Public Policy Partners COVID-19 Resources Occupational Therapy Update

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We are pleased to share this helpful resource from MOTA’s lobbyists. To help navigate the information stream coming from all levels of government and the private sector in response to COVID-19, Public Policy Partners has collected and shared information and resources that may benefit practitioners and Marylanders. Please see these comprehensive resources and the occupational therapy specific information below. 

  1. Telehealth
    1. All healthcare professionals can use synchronous or asynchronous tele-therapy technology for NEW and EXISTING patients under specific regulations
      1. The practitioner is licensed in Maryland
      2. The practitioner is working under a facility that was authorized through the Governor’s Executive Order 
    2. Medicaid Reimbursement: covers broad telecommunication including audio only phone calls
      1. Patients are allowed to be located in their homes
      2. Somatic care may be completed through telephone services 
      3. IEP Services are reimbursable for tele-therapy
      4. Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) is now reimbursable for any somatic patient whose condition requires monitoring through RPM
    3. Private Insurance – State Regulated Plans: 
      1. Insurers must reimburse for telehealth services at the same rate as in-person services
      2. Telehealth DOES NOT include audio-only or telephone-only calls
    4. Medicare: Now expanded to include patients in their homes
      1. Telehealth Visit: NOT allowed for Occupational Therapists!!!
      2. E-Visits: synchronous or asynchronous communications for established patients only and covers occupational therapy
  2. Licensure
    1. Out of State Practitioners:
      1. A practitioner who holds a license from a state other than Maryland is allowed to practice (in-person and telehealth) as long as they are working for a hospital or related institution approved by the Secretary
    2. Inactive Licenses:
      1. Allows health facilities (as defined in the Executive Order) to employ health professionals with inactive state licenses
    3. Scope of Practice:
      1. The Executive Order allows health professionals to practice outside of their scope of practice as long as it can be done safely in a facility
  3. Health Insurance
    1. The Maryland Health Benefit Exchange is now open until June 15, 2020 for currently uninsured or newly uninsured Maryland residents

Updated By: Alysse Zaffos, Robyn Elliott, Rachael Faulkner, and Sonia Lawson on 4/13/2020

COVID-19 Update and Resources

MOTA recognizes the impact from the Covid-19 pandemic on occupational therapy practitioners, educators and students as we adapt to these uncertain times. Occupational Therapy practitioners across the state of Maryland have all been challenged to remain healthy and ensure safe practices to prevent further community spread. 

In the past weeks, various executive orders that impact professional practice, including related guidance and resources, have been disseminated at the federal, state, and local level. MOTA would like to provide you with a means to access those resources in efforts to help you stay safe, as well as continue providing services, if applicable. Below are resources that have been complied to help you find professional guidance to stay safe and remain abreast of developments during this time.

Please know guidelines and recommendations are fluid and changing almost daily, therefore it is recommended that you revisit the respective resources frequently for updates. All resources below are current as of April 13, 2020.

Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

The CDC has released multiple resources promoting precautionary measures and proper hygiene.      

The American Occupational Therapy Association

Information pertaining to Occupational Therapy in the Era of Coronavirus (COVID-19) will be continuously updated as resources become available. Information includes OT and Telehealth, CMS guidelines to providers, and Provision of Special Education, Early Intervention, and 504 Services during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Maryland Board of Occupational Therapy Practice   
Read the Board’s position statement on occupational therapists’ use of telehealth to provide occupational therapy services. Our Practice Act and COMAR Regulations may be found on the same page.
 
The staff of the Maryland Board of Occupational Therapy is currently teleworking. You may reach the board via email mdotboard.user@maryland.gov or lauren.murray@maryland.gov
 
Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

Executive order regarding health care matters

Telehealth: Services Delivery Executive Order

On March 20, 2020, Governor Hogan issued an Executive Order to authorize the reimbursement of audio-only health care services and to grant further flexibility regarding the use of HIPAA-compliant telehealth technology during the state of emergency. Details may be found online (scroll to Authorizing Telehealth, dated April 1). 

School Based Practice

The U.S. Department of Education through collaboration and coordination with state and local educational agencies have disseminated critical information and resources for guidance in school settings. Resources, webinars, and fact sheets can be found online. 

The U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) has released a series of fact sheets to provide specific guidance for how schools may conduct virtual education to students for an extended period of time.

The Maryland State Department of Education is working collaboratively with the Governor’s Office, the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) and the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) on the health and safety of students and staff in the school setting. Information can be found online here.