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A new guidance document from the country's leading provider of physical therapy professional liability insurance offers tips when considering home health physical therapy during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The provision of home-based physical therapy during the COVID-19 pandemic is a hot topic of conversation for the profession, and now the country's leading provider of liability insurance is offering its perspectives on risk management in the home therapy setting.

Now available: a guidance document from the Healthcare Providers Service Organization on minimizing risk in the provision of home health physical therapy. HPSO is an APTA Strategic Business Partner, and the official provider of professional liability insurance for APTA members.

Similar to APTA's guidance, the HPSO resource emphasizes the importance of following recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on minimizing the spread of COVID-19. And much like APTA and the CDC, HPSO emphasizes the importance of the PT's professional judgment, writing that "As a healthcare provider, physical therapists are in the best position to know what is best for their patient, his or her overall health, and how well their conditions are managed."

The HPSO document, however, dives deeper into the home health setting, noting that during the emergency, "some physical therapy practices may be considering expanding service offerings to include physical therapy in the patient's home."

The HPSO resource isn't solely focused on COVID-19-related issues, and moves from considerations around establishing a home care service into a range of considerations that include incident response, standard of care, scope of practice, patient screening, equipment safety, and infection prevention, among other topics.

"The home care environment presents a wide array of injury and liability concerns for patients, physical therapists, and employers of physical therapists," HPSO writes. "A comprehensive risk control program that identifies and addresses common exposures is essential to enhance worker and patient safety and minimize potential loss."


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