non essential. Who works and finds themselves non essential?? My patients are grateful that we are taking precautions and continuing to provide the services they need to live a quality life. All of you can stop working and take non paid sick time or use your company's vacation time if you feel you are not contributing. I plan to keep contributing by providing my skills to improve peoples health including respiratory health/rib mobility so that people are better able to combat this disease. Learn rib raising and start doing it to everyone you love and/or care for.

      Posted by John on 3/20/2020 12:20 PM

    • I work at a physical therapy office with a wide range of patients. Most of them, however, are well over 60. The care they need IS NOT essential. My office and other offices nationwide are staying open solely for their own business preservation. APTA needs to step in immediately to set the guidelines to close these businesses that are not making the hard, but responsible decision for patients and staff.

      Posted by Paula on 3/20/2020 12:46 PM

    • I am a P/T patient who is benefiting tremendously from my therapy for back pain. However I can function well enough at this point to carry out ADL and other day to day activities without significant pain. Over the past week I've struggled with the dilemma of whether or not to continue my P/T visits. Although they are very helpful and valuable - they are not an essential service for me at this time. Each and every one of us must do whatever we can to put a stop to this rapidly spreading pandemic, so I am quickly reaching the decision to protect myself and forego any future appointments until the coronavirus cases have peaked - and subsided - in my area. Until and unless outpatient facilities proactively curtail services, or are mandated to do so by governmental agencies, all patients must individually make that very difficult decision.

      Posted by Gene on 3/20/2020 2:53 PM

    • I agree that the APTA needs to give a clear and definitive statement. My company is initiating telemedicine but still having us come into the clinic for people will and not high risk. They are citing prevention of falls. The ones who are falling are also high risk. I believe in my profession and its benefits for all. But the definition of essential at this time is much different. Please order all outpatient facilities to close.

      Posted by Toni on 3/20/2020 3:02 PM

    • I'm not sure I agree that outpatient PT is non-essential. If that's the case, why should insurance ever pay for it? Really, if everyone can just do PT at home by themselves, there is no reason to have outpatient PT facilities. I'm a post orthopedic surgical patient right now, and after reading these comments, it sounds like you're telling me I'm wasting my $ going to PT, since it's "non-essential". I guess that 12 week post-surgical PT protocol for recovery is just bogus, and the $3,000 for those visits is just a scam. I'm complete PROM right now, so I cannot just do exercises at home without guidance and help from another person. If PT is essential to my complete recovery, then the outpatient visits aren't "non-essential".

      Posted by Suzy on 3/20/2020 4:38 PM

    • Hi, I am wondering how the safety of physical therapists with underlying, high risk health issues such as asthma are being considered?

      Posted by Kathy on 3/20/2020 5:07 PM

    • So irresponsible to remain open! It is not following social distancing guidelines at all. I understand the business side, but it’s more important to contain the virus and put patient/employee health FIRST.

      Posted by Tori on 3/20/2020 5:12 PM

    • New York State passed an executive order and APTA still can't/won't clarify if PT is essential. APTA, for outpatient clinics, which category does APTA believe that PT falls under to remain open as essential? Under Executive Order 202.6, the following fall under the definition of essential business: 1. Essential Health Care Operations, including: - research and laboratory services - hospitals - walk-in-care health facilities - emergency veterinary and livestock services - elder care - medical wholesale and distribution - home health care workers or aides for the elderly - doctor and emergency dental - nursing homes, or residential health care facilities or congregate care facilities - medical supplies and equipment manufacturers and providers

      Posted by Anon2020 on 3/20/2020 5:58 PM

    • Its true PT outpatient clinics are not considered as emergency treatment. Its hard to follow CDC guidelines while treating patient in outpatient therapies. APTA had to take an action against this in order to protect PT and their patients life. Pls consider closing PT outpatient clinics in order to avoid spreading this virus. All have to take a step.

      Posted by Shikha on 3/20/2020 6:34 PM

    • It is unconscionable and irresponsible that the APTA has not recommended the closure of ALL out-patient PT clinics. I'm a manual therapist who can not practice without direct patient contact. Please do the right thing and recommend closure ASAP. Otherwise, you may be responsible for hundreds dying.

      Posted by David on 3/20/2020 6:42 PM

    • I agree, they should close all outpatient facilities. As these are non- emergent facilities. Its just putting PT and their patients life at risk.

      Posted by Shikha on 3/20/2020 6:59 PM

    • I do not understand why is not mandatory to close outpatient PT this is very critical moment and irresponsible to keep them open . This is not a essential services such as emergency rooms or fire department. PLEASE mandatory close the outpatient physical therapy this a main focus to spread the virus

      Posted by Yolanda J on 3/20/2020 8:03 PM

    • I work in home health and I feel some screening at LEAST should be done, only patients who ABSOLUTELY need us to come should be seen. I feel terrible about going house to house putting myself, my patients and family (mine and theirs) at risk. There is no way to completely prevent the transmission on myself, my car, my supplies that then travels to the next patient.

      Posted by Kristy on 3/20/2020 8:45 PM

    • Without COVID-19 testing readily available, consideration of out-patient physical therapy as “essential” needs to be STRONGLY RECONSIDERED. We are putting patients, healthcare providers and staff at significant risk. Please take ACTION before it is too late. Listen to the community in which you serve.

      Posted by Michael on 3/20/2020 8:50 PM

    • All physical Therapy office should be among those that need to be Closed!!! Its not only putting patients at risk but the pts that has to work with them! The sad part is that some employees don't want to put their lives at risk! If we volunteer to stay home we don't get paid, or risk getting fired! Please shut these services down

      Posted by Brenda on 3/20/2020 8:54 PM

    • ALL OUTPATIENT PHYSICAL THERAPY OFFICES SHOULD BE SHUT DOWN AT ONCE!!! We work with elderly people who are one of the people at high risk of obtaining covid19. PTs, PT Aides and front desk are putting there life at risk for patients who should just do their exercises at home. Everyday this NON-essential healthcare facility is open puts us at high risk! Masks aren't supplied to employees, neither are they taking patient and staff temperature and vitals, but want to call themselves an "essential" workplace, if its not physical therapy being done in the hospital, CLOSE IT!!!

      Posted by Jag One on 3/20/2020 8:54 PM

    • APTA - please do the responsible thing and close outpatient therapy centers. We do not have masks, our facility has over 7 PT/ PTAs working at once treating 2 patients an hour!!! This is wayyyy too many people in a small space! Working with patients you are within 2 feet from each others faces and not having masks is putting us ALL as risk!!!! You are putting all of us in danger by allowing these facilities to remain open. Post surgical patients should have an exception to be seen if needed!

      Posted by Erica on 3/20/2020 9:01 PM

    • APTA! Just letting this go?, keep us and patients at high risk, collect your membership fees and stay at home safe, they aren't even reading this, no replies needed they already have your money.

      Posted by John on 3/20/2020 10:54 PM

    • Are you all saying that treatment of non-elective post surgical patients is non-essential? Our clinic provides treatment to several post operative severe injuries within a few hours to a few days, including necessary splinting/casting and wound care. While it is true that we are not able to do these things while practicing social distancing, do we want these patient to get infections or surgical failure from lack of treatment? Who will provide these services if we close all outpatient therapy clinics?

      Posted by Oliver on 3/20/2020 11:03 PM

    • Total rapacity keeping rehab biz going in nursing homes. Organizations that set ethical guidelines like APTA and ASHA need to wake up and step up and walk the talk. This is horrible. Geriatric genocide. https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/times-watchdog/coronavirus-spread-in-a-kirkland-nursing-home-for-weeks-while-response-stalled/

      Posted by Sean on 3/20/2020 11:17 PM

    • Total rapacity keeping rehab biz going in nursing homes

      Posted by Sean on 3/21/2020 12:45 AM

    • It is completely unethical to continue to keep outpatient clinics open. Patients share the same equipment, and it is impossible to maintain 6 feet distance while providing manual therapy, gait training, or therapeutic modalities. PT clinics do not have PPE's, and treat a lot of the elderly population. Patients assume it's okay because if it wasn't, the clinics would have probably been shut down. Most PT clinics are not maintaining groupings of 10 or less. This is a non-essential field during a pandemic, and you are helping contribute to the problem by keeping these clinics open. I have colleagues who are immunocompromised, but are being forced to go to work. If they choose to not come in, they will utilize all of their PTO time, and will not receive unemployment.. Please take a stand now, this is a healthcare profession and we need to demonstrate the continued competence and high ethical standards that we are known for

      Posted by Heather on 3/21/2020 1:02 AM

    • The majority of workers here want outpatient clinics closed for all of the well stated safety reasons. This virus is a deadly and taxing illness not only for the elderly! These patients who continue to want to attend are the same ones not in compliance with guidelines I’m afraid or they truly need some post op care. I chose to stop today to protect my family. Never be in a position saying, “ we/I should have “ with such an Evolving threat. Prepare your patients for home programs ASAP and counsel them wisely. God protect you all- someone has to if you’re company and professional organization won’t! Take a stand now and speak up for your safety. Patients look to us to help make the right choice- advise them well and work hard on home exercise programs and Telehealth options

      Posted by Alice on 3/21/2020 1:22 AM

    • I am a Home Health PT. I also feel if these patients are not post surgery ortho patients, we are non essential at this time. The populations we treat are the elderly with multiple comorbitities and underlying diseases (I mean this why they are receiving Home Health) THIS population is the most at risk with the highest mortality rates. So why is nothing being done to stop home health physical therapy visits from being done? The company I am with seems to be admitting even more therapy patients which makes no sense. I take every precaution and do what I can to prevent the spreading of this virus but we have limited supply of PPE and we are in the patients homes putting them and their families at risk as well as our own (and our families). Something has got to be done.

      Posted by Anonymous on 3/21/2020 8:23 AM

    • Shut down the clinics. PT’s can issue HEP’s to post ops, and monitor via telephone or Skype. My clinic is still treating patients who do not take the virus seriously and we’re still business as usual. No gloves or masks and still hands on manual therapy for what the cdc seems “prolonged contact” which is anything greater than 10minutes. Outpatient physical therapy is certainly not essential and we need the APTA to make the call here and force a temporary closure of clinics. Please, we’re all begging you here.

      Posted by Wendy on 3/21/2020 8:37 AM

    • In reading many of the posts above there is a lot of irrational arguments being made. Much if not all are based off fear. Listen to what you are saying. ....The APTA should make a statement that Physical Therapy is not essential. ( In New Jersey and NY laundromats and banks are considered essential.) You are asking the APTA to make a statement that would reverse everything we have fought for. If you have a patient that can get by with a HEP then discharge them. But think about the people with knee replacements and Rotator cuff repairs and tell me their care is not essential. I believe those are only two examples of a long list. Practice common sense, follow CDC recommendations and do what’s best for you patient. For those patients that don’t have the technology for Telehealth I will do my best and what is safest for myself and the patient but I will continue to treat those who need my Professional Physical Therapy skills. It’s sad that people who Are Professionals are making such statements that diminish the importance of our great profession.

      Posted by BM on 3/21/2020 9:08 AM

    • In response to the post surgical case. Post surgical could be an exception to limit the overall numbers of direct contact. But even post surgical could be done through video conferencing. There are ways to do self passive ROM at home when educated properly. Family members are also often taught how to assist with this at home. It’s about minimizing risk right now. As a physical therapist, we can do 99% through video, and should be. A major problem is with regards to reimbursement! Most insurance companies do not pay!

      Posted by Thomas Boutaugh on 3/21/2020 11:26 AM

    • As a therapist if your not providing "essential services", then you can't ever bill for your therapy, Pandemic or not. Close your business yourself! You don't need the apta to do that. My Clinic provides post op therapy and chronic pain management for all ages and we will continue to take care of those in need in our community. We are following CDC guidelines, pre screening patient's, sterilizing before and after each patient and keeping hands off and distance as best is possible. What do you expect the apta to do? Make decisions for you?!? Your supposed to be the medical professionals, act like it or get out of our field!

      Posted by Ed Handl on 3/21/2020 11:33 AM

    • Let's work together and advocate for ourselves. As mentioned in the recent APTA telehealth recording, "we need to encourage members of congress to include the Connect for Health Act which waives restrictions on telehealth coverage under Medicare in any future Coronavirus legislative package." If your state practice act doesn't include telehealth, please write to your state chapter. See below for information for template letters: From http://www.apta.org/Telehealth/ see template letters under News and Updates heading, look at March 20, 2020 date "APTA has developed two template letters to use in advocating to states — your governor, state representatives, and Medicaid office director — for coverage by private payers and Medicaid of telehealth furnished by PTs and PTAs to ensure that patients continue to have access to the rehabilitative care they need amid the COVID-19 pandemic. One letter is for individual PTs and PTAs; the other letter is for state chapters. Instructions are included at the top of each letter."

      Posted by Jane on 3/21/2020 11:35 AM

    • My 91 year old father has been going to PT every day at the independent senior facility where he lives. I’m appalled that this is allowed!! He could very well get sick from his physical therapist and die! They should close in order to protect all of us. In my opinion, this is putting money over lives.

      Posted by Debbie Anderson on 3/21/2020 11:39 AM

    • Close

      Posted by Stephanie on 3/21/2020 2:17 PM

    • I cannot abide by the standards set forth by the CDC for COVID-19. I am in an incredibly busy outpatient clinic and it is nearly impossible to stay 6 feet away from and to keep things clean. The fact that APTA is not closing clinics is pure greed. Most of our patients are NOT receiving essential healthcare. This is ridiculous. If HOSPITALS are closing to all non essential patients, then outpatient clinics should as well. All businesses are taking a hit. We can too.

      Posted by Allison on 3/21/2020 2:42 PM

    • I’m a 65-year-old PT pt (5 wks post-shoulder replacement, starting 3rd wk of PT). A debate rages in my head: I know I won’t fully recover w/out PT, but is it “essential” under the circumstances? Common sense tells me no—how important is recovery if I’m dead (and/or infect someone else)? But my clinic is open, it’s not crowded because only a few patients are scheduled at once, there’s hand sanitizer all over the place, etc.—so it *should* be safe to be there, right? I can do all of my exercises at home, but what if not having manual therapy at this point means I’ll never regain ROM, strength, etc, or be pain-free? But I’m leaving the house, and true social distancing is impossible, and I’m touching pulleys that haven’t been disinfected ... and so on. My inclination (esp after reading comments here) is to suspend treatment for the duration. This would be so much easier (and less stressful) if the clinic closed and the decision was made by the pros instead of a layman.

      Posted by Carol on 3/21/2020 4:10 PM

    • It appears some of the discussion here is wrapped around the differences between physical therapy services being essential or skilled. The simplest way to solve this component of the discussion is by offering a simple definition of ‘essential’ from Mirriam-Webster: of the utmost importance. With this in mind, it is a small step to see that many physical therapy services, although skilled and important for recovery, rehabilitation, and well being are nonetheless not essential. I am proud of my profession and understand its importance. But in many circumstances it is not of utmost importance. It is difficult for physical therapists to make the decision about delivering services in this type of crisis because our profession is not independent—we are yoked to physicians and employers.

      Posted by Steve on 3/21/2020 5:28 PM

    • Outpatient physical therapy is NOT essential and we are placing our patients at risk by not closing these settings now! Please provide the clear direction needed at this time and back the clinicians who have faith in the APTA. Delay costs lives!

      Posted by Karen on 3/21/2020 5:43 PM

    • It’s is atrocious and malpractice to keep out patient PT clinics open. we are absolutely non essential. you are encouraging the the spread of their virus to our patients, clinicians, and their families.

      Posted by Joe on 3/21/2020 7:13 PM

    • Please, PLEASE close outpatient physical therapy offices. It feels incredibly unethical taking call after call in which I alternate cancelling an appointment because a patient either has tested positive for COVID-19 or has been directly exposed to it and we know they were in the clinic within the last 5 days, then talking the next patient into keeping their non-urgent appointment because we have been told to stay open and we need patients coming in to make money. This is wrong. We are putting so many people at risk every single day that we are open, and employees cannot receive financial assistance if they choose to stay home while the clinic is open. Please be responsible and do the right thing.

      Posted by Annabelle on 3/21/2020 9:39 PM

    • Physical therapy is not just manual therapy. While it does have its place, getting our patients to move correctly is important. If done responsibly, many patients can benefit from outpatient clinics remaining open. We need to use common sense principles on keeping things clean, spacing out appointments and patients in the clinic, educating our patients to not come in if they feel sick and using our clinical judgement. While this calls for a non-traditional approach, these are non-traditional times. I for one support the idea that physically therapy is essential. There is just as much of a risk in going to the grocery store if not more because things are less sanitary and 10x more people pass through the grocery store everyday. Do you think they disinfect everything multiple times an hour? Until 1 case is proven to be contracted from a PT clinic I support keeping responsible clinics open.

      Posted by Mo Frye on 3/21/2020 11:45 PM

    • Please do not dismiss the concerns stated in all the comments above. I could repeat and stress everything that’s already been said but I’ll try to keep it short. Out patient is non essential! If the spread continues, we are at risk- patients are at risk- communities are at risk. Isn’t it our ethical duty to have the patients best interest in mind? Please do not let us down, as many employers have have done so already. True character is shown in times of crisis... Sincerely, a compassionate and caring PTA who just wants what’s best for everyone.

      Posted by Jessica on 3/21/2020 11:58 PM

    • All outpatient clinics should be closed immediately. You are putting so many others at risk. It is unethical.

      Posted by Samantha Peterson on 3/22/2020 12:39 AM

    • For the sake of covid-19 patients, all involved, and healthcare staff who are dealing with shortage of supplies and PROTECTIVE equipment and trying to prevent more infections, PLEASE CALL FOR CLOSURES OF PT OFFICES/FACILITIES NOW!!! US is over 20,000 cases and rising. Keeping PT open is in most cases not essential or necessary or worth the risk of infecting of patients or staff. LISTEN TO US PLEASE!

      Posted by Jaya on 3/22/2020 12:55 AM

    • WHY are PT offices not closed? These therapists take patient after patient, oftentimes touching them, physical contact, breathing with NO safe distance! This is absolutely CRAZY to me! Maybe the governor has never had any type of physical therapy, so it's possible she doesn't know the complete lack of safe distance, however, someone on her staff must know and can fill her in. Clients can do the exercises that they've been shown - therapists can help guide them via skype, google teams, etc. THIS IS ONLY MAKING THIS PANDEMIC SPREAD! PT offices are not practicing safe distance - they really are not. I've witnessed it and I have a friend that's a PT and she says it's impossible!

      Posted by sandra morris on 3/22/2020 7:21 AM

    • I also believe more guidance is needed from APTA regarding outpatient clinics. I don’t think a blanket closure of all clinics is the right answer because post op patients need to be seen. However, risks outweigh the benefits in a lot of cases for our patients. Unfortunately, many companies will continue to operate business as usual because they are allowed to. Sometimes this means seeing 2-3 patients an hour with several employees working all in the same clinic. Employees and patients are being pressured into a situation that may not be safe. I think PT is a very valuable healthcare service, but let’s face it, outpatient PT, is not saving your life. APTA needs to provide guidance or at least strongly recommend outpatient clinics reduce staff and patients to urgent cases only. “Use best judgement” just doesn’t cut it. Many clinics have finances as top priority and won’t make these decisions unless directed to. I don’t want anyone to go out of business, but this is an unprecedented time and as healthcare workers we need to do the right thing for the future of our profession. I fear when this is over our profession will be seen as irresponsible and money driven.

      Posted by Anonymous on 3/22/2020 8:31 AM

    • Why can’t we close out patient facilities, we don’t need to be using supplies for non essential visits for example PT or skin checks or annuals etc please close NYC out patient clinics non essential we are just spreading and being in close contact with each other.

      Posted by Jay on 3/22/2020 11:20 AM

    • Physical Therapy Clinics should be mandated to close and operate via telehealth from home. As many of these patients have visited a doctor's office or a hospital, or are elderly or immunocompromised, it is unrealistic to keep up with the demands and use supplies (such as gloves, masks and disinfectants) that others in nursing homes, hospitals, and front line staff could be using. Please mandate the closure of all physical therapy clinics.

      Posted by Anonymous on 3/22/2020 12:08 PM

    • As an outpatient physical therapist, I struggle with the dilemma of unethically treating patients and risking the spread of this pandemic versus being fired if I choose to stay home. Why haven’t they closed the clinics? My boss has stated will not close our outpatient facility unless forced to. TIME TO CLOSE.

      Posted by Anonymous on 3/22/2020 12:09 PM

    • Apta let’s switch for a day. I will sit at home behind a computer, and you can be face to face with patients during a virus outbreak. Sound good? Mandate outpatient facilities close!!! We are supposed to represent health decision making. The one’s making the big bucks and decision making are safe, but the employees and their loved ones are at risk

      Posted by James Michael on 3/22/2020 1:36 PM

    • It's an awful feeling when you feel ethically wrong about going into work tomorrow. APTA needs to help us PTs out, because our companies are not.

      Posted by Georgia on 3/22/2020 2:51 PM

    • As a Physical Therapist I have felt conflicted continuing going into work in nyc as the corona virus only worsens. I am afraid patients are staff are at risk and am upset there is no direction/guidance from the APTA. We are not essential at this critical time, I believe only front line health care workers should be considered “essential.” Please give us some guidance and an affirmative decision APTA.

      Posted by Anonymous on 3/22/2020 3:17 PM

    • Why is there no understanding of the context of this situation in some of these comments? Of course under normal circumstances PT is important and yes "essential" to full recovery. But during a pandemic that is killing people the definition of essential changes and I would define it more in terms of "live saving". I do believe that having someone range your shoulder post op is critical for your function long term. BUT if right now (temporarily, during a crisis!) there is a risk you will die getting manual I think it is no longer essential in the same way. We are not talking suspending PT forever or what it always means, and while we are important and skilled we do not save lives and I am sad to be forced into a choice to put them at risk or lose my job long term.

      Posted by anon because my company would rather threaten lay on 3/22/2020 4:13 PM

    • Home health tgerapusts are at a high risk for exposure and spread of covid19. Majority are independent contractors responsible for providing their equiptment which includes PPES which are in a shortage. Unclear guidelines further complicate this as PPEs to be used for suspected / confirmed cases. Currently were essential workers but both comprising pt therapist family and others health given the above. Any input greatly appreciated

      Posted by Renee on 3/22/2020 4:23 PM

    • I am a patient and the clinic I go to in GV doesn't even have any PPE or even a thermometer to take temperatures on patients or staff. By not mandating outpatient PT clinics to close you are putting so many people at risk. I value therapists so much, but they are not providing a vital service that needs to be open during a pandemic. I have cancelled all my appointments in fear of being infected. One of the therapist was coughing and not even covering their mouth. It's like they don't even have any training on what they should be doing. Most patients infected with this virus haven't been showing all the symptoms until it's too late. It is important all physical therapists understand that they shouldn't be open during these times, not outpatient, or inpatient. The risk is too high! PLEASE listen to all these messages. IT IS NOT SAFE!!!!!

      Posted by Lyndsay on 3/22/2020 5:30 PM

    • Please just do us all the service now and close outpatient clinics. Our physical and mental health depend on it. So many of us are told we can not come if we don’t feel comfortable coming to work but know that we may not have a job if we do so. Also, with our clinics still remaining open, some of us feel an obligation to come and treat the patients who still decide to come. Not one person I work with, nor patient, can believe outpatient PT clinics are still open and operating.

      Posted by Amelia on 3/22/2020 7:39 PM

    • Nice commentary here - 1) Majority of comments are people crying about not getting time off work. 2) Others are basically saying physical therapy is non-essential (mind boggling for a clinician to believe this) And 3) are comments asking for the APTA to close down facilities...which is actually beyond their scope and would probably result in massive legal action. This responsibility could only be carried out by state board and other government agencies.

      Posted by John on 3/22/2020 7:51 PM

    • I don't know about other out patient offices but my out outpatient office is short staffed meaning there is no time to properly clean or wipe everything down after everyone else touches it. We don't have a person that cleans our office so the staff does it as much as possible but I know for a fact we are not doing it as we should. We are short on PPE equipment. None of us have even used any PPE equipment not because we have very little of it but because I guess they feel they don't need to. Our therapists aren't even using gloves and we have plenty of them. They are not washing their hands after seeing every patient. It's so irreaponsible on many many levels. Our office is very small with very close quarters. It is absolutely impossible for staff to stay a safe distance away from each other or patients. I do absolutely believe we are posing more of a risk than essential services. Most of our patients should have been discharged a long time ago but due to patient visit goals and new patient goals a month our therapists are encouraged to keep the patients as long as they possibly can. They dont use their best judgement and are only worried about profit. We are still going to assisted living facilities and seeing patients and potentionally exposing them. A patient reached out and told us they may have been exposed. The staff has been made aware yet we still continue to operate and expose older patients. No one at our office has been tested and after everyone knowing this information we are still told to continue and "business as usual". I am outraged and absolutely disgusted. After whitnessing this it has me strongly considering a different profession.

      Posted by Annonymous on 3/22/2020 8:39 PM

    • this has been appalling. i specifically work with an immunocompromised population and we have not closed. it has been totally unethical to treat these patients, especially after taking public transport to work. we cannot stand up to our companies without the APTA backing us!! what do we pay our membership dues for!!!

      Posted by anon on 3/22/2020 10:12 PM

    • Why is an orthopedic office essential? We are 2 feet from our patients when we have to check them out. No protection to us at all. All surgeries have been stopped so why are we open

      Posted by Mary baker on 3/22/2020 10:43 PM

    • I understand the need for closure. And yet we need to realize this virus will be around for months to come. They say the peak will come in August. That is impossible for any business or employee to wait out. Next to that, I work in home health with the most severely if the severely disabled. Yes, this virus would be huge risk for them. But not receiving PT 1-2/week is a huge risk too. A two week break because of vacation already creates significant regress in these clients. Let alone if I would skip 2-3 or more months. These people will then not die from COVID-19, but from the severity of their contractures, the restricted breathing, their scoliosis compressing essential organs, increase in pressure sores. And they recommend to do tele-PT..... Yeah sure?!?! Any suggestions for this special population????

      Posted by Marco on 3/23/2020 1:12 AM

    • Why are vet clinics not following the proper mandate of 2+ meter social distancing in their offices? Also no protection offered to front end staff that has to deal directly with customers, yes doors are locked but still have to receive dogs/take food to vehicles for customers. No gloves etc. offered to frt. end staff this is very disturbing.

      Posted by Deb on 3/23/2020 11:01 AM

    • Asking for APTA to close sites is outside of their scope of authority, and professionally irresponsible for clinicians to even ask for. As professionals, we make the decisions for the best interest of our patients, not the APTA. The focus needs to be on clinicians and clinic owners appropriately screening and triage of their own clients. Some clients can wait a week or two and have no ill effects from the delay, and should be placed on hold to decompress your clinic. However, if you have a client who could face potential permanent harm from lack of treatment, it is unethical to withhold that treatment when appropriate precautions are available. If ALL of the care you are providing is non-essential, I would suggest you have more problems than just Covid and should probably consider a new career. Professionally minded therapists should be taking steps to provide the treatment that is essential, and steps to minimize the risk to others when the treatment is less time sensitive. If you are working for a company that is acting unethically, then it is your own fault. Leave the company. There is still a national shortage of therapists and plenty of ethically operating clinics and companies out there who would love to hire you. We need to act as the professionals we are and stop asking APTA to babysit and make the decisions for us. We have the tools to make the appropriate changes to ensure that people who need the therapy can continue to receive it, and those that don't can wait or be treated in non-traditional measures. In summary, stop whining about what APTA should do and start doing what is right for your patients.

      Posted by Mike on 3/23/2020 12:13 PM

    • PT is not life sustaining. It improves life quality but we are not the front line of defense here. When more PPE becomes available, it needs to go to our TRUE front line team of doctors, nurses and CNAs. We postpone the ability to flatten the curve if we continue working- outpatient, inpatient and home health. Home exercise programs and restorative nursing programs are available and should be utilized in this circumstance.

      Posted by Betty Sue on 3/23/2020 1:20 PM

    • IMO, the “professionals” clamoring for shutdown of PT clinics should get the hell out of the profession. Laziness and cowardice are not professional qualities. The infection control procedures are no different than they ever have been. Risk of infection is part of our job. Patient abandonment is not. TB, hepatitis, c-diff - I would rather have Corona than any of those, and we have not shut down clinics because of them. The shutdown of our country is utterly ridiculous.

      Posted by Troy Thomas on 3/23/2020 2:17 PM

    • I am somewhat comforted in seeing that others are also conflicted about going to work, especially in outpatient ortho settings. I am a student graduating this May. My final clinical is in an outpatient ortho site in a very densely populated region. As much as I want to progress in my skills and learn as much as I can, outpatient clinics remaining open is only putting our patients and our communities at risk. As an emerging clinician, I ask that the APTA demonstrates the integrity they ask of their members by taking a clear stance on the non-essential nature of our profession given the current situation.

      Posted by K on 3/23/2020 3:52 PM

    • We are a part of the nations of the world. This virus has already caused the death of thousands of people and has cost the lives of a number of healthcare front line responders. Those on the front line do not include physical therapists. Yes, we provide care that allows a person to have better, functional abilities, but only in specific instances are we providing care that is saving someone’s life. The word essential in the current state of affairs would be those services that would assist in keeping us alive – our food, our communication and medical treatment that is required to assist us with emergencies or with diseases that need immediate/ongoing attention primarily in inpatient hospital settings, SNFs and home health in some cases. By continuing to work in outpatient face to face settings you are indicating that what you do is so vital to someone’s health that it is worth the risk of acquiring Covid-19. You are ok with the fact that you might cause a patient their life or the life of their family and possibly your family. It should not be a difficult decision. What makes it difficult is that it is tied into our paycheck. The needs of the many (our society) outweigh the needs of the few (our current patients). We owe it to our front-line responders to lessen the load that they have to carry. Our society depends on us to do our part and make the right decision concerning keeping outpatient face to face clinics open.

      Posted by Alice on 3/23/2020 5:11 PM

    • Pain specialists are closing doors and telling patients to go to ER for meds, physical therapy required despite risks to patients and clinicians, alike. The most vulnerable populations, many depending upon social safety nets...has anyone begun to wonder whether those at the top might find it financially advantageous to reduce the roster enrollment through this kind of negligence? It's appalling.

      Posted by Renny Black on 3/23/2020 6:55 PM

    • So its yall who's spreading the virus with the elderly

      Posted by Brainless on 3/23/2020 9:36 PM

    • We NEED the APTA to support us now more than ever! We are compromising the safety of our patients and ourselves because our employers are threatening layoffs and afraid of bankruptcy.... SHUT IT DOWN!

      Posted by Michelle on 3/23/2020 10:24 PM

    • I agree that outpatient PT should not be considered and essential service, and clinics should be closed to ensure both our safety and our patients safety. I have a 4 month old and each time I’m at work, I have mommy guilt with potentially exposing myself as well as her to this. I feel like we can do our part and quarantine for 14 days like the rest of the world and do our part to help reduce the spread of this virus.

      Posted by Jana on 3/24/2020 12:40 AM

    • As PTs and PTAs we have taken an oath to do no harm. Keeping outpatient PT facilities open is most certainly doing harm- if APTA does not mandate closure of outpatient facilities nobody will- and clinic personal and owners are not choosing to close when the recommendations and rapidly increasing orders to stay at home apply to our patients and to us. Outpatient rehab falls into a healthcare Grey area that patients and political leaders do not understand and will not act within. It is up to us to act as providers of healthcare (gut check: what does “healthcare provider” mean today?) it is a duty not a choice at this point. PT is non essential at this time and we must stop direct patient care TODAY.

      Posted by Annie on 3/24/2020 1:04 AM

    • WOW APTA. Can’t you just open your mouth and answer one question. Is output PT in all settings essential. If there was not a definitive answer up to this point maybe now is the time to make a definitive authority decision. Can you not see the frustration and concern this flippant silence on your part is causing.

      Posted by Jeanne on 3/24/2020 8:00 AM

    • This is exactly why the country is the way it is. Money. That's all you caring about and exactly why I never joined the APTA. Disgusting display of leadership as usual.

      Posted by Erin Smith on 3/24/2020 9:21 AM

    • I am a mother of a son that is a PTA in Tennessee and is being required to work in a physical therapy facility because it is "essential" health care!?!?! Really?? Not only are they open but no protection is supplied to the workers. None is supplied to the patients either (to my knowledge). I understand that this is a problem with most physical therapy workers and they are very upset about it. The APTA needs to make a statement that during this pandemic the physical therapy is not considered essential. Not doing so could be considered negligence by the APTA and indirectly contributing to illness or deaths because it won't take a stand and do the right thing. Annie, in the above post, said it all very well.

      Posted by A Gunter on 3/24/2020 11:44 AM

    • Shut it down! It is way beyond time to do so. You are contributing to deaths at this point. We are not essential in a time such as this. Hear our voices loud and clear before more innocent people die. If any patients are essential then gloves and gowns at a minimum should be provided and demanded to be worn to protect everyone. Currently we are spreading this virus like crazy without any PPE. It will be seen very shortly all of the damage we have done.

      Posted by NP on 3/24/2020 12:14 PM

    • PT is not essential during this pandemic. A lot of exercises can be done at home over telehealth. There are tons of greedy outpt physical therapy clinics still trying to push numbers during this pandemic at the expense of their staff and patients. They refuse to be in the negative which is ridiculous since the whole economy is suffering right now. Get a reality check or there will be lawsuits.

      Posted by Michelle on 3/24/2020 3:00 PM

    • I agree with all comments here, we need leadership at this time. Our PT office management looks to leaders in our profession for what to do in this situation. If they are never pressured to close, they can rest easy in assuring the public that they “followed all guidelines” but the guidelines are way too lenient for PT offices. Is is debatable I guess but I would say that 100% of our cases are not urgent and can be managed with a home exercise program for about 2 weeks. We need to come out of this epidemic on top by not being the ones who contribute to the further spread of the illness. I wish that our profession could set a strong standard of putting patients and staff above profits. Please order outpatient clinics to close!

      Posted by Jannick on 3/25/2020 8:17 AM

    • I own a very small outpatient PT practice. I chose to shut it down. 90% of my patients are elderly and I just can not put their health at risk. Aside from having a shortage of PPE, who knows if I or my staff could be assymptomatic carriers? We might be able to handle the sickness well but I know my patients won't be. And I also don't want to take the chance of bringing something home to my family. I don't know where my next mortgage payment will come from, but it's a no brainer to put everyone's safety first.

      Posted by RPS on 3/25/2020 10:41 AM

    • I think that we all understand the concern with the COVID-19 pandemic currently in this country. However, it is not the responsibility of the APTA to provide the directive most of you are looking for. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and CISA has decided that PT's and PTA's provide an essential service to the communities they serve. In the long run, this is a positive statement of our services and profession. This provides us credibility with Medicare and several other payors. However, in the short term it provides the same anxiety that all other medical offices are going through. The receptionist or medical assistant at an orthopedic, pain management or ENT office wants to know why they are at work? But, if your family is at home and someone falls off a step or has chronic pain, you want to take them to your medical provider? They can just call in a prescription and do televisits because they don't feel essential. They can refer you to the ER because they prefer to be closed and abandon their patients, but they are not. They are open for the needs of their patients and for the betterment of the community they serve. Some of you sound as though you would prefer to be seen as a glorified fitness trainer or massage therapist, rather than medical providers. I hear that some of you feel that your offices are open for the money. Then tell your employer that you will not work and stay home. Oh yeah, if you do that you don't get paid, so I guess you are the ones working for the money. If money should not be more important than your safety to your employer, than it should not be for you either. Put your money where your mouth is and stay home, don't get exposed and don't get paid. This is what you are asking your employer to do. In addition to regular expenses for their family, they still have to pay all the expenses for the business, which do not stop just because of this crisis. In addition, there are actually staff members who want to work and understand the profession they chose. I know most of you are afraid, we all are. However, this is what we all chose and this is when we are being asked to show courage of that choice. Take the precautions you have been asked to take! Screen patients as directed, no one should be in waiting. rooms, clean down all treatment rooms and equipment after each use and wash your hands and don't touch your face. Let's not point fingers at the APTA and if someone has ideas that can help, let us all know. Some of our providers are using masks and gloves as it makes them feel better. We are following ways to use the masks for as long as possible. We have some patients on telehealth and other that prefer to come in. We have staff that need their jobs and are working for them. If you owners are like us you are not making any money at this time. But, we are providing care and hours to employees who need us. Good luck to us all

      Posted by Monica on 3/25/2020 12:17 PM

    • Wow...APTA....leadership=0

      Posted by Kris H on 3/25/2020 1:26 PM

    • After practicing for almost 34 years I can definitely attest that the VAST majority of clients in your average outpatient clinic are non essential cases. Even with the post surgical patients we see they are usually from an elective surgery which have been canceled or from an athletic injury for which competitive events have also been canceled. Inpatient settings are completely different since you may be the only one teaching safe and effective methods to transfer out of a bed or commode or to safely ambulate after an urgent surgery or traumatic injury. With tele-health and good home exercise training, outpatient visits are not essential and have too many variables that can put others at risk at this time.

      Posted by Xavier on 3/25/2020 1:28 PM

    • My daughter is a PT, and at this time the owners of her company are keeping their clinics open. My husband has had both knees replaced, and let me tell you, the only reason is had such great success with them is due to a wonderful PT who pushed him to his limits. I'm on the fence with the decision, as PT is so vital with some surgeries. God bless the USA and all of those making decisions for our Country.

      Posted by Karen on 3/25/2020 1:28 PM

    • Hey APTA, are you doing anything about this, stop just talking about telehealth, maybe not all of us are only worried about the financial aspects of this and actually care about lives, family and people..... you know human stuff. Wake up we are all pissed off at you and membership will go to nothing when it is deemed that you did not do the right thing during this TEMPORARY CRISIS, HELP US AND OUR PATIENTS AND HOLD OUTPATIENT PT FOR A MONTH , SLOW THE SPREAD, SAVE SOME LIVES WHILE SAVING FACE OF THE ASSOCIATION AT THE SAME TIME WAKE UP!!!!!!!!!

      Posted by Very Angry on 3/25/2020 3:16 PM

    • Gotta love all the PT clinic owners in here like troy thomas with the only care in the world focused on the pocket book - calling the concerned lazy, sorry Troy some clinicians dont put money in front of peoples lives, hopefully people in your clinic will one day realize that you are putting money over their safety, ignoring your oath, not caring for their loved ones, putting money even in front of your loved ones, good luck sleeping on that in the future. Maybe you guys should delete your comments in fear of the future public shame, I am not very religious but could putting money over peoples safety be considered an evil deed? How many people are coming in for non essential appointments, how many are post op right now really with no elective surgeries occurring? PT clinics are taking advantage of a grey area for money....period. This will be spreading a lot over the next month, will we decrease the spread or make a bunch of people sick and die for non essential appointments.... clinic owner ? ............APTA? Step up and stop putting these clinicians and patients at risk, the guidelines for essential appointments only are not being enforced at all. People are using PT clinics as gyms come on.

      Posted by JOhn on 3/25/2020 3:35 PM

    • Troy Thomas (obvious clinic owner willing to risk others for money) and i quote - "TB, hepatitis, c-diff - I would rather have Corona than any of those, and we have not shut down clinics because of them." Notice the use of and placement of the word "I". Clearly only cares about himself cause HE would rather get it and be fine, everybody else can get sick or die in the name of his pocketbook. Ill be sure to remember your name, hopefully for your sake that is a pseudonym.

      Posted by another pawn in the game on 3/25/2020 3:51 PM

    • I see that most people are only concerned about outpatient settings.. what about Nursing homes? We cannot maintain 6ft apart. Older patients have higher risk for getting coronavirus and higher death rate. We could save a lot of PPE by mandating therapists non-essential

      Posted by Rachelle on 3/25/2020 6:39 PM

    • If outpatient PT must continue during this pandemic, therapists must demand better PPE to protect themselves. APTA should be demanding that employers step up and protect their employees and patients.

      Posted by John on 3/26/2020 7:13 AM

    • Lost my job (temporarily?) for speaking out against this very issue. Clearly I’m not alone. The argument that outpatient PT clinics should remain open to offload doctors is a complete joke. Digital care is the only option regardless of profit. Have some common sense and human decency and do the right thing. Endangering people, therapists, families, and communities for money. Pathetic. How do supposedly educated people get to this point? Proud of all the ethical people out there who did their part in temporarily closing down and providing digital care to those that truly need it. Once the initial wave passes we could confidently re open and know that we’re not key contributors to the medical system being flooded.

      Posted by Ben on 3/26/2020 12:15 PM

    • I also work in an outpatient therapy clinic and find it irresponsible to continue to be open for business, under the "essential" services category. As long as we are open, patients will continue to attend therapy - multiple times per week! They are high risk with impaired health, but many of them don't realize the seriousness of the situation. PT is a wonderful service, but it is not keeping anyone alive. We need our governing body - the APTA, among others - to look out for it's members and issue a statement that outpatient clinics should be closed.

      Posted by Kris on 3/26/2020 4:24 PM

    • I work in SNF. The pts are isolated in their rooms. We are one on one with the door shut up to 68 minutes. We are up close and personal! The rehab companies are pushing max minutes! New admits from hospitals that have been exposed. The 3 day hospital rule has been raised. More pts more revenue at our lives expense! It needs to stop! No surgeries are being performed right now. Protect us and our patients. Some companies have you go to more than one bldg a day! This is irresponsible! Step up!

      Posted by Betty on 3/26/2020 8:40 PM

    • PLEASE SHARE YOUR CONCERNS WITH THE GOVERNOR!!! SHUT Physical Therapy down!!! Constituent Affairs Help Line: Phone: 217-782-0244 Springfield Office of the Governor 207 State House Springfield, IL 62706 Phone: 217-782-6830 or 217-782-6831 Chicago Office of the Governor James R. Thompson Center 100 W. Randolph, 16-100 Chicago, IL 60601 Phone: 312-814-2121

      Posted by Concerned on 3/27/2020 10:30 AM

    • I work at a SNF. Therapy in general is essential and should continue to be provided throughout this crisis. We as healthcare providers knew the risks or hazards that come with the territory when we signed up for this job. We have trained for years on infections control. We can not stop providing the care that our patients need when they are the most vulnerable. We are some of the most skilled and knowledgeable members of the interdisciplinary healthcare team. Now is the time to demonstrate those skills and provide the care that our patient truly require.

      Posted by James on 3/27/2020 12:05 PM

    • I am suffering from the COV-19 I have 2 kids 14 and 9 I have no food left I get phone numbers to revert me and my family from getting help from SNAP I don’t get my snaps unti Aril 7 what do o tell my 2 kids. This is not America it’s hell.

      Posted by John ciccarelli on 3/27/2020 2:51 PM

    • Please close all OP PT Clinics especially in NYC. The way they are treating the admins and their health is disgusting. I got sick, doctor didn’t do a COVID test. I was told to wait 7 days then return, yet my jobs concern is how to manage while I am gone. We have 4 patients who come in and are operating normal hours. No PPE for anyone. But the uppers get to stay home, healthy. They give the PTs the option to work from home, but we are forced to work in office no matter what. Do what’s right!

      Posted by Help Us on 3/27/2020 5:31 PM

    • I work in acute care and all our staff have concerns. We are evaluating patients that 2 or 3 days later are being moved to quarantine unit to r/o covid 19. Initially no isolation precautions when evaluated. The PT may have then been in contact with 20 or 30 additional patients over the next 2 days and the assistant another 20 or 30 patients. My real concern is that we are not identifying these patients at point of entry and we are then potentially exposing many other patients as we are " up close and personal" . We do not yet have rapid test available and ppe is limited and we are not able to use an n95 with face/ eye shield as basic precaution with all patients. I fear we are likely to inadvertantly become mode of transmission among patients we are seeing.

      Posted by Janet Cross on 3/27/2020 6:23 PM

    • I am a pt patient and I do agree that Outpatient PT clinics are also helping in spreading virus. They sees 50-60 patients a day. They don’t maintain distance well not possible for them. Sorry to say out patient clinics should be closed at this emergency situation. These places jeopardizing the lives. They should donate there PPE to local hospitals where medical professionals are facing the shortage.

      Posted by Any on 3/27/2020 10:57 PM

    • APTA, shame on you.

      Posted by Jane on 3/28/2020 2:40 AM

    • I work as an aide in an outpatient clinic and it started furloughing people because it is not meeting the number of patients needed to cover the hours of everyone. The thing is now for those therapists furloughed, their patients were moved to other therapist’s schedule. And I will be working alone as aide, aiding 4 therapists who had 12-15 people each. Im putting my life at risk and my baby as well cause Im pregnant and definitely we will be more than 10 people at a time. Outpatients are very non-essential as they can do their exercises at home, the mere fact that PTs and patients are exposed is already UNETHICAL and IRRESPONSIBLE. You should close down the clinics and not just in discretion cause corporate for sure will make these clinics open because they don’t care about the risk rather they care about numbers and money. Close it as your law. Prove something at least APTA.

      Posted by Regine on 3/28/2020 3:40 AM

    • Unfortunately outpatient practices are not choosing to close because they are allowed to be open. Yes essential services, but life/spread of pandemic is MORE urgent. Please make your statement NOW and require OP PT to close in affected states.

      Posted by Anonymous on 3/28/2020 12:40 PM

    • I have worked most of my career in outpatient clinics. Yes, it is an important part of healthcare but very narcissistic to think that it is absolutely essential. Post ops, home program. Don’t have therapists treating 2 to 3 patients at once, talk about spreading the virus, no matter how good you are at cleaning. Therapists wearing masks and gloves are taking PPE from medical workers that are doing essential work. Nurses and doctors are wearing a mask a week due to not enough PPE. A therapist wearing PPE to treat lateral epicondylitis is absolutely unethical!!

      Posted by Holly on 3/28/2020 12:45 PM

    • What the heck is wrong with you APTA? WOW, your utter lack of concern and callous attitude for our progression is just horrifying. I am a corporate outpatient PT, my office will NOT be closed because our governor lumped us into "essential." However, we are clearly not, I am not seeing anyone who currently needs my services to stay alive. The patients that needed me the most wisely stopped coming weeks ago. Why can't you defend us?? I will tell you why...the almighty dollar. People should be staying in, instead they think it's Ok to still come to outpatient PT because it's "essential." We are not "flattening the curve." This is a pandemic for gods sake do something, do what is right. Define essential (acute/emergent care only, and WITH PPE). STOP making excuses by saying use your professional judgement. We need you to take action to protect us, I have to go to work unless I am classified as non essential, and then I can at least collect unemployment benefits. otherwise I am going against my employer's wishes. I know that there are thousands of us out there in the same boat. YOU ARE FAILING US APTA. I hope every outpatient member stops supporting you when this is over and they see you for what you are. We need to take a stand and now is the time. To my fellow outpatient PT's that are reading this, I urge you to call you local government officials as another person had pointed out the comment above. Clearly the APTA will do nothing, Anyone saying we are essential is probably a corporate PT representative working from their home, or they need their head and ethics reexamined!

      Posted by Nick G on 3/28/2020 2:45 PM

    • Dear APTA. Hopefully you are reading these comments, and you are finally seeing the writing on the wall. Seriously, it is absolutely disgusting that you are not making a clear statement and taking a stand for outpatient physical therapy, and all physical therapists in general. You should be ashamed. We took an oath to do no harm and yet here we are letting people come to PT because it has been deemed essential. Essential is life sustaining necessity. I can tell you right now the only patients coming into my clinic are doing so because they are bored being stuck at home or their gym is closed, they are not taking the danger of this situation serious, we are adding to the problem, not providing or helping with the solution by allowing this behavior to continue. These patients are not S/P, they are not in acute pain where they can't function. Private practices have closed to protect their patients and staff. Corporate PT is open for business, this is not what we are supposed to be doing to protect the population we serve, this is clearly for the money. It's wrong and unethical! And the APTA does nothing because they are also all about the money as well, they lack the conviction to stand up for our profession. We need PPE as a mandate through OSHA if we are to be treating patients. You can't be 6 ft away from a patient in PT. We look desperate to be recognized as "essential" when in fact other medical professionals think it's absurd we are being put in harms way and endangering our patients. Get it together APTA, I urge all current members to STOP SUPPORTING THE APTA. Instead call you local government officials and OSHA and demand change. We need to clearly define and classify exactly what parts of our profession actually fall into the "essential" category (critical and acute care), and those PT's MUST have PPE. Only the APTA currently has the ability to do so and we know where they stand (heads in the sand.) The time is now and we need to make a stand!

      Posted by Debbie on 3/29/2020 11:10 AM

    • What a joke APTA. Make a stand and contact state government and make outpatient PT non-essential. Is LBP a life or death situation? Is shoulder pain a life or death situation? Again what a joke!

      Posted by Jonathan Felsen on 3/29/2020 11:21 AM

    • I am a PT in an SNF. I feel it is so unethical for us to be there. We are not taking skilled admits so they are literally recycling LTC patients. How is this ethical? But I’m stuck because I can’t afford to lose my job. I’m the sole provider for my family. My husband has an increase of getting Covid if exposed. We need support and guidance.

      Posted by Anonymous on 3/29/2020 1:32 PM

    • Shame on you APTA for your unacceptable recommendations and all the Ortho Out Pt facilities staying open in NY. The posts say it all! There’s not one post arguing for the opposite stance on this issue. As we all know PTs are highly educated and motivated individuals and would love to argue that their skills are needed at this time. It’s amazing how not one on this platform believes they won’t contribute to the spread the virus. I’ve never seen that happen at any PT based educational discussion . Sad that we are forced to stay active when it can and will cause harm to our communities . Profits and volume are paramount in the normal out patient PT business model and all professional business owners would agree, however social distancing and conservation of all PPE for acute care health professionals is paramount NOW during a this Pandemic. The APTA will not recover their reputation after this poor show of leadership.

      Posted by Manual PT LI NY on 3/29/2020 2:59 PM

    • I currently work in SNF where therapy is essential for these residents. We all need to be safe. I do agree that out patient at this time should be closed. But SNF these residents are very vulnerable we must provide quality care or we will fail them. They look forward to therapy.

      Posted by Kim fern. on 3/29/2020 3:20 PM

    • Truly shocked and appalled how the APTA has handled this situation.

      Posted by ANON on 3/29/2020 8:50 PM

    • NJ State Board of Physical Therapy. Please email them and tell them outpatient PT in NJ is putting patients and therapists at risk. Out service is not essential during this crisis. It's unethical to think otherwise. physicaltherapy@dca.lps.state.nj.us

      Posted by New Jersey on 3/30/2020 1:33 AM

    • Nj board is not taking calls. This is so ridiculous. These PT clinic owners are jeopardizing the safety of there workers and patients.

      Posted by annoymous on 3/30/2020 11:40 AM

    • I can’t believe tons of these comments. I had hip surgery 4 weeks ago, have been out of PT the entire time except 2 sessions before they shut down. It is absolutely essential to a post op patient or I risk permanent disability. I was feeling better and now I can barely walk. At least I’ll make bank suing the state.

      Posted by Naptime on 3/30/2020 11:53 AM

    • i went to sign up as a medical volunteer on michigan.gov website, as a PT, and PT professional is not even listed as an option to sign up for emergency medical assistance. just saying...

      Posted by Jane Doe on 3/30/2020 9:15 PM

    • i am a PT in a SNF now being asked to assume nurse aid type of duties. Being a PT is a skilled profession, not an essential role of utmost importance to save lives. i also read an article that the governor of Michigan is asking "qualified" medical professionals to help: doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, nurse anaesthetists, and physician assistants. the governor said licensure rules are loosening for this sake. loosening, not completely opening. it is so far out of a PT scope of practice to be performing skills of a nurse or doctor. they are turning to physical therapists to perform CNA duties. is this not a sign of something to our profession? I love being a PT and I dont see our role in society as trivial or undervalued. But i do understand the difference between skilled and essential. elective surgeries are skilled and non-essential, also covered by insurance. I see every day the risk we pose to our patients, staff and our very own families. our manager said we are important to help get people moving and get them home quicker to help take patients from hospitals. but we keep patients for weeks before discharge and our practice on timeline doesnt change for that. we dont use proper PPE day to day and our administrator has said that our PPE is kept in storage for when we get our first COVID19 case. everyday we are exposed like a turtle without a shell. we have to see patients in their room which significantly limits our treatment methods to basic exercises and functional tasks which can be maintained through restorative nursing programs and home exercise programs. again, i am not saying we are not skilled and valuable, but we are not essential. when a patient codes in SNFs, it is not the PTs who are called upon to save the life in crisis. if we are not essential, then we could stay home with our families, reduce the risk of spreading infection to our patients and staff, save more PPE for nurses, doctors. This is not a game of egos and fighting for our status of importance in the medical community; that has already been defined.

      Posted by AA MI on 3/31/2020 8:17 AM

    • I manage an outpatient clinic for a group of Orthopedic Surgeons. We have remained open to remain profitable. I feel that we should have very few essential patients coming in and the rest should be given a HEP and tele-health until this passes. However, I am unable to do what I believe is the best for our patients/community as the group I work for is more focused on profitability and it would jeopardize m job and trust they have in me. Without top-down guidance, therapists will be unable to do what they believe is ethically and clinically in the best interests of the community we serve.

      Posted by Ian on 3/31/2020 10:01 AM

    • Naptime, No one is arguing that outpatient PT isn't essential for post surgical patients. Are saying that your center is closed??? I am not sure of any states that have closed outpatient PT so you can obviously continue. It's the other 90% of patients coming to outpatient therapy that really don't need to be doing so at this moment when we have a ramping up pandemic. For those emergent care and status post operative patients therapy needs to be performed in a protected environment with PPE. THIS IS NOT HAPPENING. There are no mandates by the APTA. Corporate PT will be business as usual until they are told to stop. The health and safety of patients and staff is at great risk. Why is this such a hard concept to understand? It's simple, the more people that are out of their houses and coming in contact with others, the more the virus spreads. PT is close contact, end of story, It needs to be put on hiatus. My entire case load consists of people who are tired of being cooped up at home, or they don't have a gym to go to. This is not what should be happening in outpatient PT during a pandemic. My high risk clients and those that had surgery before the outbreak have put them selves on hold or are doing telehealth. All elective surgeries have been put on hold. Why are we as a profession risking our patients when we got into this line of work to help. What is currently happening in this country is unethical and dangerous, and I find it absurd that the APTA and state boards turn a blind eye. WAKE UP CALL PEOPLE

      Posted by Lily on 3/31/2020 1:10 PM

    • What a joke. Tried to call the APTA and the office is closed due to Covid19. Then why are outpatient clinics still open? Why can the APTA protect themselves at home while therapists put themselves on the line? It’s time for the APTA to mandate outpatient and home health closure. My husband is doing both without the proper PPE and no hazard pay. Putting himself, his patients, and his family at risk. He has no choice since the owner refuses to close. Money is being valued over lives. This is a lawsuit waiting to happen. I wouldn’t blame the patient or therapist because this could be avoided. If he’s going back to work then the office of the APTA should be open too. Instead of protecting your health by working from home while you put therapists patients and families at risk. This is wrong and it’s adding to the problem. Do the right thing. Mandate closure. Then owners and therapists alike can get aid. Your handling of this has been appalling. You are doing nothing to flatten the curve. You should be ashamed.

      Posted by Anonymous on 3/31/2020 3:26 PM

    • Anyone who owns or runs a PT practice has the moral obligation to SHUT DOWN immediately. Anyone who thinks differently is either greedy or full of themselves.There is no elective surgeries being done,elderly patients can't come in and any other soft tissue,MVA or worker's comp patients can wait. I'm the owner of a small 4 Therapist office for 35 years. I would never want to jeopardize their health or that of my patients. I urge everyone to DO THE RIGHT THING

      Posted by jk on 3/31/2020 10:44 PM

    • Canada has done the right thing to limit the spread of virus. They have closed outpatient clinics. They see the seriousness and your letter is ridiculous. This situation warrants a much better response and the right thing to do is to close outpatient PT and triage post surgical patients. 2 - 3 weeks of all people doing the right thing and this will stop the virus from continually spreading. APTA speak to an epidemiologist and tell them “me”seeing one potential positive covid patient that spreads to 10 other co workers plus other patients in clinic and you have hundreds of people being affected. Was it worth it? Time bomb. Sad that APTA is not taking this seriously. Essential patients needs to be defined as post op .. remainder of patients non essential. Take a stance now or you run the risk of endangering thousands of health care workers and patients.

      Posted by Jean on 3/31/2020 11:14 PM

    • There isn't an urgent outpatient diagnosis I can think of that could not be handled by a telehealth type option...outpatient clinics should be closed and all therapy done via telehealth...I could probably provide good service to anyone over a landline..with computers exemploratory service...to the total hip lady...I could give you the same setvice online vs in the clinic without risk of cvd19...seek out therapists doing this...which is every man and his dog...this crisis is going to demonstrate how many PT companies over service in the name of $$..as evidenced by their refusal to shut down and do outpatoent telehealth...about time the scam was revealed.

      Posted by Dazza on 3/31/2020 11:43 PM

    • PT clinics should be closed ASAP! PT clinics that are part of a hospital setting if need be however PT clinics are breeding grounds for germs. Hands on therapy, therapist and patients closer than the CDC recommend 6 feet away. Multiple patients in small areas. The place I stopped going to had NO ventilation, they used no gloves or masks and they did not or could not keep up with the cleaning of machines and equipment after people used it. This is very irresponsible of the APTA to not mandated the closure of these facilities until this pandemic is well under control. God only knows how many people OR staff have become infected by this virus because a patient or staff member showed no symptoms or came in anyway when they were sick with a cold or cough. Hospital PT clinics are better equipped to handle these patients but your averay clinic should not be open. Only more illness and death will be spread. Mandate states to close them now!

      Posted by Phil Shannon on 3/31/2020 11:57 PM

    • My daughter is an outpatient physical therapy aide. Her employer, the one physical therapist, has not closed his practice during the ravaging COVID pandemic. This is an irresponsible decision. By continuing to treat patients in an OUTPATIENT setting, he is jeopardizing the lives of his patients, my daughter as the PT aide, and all the people they come in contact. On March 19, 2020 “Governor Gavin Newsom issued a stay at home order to protect the health and well-being of all Californians and to establish consistency across the state in order to slow the spread of COVID-19.” During this unprecedented health crisis, outpatient PT should be considered a non-essential service. In order to provide services to outpatients during this pandemic, teletherapy should be accepted by ALL insurances including Medicare. With the COVID-19 Relief for Small Businesses Act of 2020,CARES, outpatient PT clinics can comply with the STAY AT HOME order AND remain viable. Stay safe, safe healthy, stay hopeful.

      Posted by Barbara on 4/1/2020 5:12 AM

    • Shut er down, lets officially make America a Socialist country. Don’t have to work, rely on the government for everything!!

      Posted by Gary on 4/1/2020 6:43 AM

    • This is why so many PTs don't belong to the APTA!

      Posted by Xavier Gonzalez on 4/1/2020 10:55 AM

    • Gary go thread crap somewhere else. I am an outpatient PT. If I loose my job I will be out a lot of money, the government will not give me anything compared to what I make. However as an ethical responsibility I am willing to take the hit as a healthcare provided because it is the right thing to do to protect our patients and our selves. We are continuing the spread by staying open. We have no PPE and are unable to practice social distancing, it's absurd! The corporate CEOs can afford to take a pay cut to help our industry navigate safely through this challenge, but that will not happen. God forbid they don't get their 10 million salary. How about the staff that make that possible, why not protect them? JUST AWEFUL. And APTA, crickets and gray area recommendations. APTA, this is the end for you and hopefully a union for Physical therapists rises up when this is over, we need leadership and we clearly have none. What a disgrace you are to the profession. I am deeply saddened.

      Posted by Joshua on 4/1/2020 12:26 PM

    • Gary, you have shown how uneducated you are on this issue.

      Posted by Gary on 4/1/2020 2:01 PM

    • Home health PT is also exposing patients (99% of whom are high risk) and therapists to unnecessary risk, not just outpatient clinics. Please don’t forget about us! Most of these patients have just come from the hospital and the vast majority have been exposed to covid19. Then I go into their home, get the germs on my clothes, shoes, whatever, and carry it to the next vulnerable patient. My company isn’t providing gowns unless a patient is “suspected” to be infected. I suspect EVERYONE! Please mandate a temporary shut down! Look how much PPE we could give to the front line workers that really ARE “essential “!

      Posted by Marie on 4/1/2020 2:17 PM

    • I’m a person with severe back issues from pre existing disc injuries. I’m bedridden, too painful To walk, sit, turn my body, and just be. My body is crooked to the right side and I’m limping due to the pain. I’m glad I still have the ability to go see a therapist, I would hate to not be able to treat this and for it to become permanent... some of us still need PT... just saying

      Posted by Lou on 4/2/2020 7:45 AM

    • Of course I agree with most of the posters. However, I was waiting for an initial evaluation and treat s/p great toe fusion and pinning through the tarsal(?). I am unable to walk without pain and this is 8 weeks post-OP. I've no idea if I should order rocker-soled shoes (my surgeon has failed to return call from 3 days ago.). I have a severe supination secondary to trauma to the foot when I was seven. For 50 years and 25 as a nurse, the foot could hardly be walked on, due to the weakness of the Hallux and the attendant calluses on the lateral of BOTH feet. So, I dont know if I will continue with an innappropriate gait. I am uncomfortable weight-bearing on the medial surface due to the lingering pain of fusion and pinning insert. Is it possible I may become disabled? The purpose of this was to correct the physical damage incurred over the last 25 years? And here I am re creating that gait due to the pain of the pin insert and hallux fusion. I've done online education re: A & P of the foot and whatever YouTube information from various P.T. offices is available. So, 8 weeks post-OP, I am no further along in my quest to return to work. Let me repeat, I am a nurse, an Infection Control nurse, IV therapist with over 10 years of med-surg, ED and step-down experience, and during this crisis, I cannot work either. So, yes, I do understand that therapists need to preserve their health. Many are probably still paying student loans because the new requirements, I think require all newer P.T.s to obtain doctorates. So, what do I do? This is not like the WC patients being required to continue, I am a nurse so eager to return to work, and to help as I am able with this boot, but I am certain no employer would take on the liability. So. What am I to do? Can the therapists and patients wear masks. Can the equipment not be wiped down with readily available solutions that are known viricides? They are in HEALTHCARE. When I think of the older and more elderly patients, my concern now becomes the possibility of frozen knees, hips and shoulders due to lack of trained therapists and their very important P.T.A's. Please explain to me why my situation is NOT urgent as it deals with my ability to walk without further injury, AND, my ability to help/volunteer during this crisis, let alone the possible prospect of permanent disability. Before any ill-co sidered comments are sent to me, please re-read this entire email' so you will see that I worked in foot pain nearly my entire career. I have paid thousands for orthotics, went to two Podiatrists and even had reconstructive surgery to the second toe about 20 years ago. I am very dedicated in my profession, but the constant bilateral foot pain, requiring this surgery remains unresolved 8 weeks post-OP, and I cant even get an evaluation to see if I should order special soled shoes, e.g., rocker soles. I've not even been able to obtain an xray as the surgeon has refused my getting one at a nearby radiology office. Any and all suggestion, except for snark will be appreciated. Remember, this is my career and possibly a future with pain reduced so I can run around the floors of whichever facility I return to work at. With this pain, I am hardly able to vacuum, let alone, purchase groceries-necessities. I appreciate the therapists fear, but I cannot believe this could not be ameliorated with PPE and appropriate environmental cleaning, within their own facilities where nearly every surface is waterproof and appropriate for environmental cleaning.

      Posted by Wendy on 4/2/2020 10:07 AM

    • CLose pt outpatient offices. You are spreading corona virus. Don’t pay dues to apta. They are not helping you.

      Posted by No on 4/2/2020 3:42 PM

    • I am a OUTPATIENT PT patient with neck problems. PTs skill is essential to me improving but I am staying at home doing my stretches and exercises my PT prescribed. It is way too risky to go the facility!! They can’t stay far enough from you to do their job and most have little to no PPE and no real way of disinfecting the work tables and apparatus!! Be smart! It’s NOT a matter of you may get the virus it IS simply a matter of when!!

      Posted by Nick on 4/2/2020 5:48 PM

    • We must assume everyone is COVID+. Many COVID+ people have no symptoms but still infect others. If a known positive patient wants to come into your outpatient clinic would you let him? Would you want a COVID+ physical therapist work on your mother who just broke her hip and had surgery? I think the answer is no. Physical therapy is essential. That is not up to debate. As one person commented, why the context of the situation cannot be understood is mindblowing. The risk vs benefit is the meat of the matter. Nurses, respiratory therapists, medical providers will continue to function in critical or urgent situations because of the risk vs benefit. The central line will not wait...the patient may die. The intubation will not wait...the patient may die. The medications will not wait... the patient may die. The entire human race has been threatened. Now is not the time to play word games like "Is PT essential?" Of course, it is essential under normal conditions. However, it is not urgent, nor critical to receive PT in a pandemic that will continue to wipe out lives if we do not contain it. Maintaining the human race has precedence over this essential service.

      Posted by Antman on 4/3/2020 6:45 PM

    • We need a physical therapy union. APTA is not representing our best interests or profession.They are a business plane and simple. STOP supporting them. Read the comments, patients and therapists are in agreement we should not be exposing our patients or staff except for very specific emergent situations. I know I can provide a lot of relief for my chronic pain patients with manual therapy and it may be essential, but not when we are in the middle of a PANDEMIC. They are not going to die from staying home for several weeks, but they could if they came to PT. We don't even have PPE, we can't possibly guarantee their safety. WHY IS THIS STILL BEING ALLOWED? We have an ethical responsibility to ensure they safety of our patients, we are not doing that in outpatient corporate PT. CEO and upper level management need their $$$$, as well as APTA, that is why we are still open.

      Posted by Fed Up on 4/4/2020 2:20 PM

    • I really don't understand why you are still opened. I want to Know who I can call to report your establishment .

      Posted by Carol on 4/4/2020 4:35 PM

    • I tied to call the local major office and talked to health office they were so rude with me. They hung up and said call 911 to report that. This is so pity on the government. Specially the New Jersey is the worst state . Also you can see job openings on indeed in NY. Government is not doing the right job. They are worried about ventilators can’t they check on local business those are helping in the spread of virus.

      Posted by Ama on 4/5/2020 2:48 PM

    • I’m currently receiving PT at home. I’m 73, have diabetes and currently suffering with shingles. Twice a week I have a different therapist and no longer feel safe with them coming to my home. They spend the rest of their day in other homes.Am I wrong to be concerned? I can do my stretches alone after 5 weeks post knee surgery.

      Posted by Judie Sinclair on 4/6/2020 2:54 AM

    • I work at factory I feel unsafe at I dont feel they are essential Whirlpool in iowa co can deny you unemployment

      Posted by Julie Crisman on 4/8/2020 11:32 AM

    • I had been going to PT here in FL. Last week I received the last of my 3 shot treatments for a knee problem. The md told me to continue the PT on my own and also continue to use aqua therapy for the knee. Florida has now closed all pools including “community “ pools. I live in a condo and the pool fits into the latter category. The MD gave me an RX for the solo aqua therapy but the condo association called the local health and Covid departments who said I could not have a waiver. We can’t even use the ocean! Any input would be appreciated.

      Posted by Chauncey Johnstone on 4/16/2020 8:49 AM

    • Looks like the APTA showing their true colors . They are closed but OP Therapy remains open? Our entire country is in a pandemic. People are dying. Let's not continue to play word games like is "physical therapy essential"? Life is more important than dollars. Let's stay home.

      Posted by Agatha on 4/16/2020 6:25 PM

    • Required 2 go or loose WC benefits. This is what I have had to deal with. My therapy clinic has not followed CDC guidelines. They don’t screen any clients coming in for temperature or symptoms. Some Therapists just now started wearing masks as of April 15 thru April 18, weeks after public relations statements were put out by the business on how they follow CDC guidelines and “we working in our clients best interest and safety in mind”. Still not all of the therapists including receptionists are not wearing masks. (And I know for a fact that they all go to the local crowded Walmart shopping without masks because they have told me and people have seen them there.) And the ones who wear masks at the clinic don’t even wear them the proper way. Sometimes there are up to 6 to 7 other clients same time as you without masks. Pillows thrown on floor when they have wiped down tables. Clients are asked to disinfect equipment themselves after using it with the same rag everyone else has used and touched all day. And if clients don’t clean, therapists have been lax on even checking to make sure equipment been disinfected. Physical therapists traveling to multiple different locations in different towns to work for this company. Talk about spreading the virus. Nice to know the CEO’s of the business and head of APTA organization are sleeping well at nite, counting all that $$$$ while everyone else out there on the front lines are hoping they don’t get covid or bring it home to their family. A BIG thank you to me and the other clients for helping your bottom line at the threat and welfare of my and our own well being. “We are concerned about your well- being”...what a bunch of hypocrites.

      Posted by Nancy on 4/18/2020 11:32 PM

    • Of course they should stay open. Oh my goodness. I need PT RIGHT NOW. I have a weak core due to a disease and the machines help me far better than me doing squats on a chair at home. What about those who had surgery for a broken bone. This is all medical and needs to be considered ESSENTIAL!

      Posted by Mary Ann on 4/22/2020 10:43 AM

    • we have extended our hours of operation to all day everyday to make sure we do not see over 10 patients at a time. I am working harder than ever to make sure everyone and my own family is safe. Putting patients in private rooms even. Spreading everyone out this is not easy trust me but we took an oath right we must do what we can how we can. Please stay safe and be well.

      Posted by ADELE TRIPOLI on 4/23/2020 11:38 AM

    • I must vigorously disagree with all these calls for closing clinics. I firmly believe the response to this virus must be based on local factors. The media has manipulated the circumstances to foster fear, and this is unacceptable. Consumers must hold the media responsible for this dangerous behavior. I can not criticize the opinions of individuals, as I have no knowledge of the foundation of the opinions expressed, but I do find it difficult to believe calls for across the board declaration of all outpatient PT services being non-essential, and demands for mandatory closure of outpatient PT clinics to be out of line with the data. In my state there has been over 4K cases of Covid19, 98 deaths (nearly 1/2 of which were in 2 counties, and involved nursing homes), and over 3k recovered. It appears that many of the objections about outpatient PT clinics remaining operational are based on reasons other than health. We must stop reacting in a manner that amplifies the challenges. Like it or not, the association between health and mobility is very real, and preserving mobility can be a life and death issue. Yes, we must be responsible, and motivated by more than profits, considering the health of clients is the basis for our existence. Having said all this, we are responsible first and foremost for ourselves, and since we do, thankfully, live in a free country, don’t go to work/treatment if you are an outpatient PT clinic staff member or client that feels the situation is not safe.

      Posted by Bill on 5/16/2020 10:19 AM

    • For all of you urging the APTA to "close outpatient physical therapy"-- I have been open this whole time and have experienced a 26% decrease in patient volume. Some of my patients, both young and old have opted to stay home, and I have prescribed HEPs and continue to provide TeleRehab services to them. I can assure you that the in-office treatment I continue to provide is safe, effective and with all precautions being observed. My patients continue to come into the facility, some with masks, as we practice excellent hygiene and maintain a distance of 6+ feet. NOT ONE OF MY PATIENTS HAS REPORTED +COVID TEST, OR HAS DIED FROM THIS "PANDEMIC". PHYSICAL THERAPY IS AN ESSENTIAL SERVICE AND OUR PATIENTS NEED OUR HELP--THIS CAN BE DONE SAFELY AND EFFECTIVELY. IF YOU ARE DOCTOR OF PT, AND CALLING ON THE APTA TO CLOSE PHYSICAL THERAPY CLINICS THEN YOU ARE CONTRADICTING THE HIPPOCRATIC OATH YOU TOOK TO "DO NO HARM". YOU WILL IN FACT INDUCE MORE HARM ON THE COMMUNITY AROUND YOU IF YOU CLOSE YOUR CLINIC. Finally, be smart, be cognizant, use situational awareness and your training to recognize and make clinical decisions based on who needs to be in your clinics for PT.

      Posted by Paul on 5/20/2020 2:05 PM

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