Resources for Occupational Therapy Practitioners in Pennsylvania
POTA understands that many occupational therapy practitioners are or will be affected by the spread of the Coronavirus.The Pennsylvania Occupational Therapy Association is not able to provide legal advice to our members but we are able to provide you with support and resources so that you are equipped to make sound ethical decisions based on the most recent and credible evidence.
We encourage you to stay informed and continue to use best practices. Below are some resources to help you keep up to date with the evidence. Consider following some of these resources on social media for real time updates.
Please do not hesitate to reach out to us if we can be of support in any way or if you have ideas as to how we can use our collective resources to help support you in your practice as you navigate through this un-chartered territory.
We are stronger together!
- PA Department of Human Services
- U.S. Department of Homeland Security identifies the occupational therapist and occupational therapy assistant as essential workers
- CMS regularly offers press releases about Medicare and Medicaid recipients
- American Healthcare Association & National Association for Assisted Living
- The Pennsylvania Occupational Therapy Practice Act (1982) and Chapter 42 Code Regulations are silent on how occupational therapy services are delivered, and does not specify whether it is through telehealth, home health, skilled nursing, school based, or acute inpatient settings. There are occupational therapy practitioners in the Commonwealth who have been providing occupational therapy services using telehealth for several years now. Regardless of where or what method you choose to provide occupational therapy services in Pennsylvania, you need to follow the Pennsylvania Occupational Therapy Practice Act, PA Chapter 42 Code Regulations, the AOTA Occupational Therapy Code of Ethics (2015) in addition to any regulations specific to the third party payer or regulations of your employer. In addition to the Code of Ethics, AOTA has put out an Advisory Opinion about the ethical considerations for practitioners engaging in telehealth that all occupational therapy practitioners providing services via telehealth should consider.
If you have specific questions about the practice act or regulations, you can contact the State Board of Occupational Therapy P.O. Box 2649 Harrisburg, PA 17105-2649 Phone - (717) 783-1389 Email ST-OCCUPATIONAL@PA.GOV
- AOTA is currently working very diligently to get telehealth occupational therapy services reimbursed through Medicare. Now more than ever, it is important to engage in this process of advocacy. Visit their Advocacy Webpage and with a few clicks, let your voice be heard with a letter to your representatives.
- Occupational therapy practitioners are encouraged to advocate for telehealth services for individual clients by calling their providers and describing the benefits for each particular situation.
- Independence Blue Cross appears to allow occupational therapy practitioners to access coverage via telehealth 3/21/2020j
- Cigna appears to allow for occupational therapy codes 97165, 97166, and 97110
- Tricare appears to have a telemedicine benefit which includes occupational therapy
- Capital Blue Cross includes occupational therapy in their list of "eligible providers" with special location code
- UHC appears to allow for e-visits
- Aetna resource page for providers
- UPMC resource page for providers
- CMS and Medicaid, see above
- American Occupational Therapy Association
- PA Department of Community and Economic Development
- Contract worker resources
- Small Business Administration
Resources from the World Health Organization
Managing Mental Health during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Resources from the WHO
Additional Mental Health Resources related to COVID-19 relevant to GCPN Members
Updated Information from the World Health Organization about COVID-19
Other Sources to Access COVID-19 Information