With many commercial insurance carriers and state Medicaid programs expanding telehealth services to include outpatient physical, occupational and speech therapy services during the COVID-19 pandemic, a frequent question I am being asked is can a physical therapist assistant (PTA) or occupational therapy assistant (OTA) provide a telehealth visit?
To determine the answer, you must first look at your respective state practice act as well as any other state administrative rules. Is there any language found that either allows a PTA or OTA to provide telehealth services or specifically precludes a PTA or OTA from providing telehealth services?
You then must look at the insurance carriers telehealth policy regarding outpatient therapy services. Is there any language found that either allows a PTA or OTA to provide telehealth services or specifically precludes a PTA or OTA from providing telehealth services?
If both your state practice act or other state administrative rules as well as the insurance carriers policy do not prohibit a PTA or OTA from providing telehealth services, then a PTA or OTA could provide telehealth services under the appropriate direction and supervision of the physical therapist or occupational therapist that is required by your state practice act and/or insurance carrier.
The Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy has compiled an 8-page document outlining the current Jurisdiction Telehealth Laws for the 50 states and District of Columbia. Click HERE to access that document. If you have additional questions, please contact your respective state therapy association and if necessary, the insurance carrier.