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  • New CMS Nursing Home Recommendations Stress Collaboration, Consistent Staffing Assignment

    The new recommendations underscore existing CDC and CMS guidance and call for extensive use of masks and other PPE.

    The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services issued new recommendations for nursing homes around the COVID-19 pandemic that urge states to attend to the personal protection equipment needs of long-term care facilities, and press nursing homes to establish separate staff teams for COVID-19-positive residents. The recommendations also include universal testing in the facilities and use of PPE "to the extent PPE is available."

    According to CMS, the recommendations were created after CDC and CMS experts working in nursing homes "emphasized that even more must be done" to underscore guidance already provided by CMS around response to the pandemic.

    The recommendations address five major areas:

    Compliance with existing CDC and CMS guidance. The recommendations stress the importance of following instructions from the CDC and CMS in areas such as hand hygiene, infection control, and conservation of PPE.

    Collaboration between states and nursing homes to meet PPE needs. CMS emphasizes the importance of state and local health departments to stay in close communication with long-term care facilities to "address … needs for PPE and/or COVID-19 tests."

    Symptom screening for all. The agency reiterates its position that every person entering a nursing home be asked about COVID-19 symptoms and have their temperature checked. Symptom assessment and temperature checks should also be performed on every resident.

    Appropriate PPE use. The recommendations urge the use of facemasks by all nursing home personnel on site, as well as donning of full PPE when caring for any resident known or suspected to have COVID-19. CMS also calls for all residents "to cover their noses and mouths when staff are in their rooms," and suggests that they could use tissues or non-medical masks to do this.

    Separate staff teams for residents with COVID-19, and consistent assignment. CMS recommends that facilities try to assign the same staff to the same residents to increase the chances of "detect[ing] emerging condition changes that unfamiliar staff may not notice" and to decrease the number of different staff interacting with residents. Residents diagnosed with COVID-19 should be separated from other patients, and have separate staff teams "when possible."

    CMS also recommends that state agencies, hospitals, and nursing home associations help to "ensure coordination among facilities to determine which facilities will have a designation [as a facility for COVID-19 patients] and provide adequate staff supplies and PPE."

    APTA Learning Center Offers Free Online Courses

    The opportunities include both live and recorded telehealth webinars, as well as self-paced courses on a range of topics — all free to APTA members.

    In these challenging times, PTs, PTAs, and students face multiple pressures — including the pressure to keep up with changing practice dynamics in the wake of a global pandemic.

    APTA's Learning Center can help. The association's online continuing education platform now offers a collection of webinars and courses that can provide you with insight into telehealth, where some of the most significant changes are happening to the profession in response to the COVID-19 emergency. APTA has also collected self-paced courses on a variety of other topics that are perfect for when you need to give yourself time away from the current crisis.

    All listed offerings are free to APTA members; some are free to everyone. Unless otherwise noted, all offerings include the opportunity to earn CEUs.

    Courses include:

    Live Online Telehealth Webinar

    Recorded Webinars on Telehealth

    Self-Paced Courses on Other Topics

    From ChoosePT.com: Telehealth, Now More Than Ever

    A new Move Forward Radio podcast features a PT who relies on telehealth to meet the needs of veterans in rural areas.

    As a lead telehealth physical therapist for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Christi Crawford, PT, DPT, works hard to meet the physical therapy needs of veterans who live in rural areas. The VA offers a growing number of video-to-home personalized care and other remote services to reduce the need for patients to travel long distances for in-office care.

    Crawford's perspectives are timely. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, interest in telehealth services is changing the way patients see their health care providers.

    Now available through ChoosePT.com's Move Forward Radio podcast: an interview with Crawford on the many benefits and opportunities telehealth offers for patients, caregivers, and providers; what types of services work well through remote visits; and how to determine whether a patient or client is a good candidate for telehealth services.

    For patients in rural areas, "the increased access to someone that specializes in the area they need is so crucial," says Crawford. "Telehealth can get people back to what they need to do to stay healthy and functional."

    Noting the obstacles to care that the current pandemic presents and APTA's advocacy efforts for current legislation being considered by Congress, Crawford sees "change coming quickly. It's so important that telehealth for physical therapy becomes a reimbursable service. It's going to take our community of PTs and patients to use their voices" to ensure that it does.

    Move Forward Radio is hosted at ChoosePT.com, APTA's official consumer information website, and can be streamed online or downloaded as a podcast via the Apple Podcast app, Google Play, or Spotify. Other recent additions to the Move Forward Radio podcast library include:

    Latest Relief Package: Unemployment Provisions

    The CARES Act signed into law on March 27 is aimed at providing relief in a wide range of areas in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Here's what the package offers related to unemployment benefits.

    The recently enacted CARES Act aimed at providing relief during the COVID-19 pandemic contains some important provisions related to unemployment that include relaxing some of the qualifications to receive benefits, allowing for circumstances specifically related to the pandemic, and adding $600 to weekly benefit checks.

    Called the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program, the new provisions allow for financial assistance to individuals who wouldn't ordinarily receive unemployment benefits, such as the self-employed, independent contractors, part-time workers, and those who have already finished their unemployment benefits. This new offering is effective January 27 through December 31, 2020.

    To receive the benefit, individuals in categories that normally wouldn't qualify for benefits must prove that they can no longer work due to activity related to COVID-19. Examples include:

    • Diagnosis of COVID-19, a COVID-19 diagnosis of a member of the household, or providing care for a member of the household who has been diagnosed with COVID-19.
    • Primary caregiving responsibility for a family member who is unable to attend school or another facility that has been closed due to the national emergency.
    • Inability to work because of a quarantine imposed by the national emergency or self-quarantine advised by a health care provider.
    • Inability to begin recently gained employment or being forced to end employment as a direct result of the national emergency.

    In addition to the expanded range of individuals who may qualify for unemployment benefits, the program adds $600 per week to regular unemployment benefits for up to 39 weeks. The additional money will be provided to everyone receiving unemployment benefits.

    Individuals able to telework or receive paid sick leave are ineligible for the program. If a state has a defined workshare program or short-time compensation, the CARES Act provides additional funding to keep employees working on a reduced-hours schedule and receive prorated unemployment benefits.

    For more information visit the U.S. Department of Labor website, which includes an unemployment benefits finder by state.

    Aetna Now Covers Telehealth Delivered by PTs

    Aetna joins UnitedHealthcare among the commercial insurers that have expanded coverage from more limited e-visit provisions.

    UPDATE (April 3): Aetna has advised that telehealth services delivered by physical therapists may be billed on a UB04 using the modifier GT or 95. Please contact advocacy@apta.org with any issues or questions associated with this billing.

    Private insurer Aetna announced that it will now cover a range of services delivered by PTs through telehealth—a significant expansion of its earlier COVID-19-related policy that limited coverage to e-visits. The change comes after APTA engaged in collaborative work with the company to rethink its temporary benefits policy.

    The insurer, officially known as CVS Health/Aetna, will cover the telehealth-based delivery of the services and procedures by PTs for CPT codes 97161, 97162, 97163, 97164, 97110, 97112, 97116, 97535, 97755, 97760, and 97761. The telehealth care must be provided as a two-way synchronous (real-time) audiovisual service. Providers are required to append the GT modifier to the codes. Aetna's expansion follows a similar move by UnitedHealthcare.

    Aetna will also continue its policy that reimburses PTs for the provision of e-visits, virtual check-ins, and telephone services. The use of the GT or 95 modifier is not required for e-visit CPT codes (98970, 98971, 98972), the store-and-forward code (G2010), virtual check-in codes (G2012), and telephone assessment CPT codes (98966, 98967, 98968). Visit Aetna's provider website and follow instructions for accessing detailed policy information on the provider portal.

    Check out APTA’s frequently updated telehealth webpage for the latest information on payer and regulatory changes.

    Latest Relief Package: Options for Small Businesses

    The CARES Act signed into law on March 27 is aimed at providing relief in a wide range of areas in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Here's what the package offers to small businesses.

    The federal government has acknowledged that small businesses may be especially hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and has responded by establishing provisions aimed at lessening some of the impact. The latest measure, known as the CARES Act, includes some of the most extensive small business relief to date. Here's an overview of the small business-related relief provisions in the CARES Act.

    Details on these provisions, as well as on other pandemic-related resources, are available from the U.S. Small Business Administration, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the U.S. Department of the Treasury, and the Internal Revenue Service.

    Paycheck Protection Program Loans
    The legislation creates the Paycheck Protection Program, a new loan product within the Small Business Administration’s 7(a) Loan Program. Existing and new SBA lenders will be able offer these loans to eligible small businesses.

    The new loan, with an interest rate of up to 4%, will be 100% guaranteed by the SBA. Funds may cover payroll costs, including continuation of group health care benefits during periods of paid sick, medical, or family leave, and insurance premiums; employee salaries and commissions; payments of interest on any mortgage obligation, rent, and utilities; and interest on any other debt obligation incurred before February 15, 2020.

    Businesses and charitable nonprofits with fewer than 500 employees, sole proprietors, independent contractors, and self-employed individuals are eligible for the loans.

    A business can borrow up to 2.5 times the average monthly payroll based on the business’s prior year’s payroll, capped at $10 million. All borrower and lender fees for Paycheck Protection loans will be waived, as well as collateral requirements, the Credit Elsewhere Test, and all requirements for personal guarantees. Deferrals of principal, interest, and fees for six months will be built into the loans.

    Emergency Economic Injury Grants
    The CARES Act allows $10,000 of SBA economic injury disaster loans (EIDLs) to be provided to small businesses and nonprofits without a requirement for repayment. EIDLs are loans of up to $2 million that carry interest rates up to 3.75% for companies and up to 2.75% for nonprofits, as well as principal and interest deferment for up to four years. The loans may be used to pay for expenses that could have been met had the disaster not occurred, including payroll, paid sick leave to employees, increased production costs due to supply chain disruptions, and business obligations, including debts, rent and mortgage payments.

    The $10,000 grant portion of an EIDL does not need to be repaid, even if the grantee is subsequently denied an EIDL for amounts beyond the $10,000. Eligible grant recipients must have been in operation on January 31, 2020. The grant is available to small businesses, private nonprofits, sole proprietors and independent contractors, tribal businesses, as well as cooperatives and employee-owned businesses.

    Loan Forgiveness
    The relief package establishes that the borrower of an SBA loan is eligible for loan forgiveness equal to the amount spent by the borrower on payroll costs, interest payment on any mortgage incurred prior to February 15, 2020, payment of rent on any lease in force prior to February 15, 2020, and payment on any utility for which service began before February 15, 2020. The loan forgiveness period extends to eight weeks after the origination date of the loan.

    Debt Relief for Existing and New SBA Borrowers
    The stimulus package includes $17 billion to provide immediate relief to small businesses through standard SBA 7(a), 504, or microloans. Under this provision, SBA will cover all loan payments for existing SBA borrowers, including principal, interest, and fees, for six months. This relief will also be available to new borrowers who take out an SBA loan within six months after March 27, 2020.

    The measure also encourages banks to provide further relief to small business borrowers by allowing them to extend the duration of existing loans beyond existing limits, and enables small business lenders to provide a temporary extension on certain reporting requirements for new and existing borrowers. While SBA borrowers are receiving the six months of debt relief, they also may apply for a Paycheck Protection Program loan that provides capital to keep their employees on the job. Borrowers may not apply the six months of SBA payment relief to Paycheck Protection loan payments.

    Employee Retention Credit for Employers Subject to Closure due to COVID-19
    The CARES Act provides a refundable payroll tax credit for 50% of wages paid by employers during the COVID-19 crisis. The credit is available to employers whose operations were fully or partially suspended due to a COVID-19-related shut-down order, or whose gross receipts declined by more than 50% compared with the same quarter in the prior year.

    For employers with greater than 100 full-time employees, the credit is based on wages paid to employees while they are not providing services due to the COVID-19-related circumstances described above. For eligible employers with 100 or fewer full-time employees, all employee wages qualify for the credit, whether the employer is open for business or subject to a shut-down order. The credit is provided for the first $10,000 of compensation, including health benefits, paid to an eligible employee between March 13, 2020, and December 31, 2020.

    Delay of Payment of Employer Payroll Taxes
    The stimulus package allows employers and self-employed individuals to defer payment of the employer share of the Social Security tax on employee wages. The provision allows for half of the amount to be paid by December 31, 2021, and the other half by December 31, 2022.

    Modification of Limitation on Losses for Taxpayers Other Than Corporations
    This provision of the act modifies the loss limitation applicable to pass-through businesses and sole proprietors, so they can use excess business losses to access critical cash flow.

    Modification of Limitation on Business Interest
    The relief legislation temporarily increases the amount of interest expense businesses are allowed to deduct on their tax returns from 30% to 50% of taxable income (with adjustments) for 2019 and 2020. This provision allows businesses to increase liquidity with a reduced cost of capital.

    Modifications for Net Operating Losses
    Net operating losses are typically subject to a taxable income limitation, and they cannot be carried back to reduce income in a prior tax year. The legislation allows a net operating loss arising in a tax year beginning in 2018, 2019, or 2020 to be carried back five years. The provision also temporarily removes the taxable income limitation to allow an NOL to fully offset income. These changes will allow companies to amend prior year returns to take advantage of operating losses.

    New CMS Rule Includes Therapy Codes in Telehealth, Stops Short of Allowing PTs to Conduct Telehealth Services

    CMS has announced "sweeping" temporary changes that give a nod to the potential for true telehealth by PTs even though regulatory barriers still prevent that from happening. Could it be a sign of more to come?

    In this review: Medicare and Medicaid Programs; Policy and Regulatory Revisions in Response to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (interim final rule)
    Effective date: March 1, 2020 (backdated)
    CMS press release
    CMS fact sheet
    Additional CMS guidance

    It's true that the rule changes recently announced by CMS in response to the COVID-19 pandemic add codes commonly associated with therapy to those that may be delivered through telehealth. But there's one problem: CMS has made no related changes to allow PTs, occupational therapists, and speech-language pathologists to actually provide services through telehealth, even though the codes have now been okayed for that use.

    The apparent contradiction may be partly because the new rules were written prior to the passage of the CARES Act last week — the $2 trillion COVID-19 relief package that granted CMS the authority to use waivers to expand the range of providers permitted to conduct services through telehealth. To date, CMS has not extended telehealth authority to PTs, OTs, and SLPs. But with coding rules now in place, such an expansion would be easier to implement quickly.

    APTA is pursuing the CMS disconnect, urging the agency to use it waiver authority to expand telehealth recognition to PTs. In the wake of the interim rule just released, APTA is requesting a meeting with CMS, and will submit formal comments on the interim rule in the weeks ahead. APTA has also joined with the American Occupational Therapy Association and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association in a statement calling on CMS to "take immediate steps to ensure patient safety and protect health care providers."

    In the meantime, APTA advises members to assume that PTs are not recognized as telehealth providers by CMS, and the association calls on member to press the agency to expand telehealth waivers, using an APTA-developed template letter. In addition, the association is pushing for permanent inclusion of PTs in telehealth through advocacy for the CONNECT Act.

    More from the Interim Rule

    In addition to the nod toward therapy delivered via telehealth, the rule makes it easier for PTs to conduct some forms of digital communications with patients, and relaxes some supervision requirements. The changes also include allowances in home health and inpatient rehabilitation facilities, and they allow for hospitals to provide services outside existing facilities. Those hospital changes would make it possible for hospitals to transfer COVID-19 patients to ambulatory surgery centers, inpatient rehabilitation hospitals, and hotels.

    Video and Virtual Check-Ins, Telephone Assessments and Management
    Medicare routinely pays for many kinds of services that are furnished by way of telecommunications technology but are not considered Medicare telehealth services. These communication technology-based services (CTBS) include, for example, certain kinds of remote patient monitoring (either as separate services or as parts of bundled services) and interpretations of diagnostic tests when furnished remotely — essentially, services ordinarily furnished in person but are routinely delivered using a telecommunications system.

    The interim rule includes PTs among the providers eligible to provide remote evaluations (G2010) and virtual check-ins (G2012), as well as so-called "e-visits" that were earlier permitted through a waiver process to established patients, although the agency notes that “while some of the code descriptors refer to 'established patient,' during the [emergency] we are exercising enforcement discretion on an interim basis to relax enforcement of this aspect of the code descriptors.” The codes are designated by CMS as “sometimes-therapy” services that require the GP modifier, with patient consent able to be obtained at the same time the service is furnished.

    For the duration of the COVID-19 public health emergency, CMS is allowing direct supervision to be provided using real-time interactive audio and video technology. The change clearly applies to "incident to" situations in which PTs are working under the direct supervision of physicians; APTA is seeking clarification as to whether it also applies to PTAs working under the supervision of PTs in private practice.

    Similar allowances are applied to supervision services associated with pulmonary rehabilitation, cardiac rehabilitation, and intensive cardiac rehabilitation services.

    The interim rule makes it clear that the change only deals with the method used to provide the supervision; it doesn't alter policies related to the scope of Medicare benefits or any rules around safe transportation and proper waste disposal.

    Home Health
    The rule expands the definition of a "homebound" patient as someone whose physician advises them to not leave home because of a confirmed or suspected COVID-19 diagnosis, or who has a condition that makes them more susceptible to COVID-19. The change means that home health agencies will be able to provide services under the Medicare Home Health benefit. The allowance does not apply to a patient who is self-quarantining but doesn't have the physician acknowledgement of COVID-19 or risk factors associated with COVID-19.

    The announced changes also allow HHAs to use additional telecommunications technologies in conjunction with in-person visits but stop short of allowing telecommunications-delivered communications to replace in-person visits.

    CMS also is pausing the "Review Choice Demonstration" for home health services in Illinois, Ohio, and Texas, the program that requires home health providers in those states to participate in preclaim or postpayment reviews, or to choose a third option that would involve reduced postpayment review but cut payment by 25%. The demonstration will not begin in North Carolina and Florida on May 4, 2020, as previously scheduled.

    See the CMS guidance on home health changes for more details.

    Inpatient Rehabilitation Facilities
    CMS is allowing IRFs experiencing staffing shortages and disruptions to back away from following the "three-hour rule," which requires that the IRF patients participate in three hours of rehabilitation therapy per day, five days per week—or, in certain well-documented cases, at least 15 hours of intensive rehabilitation therapy within a 7-consecutive day period that begins on the date of admission to the IRF.

    See the CMS guidance on IRF changes for more details.

    Medical Reviews
    The interim rule suspends most Medicare medical review during the emergency period, including prepayment medical reviews conducted by Medicare Administrative Contractors under the Targeted Probe and Educate program, as well as postpayment reviews. In addition, CMS announced that it won't issue additional documentation requests through the emergency period and will suspend all Targeted Probe and Educate reviews in process, and claims will be released and paid. Other postpayment reviews will also be suspended and released from review. CMS warns, however, that it may still conduct reviews during the emergency period if it finds indications of potential fraud.

    Where Things Stand: COVID-19 and Practice Guidance

    Information and resources around physical therapy and COVID-19 continue to develop. Here's what we're recommending.

    While APTA continues to point PTs, PTAs, and physical therapy students to the latest CDC guidance related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the association and other groups are creating more refined guidance related to specific practice settings and situations. Here are recommended resources to date.

    General Guidance for PT Management of Patients With Diagnosed or Suspected COVID-19
    This APTA resource provides perspectives on issues such as when a PT should tell patients not to come in for their outpatient PT visits, as well as management of patients diagnosed with COVID-19 in inpatient facilities, home health settings, experiencing post-intensive care syndrome, and in need of wound care. The guidance also includes information on preparation of physical space to reduce infection risk, use of PPE, and helping patients to stay active while at home.

    Pediatric Physical Therapy
    Physical therapist services to the pediatric population may have special considerations during the COVID-19 pandemic. APTA put together this information for PTs and PTAs who manage these patients, particularly in school settings. Topics include school closings and IEP services, remote learning, and a discussion of factors that need to be considered in providing pediatric physical therapy via telehealth.

    Acute Hospital Physical Therapy
    A new set of recommendations for provision of physical therapist services related to COVID-19 in the acute hospital setting acknowledges the necessity of involvement of PTs well-trained in respiratory physical therapy, but cautions that facilities should be judicious in their use. The recommendations have already been endorsed by APTA, its Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Section, and the APTA Academy of Acute Care Physical Therapy, albeit with a few caveats that not all of the Australia-based guidance will apply in the U.S.

    Long-Term Care Facilities
    The American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living released a joint document focused on changes to physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech-language pathology services to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Recommended changes to be considered by LTC facilities include discontinuation of group and concurrent therapy, delivery of therapy in resident rooms rather than therapy gyms, and the use of social distancing "as practicable." AHCA and NCAL also advise against therapists moving between buildings if COVID-19 is discovered in one building.

    Wound Care
    The Alliance of Wound Care Stakeholders, a group that includes APTA, the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, the Amputee Coalition, and others, issued a statement countering hospital decisions to shut down outpatient-based wound care departments as "non-essential" during the coronavirus pandemic.

    Dementia Caregivers
    The Alzheimer’s Association, in collaboration with Academy of Geriatric Physical Therapy and others, developed tips for dementia caregivers in long-term or community-based settings.

    AHCA/NCAL: Making Decisions on Essential Staff Entering Your Building
    The guidance helps nursing facilities assess the risks versus benefits in working with various essential services such as rehabilitation therapy, labs, and portable x-ray.

    Responding to Patient Concerns About Workers' Comp During the COVID-19 Pandemic

    Some patients may be understandably concerned about losing WC benefits if they choose to reduce travel during the national health emergency.

    APTA has received several communications from patients who are seeing a PT through workers' compensation but who are having reservations about continuing treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic. They feel at risk, yet they don't want to lose their WC benefits.

    In the event individual providers are hearing the same concerns, here's our advice to share with those patients:

    1. Contact your case manager. There may already be guidance available during the health emergency.
    2. Contact your employer — specifically, your employer's human resources department or your union representative. Again, guidance may already be there for you.
    3. Find out if your state has initiated emergency rules that allow for telehealth for purposes of treatment through workers' compensation. If the answer is yes, contact your provider to set up a telerehab plan.
    4. If you can't find definitive answers, keep making your concerns known and exploring possible solutions with your case manager and employer.

    For more information on physical therapy and workers' compensation, including links to individual state information, visit APTA's workers' compensation webpage.

    Coronavirus Update: March 30, 2020

    Practice guidance for pediatric physical therapy, a new volunteer resource, accelerated Medicare payments, and more.

    Practice Guidance

    March 30: APTA Offers General and Pediatric-Focused COVID-19 Guidance for PTs, PTAs, Students
    Two new resources from APTA can help PTs, PTAs, and students looking for more detailed, profession-specific guidance related to providing care during the COVID-19 pandemic: one focused on general PT management of patients, and a second that specifically addresses pediatric physical therapy.

    March 30: New COVID-19 Volunteer Resource Connects PTs, PTAs, Students With Facilities in Need
    APTA has launched a new online service that helps connect members of the physical therapy profession with facilities looking for volunteers. The service offers two points of entry — one for facilities in need of PT, PTA, or student volunteers, and another for PTs, PTAs, and students willing to offer their services, by way of the APTA Engage volunteer portal.

    From CMS

    March 30: 39 States Have Been Granted Medicaid Waivers
    As of March 30, 39 states have received federal 1135 waivers on a range of Medicaid requirements including prior authorization, provider enrollment, public notice mandates, and fair hearing request timelines. A CMS press released dated March 27 reported that 34 waivers had been issued; by the afternoon of March 30, the number had risen to 39.

    March 28: CMS Expands Accelerated and Advance Payment Program for Medicare 
    "CMS is expanding the program for all Medicare providers throughout the country during the public health emergency related to COVID-19," CMS states in a press release. "The payments can be requested by hospitals, doctors, durable medical equipment suppliers and other Medicare Part A and Part B providers and suppliers." Qualifications include billing timelines and a requirement that the provider not be in bankruptcy, not be under active medical review or program integrity investigation, and not have outstanding delinquent Medicare overpayments.

    March 27: CMS Offers Long-Term Care Nursing Homes Telehealth, Telemedicine Toolkit
    According to CMS: "Most of the information is directed towards providers who may want to establish a permanent telemedicine program, but there is information here that will help in the temporary deployment of a telemedicine program as well." Resources include guidance on choosing telemedicine vendors, equipment, and software, as well as developing documentation tools.

    From the Department of Health and Human Services

    March 27: HHS Office for Civil Rights Issues Bulletin on Nondiscrimination Requirements
    The HHS OCR is reminding entities covered by civil rights authorities that the current COVID-19 national emergency does not change civil rights laws. "These laws, like other civil rights statutes that OCR enforces, remain in effect," the bulletin states. "As such, persons with disabilities should not be denied medical care on the basis of stereotypes, assessments of quality of life, or judgments about a person’s relative 'worth' based on the presence or absence of disabilities."

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