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  • Coronavirus Update: March 18, 2020

    APTA answers questions about e-visits and schedules an online town hall; experts offer recommendations for rehab providers; CDC offers guidance on return-to-work for health care providers, and more.

    Practice Guidance

    March 18: APTA Answers 25 Questions on "E-Visit" Waiver From CMS
    Many questions from PTs and PTAs have arisen since the CMS announcement of waivers that would allow for limited digital communication by PTs. APTA offers answers to 25 of the most frequently asked questions about the still-evolving system.

    March 18: E-Visit Online Town Hall and Q&A March 19
    Join APTA regulatory affairs experts on Thursday, March 19, for a town-hall style webinar and Q&A session on the e-visit waivers. The webinar begins at 8:00 p.m. ET and will be delivered via Adobe Connect; toll-free access numbers are 1-646-560-7802 or 1-888-407-5039, participant code 76560988. The event is open to members and nonmembers, but seats are limited. A Facebook Live event covering the same issues will be held Friday March 20 at 2:00 pm, ET. Recordings of both sessions will be available afterwards.

    March 17: Experts Offer Recommendations for Rehab Providers During COVID Crisis
    A Special Communication in the journal Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (pre-proof version) offers recommendations for rehabilitation providers during the outbreak, including advice for addressing patient deconditioning and infection risk, as well as best practices for staff infection control, occupational risks, business continuity planning, and staff communication.

    From CMS

    March 18: CMS Publishes Guidance for Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) Organizations
    The guidance document recognizes that "there may be circumstances where a [provider organization] may need to implement strategies that do not fully comply with CMS PACE program requirements to provide benefits to participants while ensuring they are also protected from the spread of COVID-19."

    From the CDC

    March 16: CDC Issues Guidance for Return to Work for Health Care Personnel With Confirmed or Suspected COVID-19
    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued interim guidance for occupational health programs and public health officials responsible for making decisions about return to work for health care personnel with confirmed or suspected COVID-19. The guidance includes recommendations for return-to-work criteria, return-to-work practices and work restrictions, and strategies for mitigating staffing shortages. CDC notes that these guidelines may be adapted by state and local health departments.

    In The Media

    March 17: NSAIDs Okay for COVID Patients?
    In recent days the French government recommended against the use of ibuprofen in COVID patients, citing potential adverse outcomes. Other researchers say there is no evidence to back the claim, but agree that acetaminophen is preferable to treat a fever. [Free account required]

    March 16: Predictive Analytics May Help Hospitals Identify COVID-19 Needs
    Data scientists at University of Pennsylvania have built a mathematical model to help hospitals predict future COVID-19 patient load and severity. The model uses best current estimates of a variety of data points, such as how long people are contagious, to project a hospital’s needed capacity for beds, equipment, and other resources.

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


    • What is the APTA's stance on PTs/PTAs and treating pts with COVID-19 in the acute care setting or those suspected of COVID-19 infection.

      Posted by Sharon Milligan on 3/18/2020 4:34 PM

    • Have you developed a crash course to teach PTs some skills needed to perform as Respiratory Therapists during the crisis?

      Posted by Frank Blaha on 3/18/2020 11:11 PM

    • Are you currently recommending that all outpatient PT practices close up shop due to Covid 19?

      Posted by Autumn on 3/19/2020 2:11 AM

    • I noticed there is a webinar and facebook event regarding "E-visits." Do E-visits have to be done with video? can email exchanges and phone calls work as an E-visit? I can htink of scenarios for an initial visit and for visits for patients whose cases are started in person but have follow ups over the phone......For example, a patient emails in the intake forms with history and complaints and outcome measures etc; PT speaks to patient on phone and understands what is going on; PT emails specific exercises based on what patient needs. If you are not able to do this for an initial evaluation, are you able ot do this for follow up visits? some examples in other professions would be after i initially start care with my physician face to face and then get his advice to rest and and hydrate for a cold, i may still start to get worse. He then talks ot me on the phone and prescribes antibiotics or congestion medicine.

      Posted by Richard Coury on 3/19/2020 10:30 AM

    • How do we know if outpatient ortho clinics will be considered “essential medical”? Thinking the only circumstance our clinic would shut down is if a mandatory shelter in place is ordered. Is this correct? Very little guidance out there on when we should close if at all.

      Posted by Kristian Spano on 3/19/2020 1:36 PM

    • Is the APTA focusing on the health and safety of clinicians and patients by doing anything about stopping unnecessary outpatient clinic appointments that are whole heatedly unnecessarily bringing hundreds of members of communities under one roof and risking the lives of thousands? please riddle me this? Tell me why I should be a paying member again?

      Posted by Joe on 3/19/2020 11:49 PM

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