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.

Maryland Board of Occupational Therapy Practice: Nominations Accepted until 3/20/20

Daniel Martin’s term on the Board of OT Practice ends this coming June 30th. The Maryland Department of Health requests that the Maryland Occupational Therapy Association (MOTA) submit a list of nominees no later than March 20, 2020. Parties who are interested in appointment to the Board of OT Practice should:

  • email MOTA at all4MOTA@gmail.com to request consideration for the position AND
  • complete the Governor’s Appointment Office online application (which must include their resume).

MOTA Membership Drawing

Attend our conference on Friday, October 4, and share a photo to Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram using our hashtag #MOTA2019. You will be entered into a drawing for a free year long MOTA membership!

MOTA reserves the right to use any photograph/video taken at any event sponsored by MOTA, without the expressed written permission of those included within the photograph/video. MOTA may use the photograph/video in publications or other media material produced, used or contracted by MOTA including but not limited to: social media, websites, magazines, etc.

Announcing the 2019 MOTA Henrietta Price Student Scholarships

This fall, the Maryland Occupational Therapy Association (MOTA) is accepting applications for its Henrietta Price Student Scholarships. These merit-based awards are available to students who are members of the Maryland Occupational Therapy Association and who have demonstrated promise and commitment to the profession through their experience and knowledge of occupational therapy. Candidates must either be (1) enrolled full-time in a Maryland college or university occupational therapy degree program or (2) a Maryland resident who has the intent to work in Maryland but is enrolled in an out-of-state, accredited occupational therapy degree program. 

In addition to the above criteria, applicants must have completed at least one term or semester of occupational therapy coursework before applying and are required to submit two professional references.

Two $1,000 awards are available: one to an occupational therapy assistant student and one to an occupational therapy student. The application period commences immediately and ends on September 20, 2019.

The selection of the recipients will be based on

  • Completed application
  • Academic performance
  • Experience with occupational therapy services
  • Evidence supporting a genuine commitment to the growth of the profession

POSTMARK OR ELECTRONIC SUBMISSION DEADLINE IS SEPTEMBER 20, 2019.

The application packet must be submitted in its entirety. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

The scholarship winner(s) will be notified the week of September 23, 2019 and announced at the MOTA conference on October 4, 2019. Award monies will be paid directly to the college or university for the benefit of the student and applied toward the student’s tuition or relevant academic need.

For questions on the program, please contact Derek Piggott, MOTA VP of Awards and Nominations, at dpiggott@towson.edu.

For MOTA membership questions, please email Nicole Powels, MOTA Vice President of Membership, at Nkeller.ot@gmail.com.

Nominations for the 2019 MOTA Recognition Awards

Now is the time to recognize your colleagues for their contributions to the profession of Occupational Therapy. Please take the opportunity to show your appreciation for their dedication and hard work. All nomination criteria must be followed. (Any nominations that do not follow the specified criteria will be rejected.)

DEADLINE FOR NOMINATIONS IS MONDAY September 23, 2019

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: Recognition of an individual who has demonstrated sustained and significant contributions to the profession and/or to the practice of occupational therapy in Maryland over the course of a career. 

Criteria: 1. Minimum of 30 years of experience in OT

2. OT or OTA

3. MOTA member

4. Two letters of recommendation detailing how the contribution has been sustained over time

RECOGNITION OF EXCELLENCE: Given for outstanding contributions to the field of occupational therapy. This award also recognizes accomplishments in research, education, public relations, recruitment, and administration.

Criteria: 1. OTA or OT

2. MOTA Member

3. Curriculum Vitae or resume

ROSTER OF MERIT: Recognition of a therapist whose knowledge and expertise have made a significant contribution to the advancement of occupational therapy.

Criteria: 1. Minimum of three years of experience

2. OTA or OT

3. MOTA Member

4. Accomplishments in communications and organizational service

5. Nomination must include identification of area of significant contribution

6. Curriculum vitae or resume

PRESIDENTIAL COMMENDATION: Recognition of an individual who has made significant contribution to the field of occupational therapy.

Criteria: From a discipline other than occupational therapy

OUTSTANDING PRACTICE: Recognition of a therapist providing excellent treatment in a clinical setting with demonstration of particular skill in application of theory and techniques. 

Criteria: 1. OTA or OT (MOTA membership is not required)

2. Minimum of two years of experience

EXEMPLARY DEPARTMENT OR PROGRAM AWARD: Recognition of a cohesive department or program that demonstrates accomplishments in program development, quality assurance, communications, and teamwork.

Criteria: 1.OTA, OT, or other disciplines (totaling three or more positions)

2. Majority of OT staff are members of MOTA

EXEMPLARY STUDENT SUPERVISOR: Recognition of an individual who has contributed to the quality of fieldwork education in Maryland.

Criteria: 1. OTA or OT

2. Has directly supervised at least two OTA and /or OT students at Level I or II

3. MOTA member

4. One letter of recommendation (e.g., an academic site, a student, a student committee, colleague, OT director)  

EXEMPLARY FIELDWORK SITE: Recognition of a fieldwork site that has provided high quality, creative, and comprehensive educational opportunities to OT students in Maryland.

Criteria: 1. Fifty percent (50%) of student supervisors must be current MOTA members

2. Must have supervised at least four OT students during the past 5 years, two of which completed their Level II fieldwork in the past 2 years.

3. One letter of recommendation (e.g., an academic site, a student, a student committee, colleague, OT director)