Has CMS Eased Student Supervision Requirements During COVID-19 Pandemic?

February 15, 2021
Rick Gawenda

A question I received today and thought was worthwhile to post and answer for my Gold Members relates to student supervision requirements in the outpatient therapy setting. Due to COVID-19, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has eased the supervision requirements of a physical therapist assistant (PTA) by the physical therapist (PT) and occupational therapy assistant (OTA) by the occupational therapist (OT) in the private practice setting through the later of the end of the calendar year in which the COVID-19 pandemic ends or December 31, 2021. To read more about this change, click HERE.

The question I received today regarding students is as follows: Does the PT, PTA, OT or OTA need to be present with the therapy student, directing and participating in the treatment of the Medicare beneficiary receiving outpatient therapy services, whether in-person or via telehealth, while the student participates in the delivery of the therapy services or has this requirement been eased during the COVID-19 pandemic?

The answer is yes, the

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  1. Thank you Rick…. you mention PT/OT only …. does this hold true for SLP students? or are they an entirely different directive?