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  • Advisory: PTs, Telehealth, and the Coronavirus

    Wondering whether you can provide PT services via telehealth during the COVID-19 outbreak?

    As the coronavirus continues to spread globally, members are asking about the possibility of reducing infection risk by conducting PT services through telehealth. There are important factors to consider, particularly related to telehealth services to Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries.

    Remember: Physical therapists are not statutorily authorized Medicare providers of telehealth, and physical therapy services delivered via telehealth are not payable under the physician fee schedule. Before you consider furnishing telehealth services to Medicare beneficiaries and collecting out of pocket payment, contact your Medicare Administrative Contractor or CMS regional office to ask for an opinion.

    As for commercial insurers, check with individual payers to verify what is and is not permitted. Be sure to confirm with each payer whether the originating site can be a private home or office, if services must be real-time or can be asynchronous, and any other limitations to your use of telehealth.

    APTA Launches Fundraising Campaign for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

    The first 10,000 people to contribute at least $10 will have their name included on the Community Wall at APTA’s new headquarters.

    APTA’s centennial is fewer than nine months away, but already the association is building a foundation for its next 100 years.

    Today, APTA opened online donations for the Campaign for Future Generations, a two-year fundraising initiative to support the association’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

    The campaign aligns with the association’s current strategic plan, which includes a goal to foster the long-term sustainability of the profession by making APTA an inclusive organization that reflects the diversity of the society the profession serves.

    APTA has a long history of providing support to PT and PTA students and faculty of ethnic and racial minorities through the Minority Scholarship Fund, which is included in the campaign. In addition, the Dimensions of Diversity Fund has been established to support additional DEI initiatives, as approved by APTA’s Board of Directors. Unrestricted donations made to the association’s Physical Therapy Fund also would support the Dimensions of Diversity Fund or the Minority Scholarship Fund, as needed.

    APTA will also donate any net proceeds from its centennial year events and activities to support the Campaign for Future Generations.

    “As we think about the profession and association we want to be in our next century, we have to be intentional about DEI,” said APTA President Sharon Dunn, PT, PhD. “It was important to our board that we use our centennial year to establish a legacy gift that will support the stewardship of our association and profession.”

    APTA is already expanding its efforts on DEI. For example, last year APTA conducted or attended 25 recruitment events, reaching over 10,000 students, parents, teachers, and guidance counselors to improve pipelines to the profession. APTA also is advocating for the Allied Health Workforce Diversity Act, which creates a scholarship program for individuals from underrepresented populations for the fields of physical therapy, occupational therapy, audiology, and speech-language pathology.

    DEI was also a theme of President Dunn’s 2018 and 2019 annual addresses to the House of Delegates.

    What you can do: