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Home health guidance, relief funds for providers and students, CDC recommendations on essential workers who may have been exposed, and more.

Home health guidance, relief funds for providers and students, CDC recommendations on essential workers who may have been exposed, and more.

Practice Guidance

April 14: HPSO Provides Risk Management Considerations for Home Health Physical Therapy
APTA's official provider of professional liability insurance for members has created a resource that emphasizes the importance of CDC guidance and PT professional judgment, but dives deeper into considerations that need to be weighed when considering home health physical therapy — particularly during the COVID-19 health emergency.

April 13: PTJ Publishes Insights From Italian PTs on COVID-19
In two related articles, physical therapists on the frontlines of Italy's battle with COVID-19 discuss physical therapy with infected patients in the hospital, and how PTs can help with recovery from post-intensive care syndrome.

April 10: Resources for Staying Up-to-Speed on Telehealth, Licensure, Other State-Level Changes
APTA offers four key ways to ensure that you're on top of state decisions that could impact your practice during the pandemic.

April 9: CMS Opens the Possibility of Providing Care to a Patient in the Same Building, But Not in the Same Room
During a national stakeholder call on April 8, CMS opened up the possibility that it would allow a clinician to provide services remotely to a patient in the same building, but not in the same room, and bill the encounter as an in-person visit. A follow-up question submitted by APTA via email seems to indicate that CMS thinks the allowance applies to PTs.

COVID-19 Relief Funds

April 14: Relief Act Opens up Possibility for Grants to College, University Students
The $2 trillion in relief included in the CARES Act stimulus signed into law in late March included $31 billion in aid for education. Part of that money is being made available to postsecondary education to pass along to students by way of direct grants.

April 10: HHS Deposits Money Into Some Providers' Bank Accounts
A $30 billion emergency relief package began rolling out on April 10, making direct deposits into provider and facility accounts based on 2019 Medicare billing.

From CDC

April 9: CDC Issues Recommendations on Workers Who May Have Been Exposed to COVID-19
In a recently released interim guidance document, CDC says that while critical infrastructure workers may be allowed to work after potential exposure to COVID-19 — provided they don't develop symptoms — it's important for the workers and their providers to take precautions.

From the Department of Labor

DOL Announces Interim Enforcement Response Plan to Protect Workers During Pandemic
According to DOL, the new plan "outlines procedures for addressing reports of workplace hazards related to the coronavirus," with fatalities and imminent danger exposures related to the coronavirus prioritized. A DOL press release states that "Workers requesting inspections, complaining of coronavirus exposure, or reporting illnesses may be protected under one or more whistleblower statutes."

In the Media

April 10: NIH Seeks Participants for Study Looking at Undetected COVID-19
A new study has begun recruiting at the National Institutes of Health to determine how many adults in the United States without a confirmed history of infection with SARS-CoV-2 have antibodies to the virus, a sign of a prior infection. NIH is seeking as many as 10,000 volunteers to provide data, which could help shed light on extent to which the novel coronavirus has spread undetected in the U.S.

April 10: Four Reasons Coronavirus Is Hitting Black Communities so Hard
From the Washington Post: "A Washington Post analysis of early data from jurisdictions across the country found that the novel coronavirus appears to be affecting — and killing — black Americans at a disproportionately high rate compared to white Americans." The analysis uncovered four main causes.

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

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