COVID - 19 Resources

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AOTA Information

AOTA Vertical logo

We encourage you to check AOTA’s website frequently: AOTA’s top priority as we navigate this pandemic together is the health and safety of occupational therapy practitioners, students, and the clients they serve. We will update this page as information becomes available and will continue to empower students, educators, and clinicians to navigate these unprecedented circumstances. https://www.aota.org/Practice/Manage/telehealth/coronavirus.aspx
Members of AOTA can visit OT in Schools Teleheath Q & A (AOTA log-in required)

Telehealth: General Overview
The Texas Board of Occupational Therapy Examiners

Note: TBOTE provides only a general overview of Board regulations in the newsletter. Refer to the full OT Act and Rules for further Board regulations. https://www.ptot.texas.gov/page/ot-acts-and-rules

“Telehealth may be used as a mode of service delivery for the provision of occupational therapy services by occupational therapy practitioners (OTs and OTAs licensed by the Texas Board of Occupational Therapy Examiners) with clients located in Texas at the time of the provision of services. 

It is the responsibility of the occupational therapy practitioner to ensure that all technologies used for telehealth meet the requirements in the OT Act and Rules”. To read this article in its entirety,click here to refer to the TBOTE March newsletter... 


Texas HHS Monitors Coronavirus

Texas Health and Human ServicesDuring a public health threat, HHSC must quickly mobilize to help Texans. Public health threats can affect clients and providers. 

https://hhs.texas.gov/services/health/coronavirus-covid-19


Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services


COVID-19 & Your Business: Frequent QuestionsJackson Walker Logo

With heightened concern about the spread of COVID-19, a number of issues arise that concern businesses of all kinds. Jackson Walker has developed a Coronavirus Insights and Resource page. If you are in private practice you might find this information useful. https://www.jw.com/coronavirus/business-employer-faq/?utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=84804076&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-_Im75rPBcJoqXWhxtHiWXSKYWcuithcgaRDRUyLfR00pUc9rH-UgkDgzySGLTY5BtlVh-DwoidjyCplJbqzWLgVVWxhw&_hsmi=84804076


Note to School-Based Practitioners:

In our previous email regarding the provision of telehealth in school-based practice, we provided information in the PowerPoint that was outdated.

Here is the clarification to the role of a PTA in telehealth in the school setting: TBPTE amended PT Rules §322.5. Telehealth – proposed in October 2019, adopted in January 2020 with an effective date of March 1, 2020. The amendment provides authority for the PTA to provide physical therapy services via telehealth under the supervision of a PT.

From the TOTA School Focus Group Advisory Board:

Covid 19 Telehealth Service Delivery in Schools 4/17/20

  1. Use your consultation skills to foster collaborative partnerships with teachers and parents – e.g., ask questions, listen and learn.
  2. Begin with the basics – ask what the parent and the teacher what they need help with.
  3. Recognize that your skill set translates beautifully to this situation. Look at the student’s IEPs and then identify what you can embed in the natural routine at home so the student retains abilities and where possible, makes progress. Use what is available in the home – be creative!
  4. It’s OK if you aren’t doing this perfectly. All of us are learning together.
  5. Document everything (parent’s preferences, student engagement, issues addressed including specific IEP goals, what transpires (including challenges/barriers), student progress, date and start/end times of the services.
  6. Service time includes services directly to the student or on behalf of the student (indirect services such as fabricating materials or consulting, training, coaching and modeling for the parent/caregiver) via audio (phone), audiovisual (Zoom, etc.) or via Email.

New TEA Resource: TEA FAQ Supporting Students with Complex Needs _4 9 20

Things to Consider as You Initiate Telehealth Service Delivery 3/20/2020

In all cases of telehealth service delivery on-going problem-solving with special education administration will be the key (and you may need to initiate it)! Coaching, modeling and consulting are the most effective telehealth strategies (with published evidence to support them). Remember that with children at home, families are juggling a great deal – to the greatest degree possible, use what is available in the home and keep it simple!

Here are things to consider as you get started on telehealth services:

  • What are your LEA’s priorities for educational services for students with disabilities?
  • What are the planned instructional activities for the individual students you serve, including those with low incidence disabilities?
  • What can you do as an OT or PT practitioner to help/support the teacher? the parent/helper on the other end?
  • In what ways (phone, Email, text, teleconference, etc.) can you effectively collaborate with key professional members of the collaborative team?
  • How will language barriers be overcome?
  • How will technology barriers be overcome?

TOTA’s School Focus Advisory Group includes: Leah Alba (PT), Monica Bowman (PT), Carie Crabb (PT), Judy Frankson (OT), Eileen Garza (OT), Lois Goodin (PT), Beth Goodrich (OT), Sue Ann Hill (OTA), Lou Ann Hinz (OT), Hope McCarroll (OT), Michelle Smith (OT), Mercedes Siemsen (PTA), and Jean Polichino (OT)


Student Resource

AOTA and ACOTE® understand how deeply disruptive these sudden changes have been to academic programs and students. AOTA and ACOTE are working on your behalf and will provide updates as we have them. Click here for FAQs for Educators and Students.


Gov. AbbottGovernor Abbott Press Release: 3/30/2020

Governor Abbott Announces Approval Of 1135 Medicaid Waiver

 

This approval grants Texas flexibility in administering Medicaid while the state continues to respond to COVID-19. https://gov.texas.gov/news/post/governor-abbott-announces-approval-of-1135-medicaid-waiver

Governor Abbott Press Release: 3/26/2020
Governor Abbott Announces HHSC Request Of 1135 Medicaid Waiver

Governor Greg Abbott today announced that the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) has submitted a Section 1135 Medicaid Waiver to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS). If approved, this would grant Texas flexibility in administering Medicaid while the state continues to respond to COVID-19. https://gov.texas.gov/news/post/governor-abbott-announces-hhsc-request-of-1135-medicaid-waiver

Governor Abbott Press Release: 3/19/2020
Governor Abbott Issues Executive Orders In Accordance With Federal Guidelines To Mitigate Spread Of COVID-19 In Texas

Governor Greg Abbott announced a series of Executive Orders relating to COVID-19 preparedness and mitigation. The four orders serve to limit public gatherings and help reduce exposure for people across the state. These orders are in accordance with federal guidelines issued by the President and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and will aid in the state's efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19. https://gov.texas.gov/news/post/governor-abbott-issues-executive-orders-in-accordance-with-federal-guidelines-to-mitigate-spread-of-covid-19-in-texas

Governor Abbott Press Release:  3/17/2020
Governor Abbott Waives Certain Regulations For Telemedicine Care In Texas

Governor Abbott sent out a press release announcing that TDI will be issuing an emergency rule directing health plans to pay in-network health professionals at least the same rate for telemedicine services as for in-person services. This will only apply to state-regulated plans, which make up around 17% of the insured population in Texas. https://gov.texas.gov/news/post/governor-abbott-waives-certain-regulations-for-telemedicine-care-in-texas 

Visit the Office of the Texas Governor page for more press release information.


Texas COVID-19 Resources

Department of State Health Services Information
https://www.dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus/

Department of State Health Services Information for Hospitals and Healthcare Professionals https://www.dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus/healthprof.aspx

Department of Insurance Coronavirus Resources https://www.tdi.texas.gov/wc/information/coronavirus.html

Department of Health and Human Services Information on Coronavirus (COVID-19) for Providers
https://hhs.texas.gov/services/health/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-covid-19-provider-information

Department of Health and Human Services Information on Coronavirus (COVID-19) for People Receiving Services
https://hhs.texas.gov/services/health/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-covid-19-information-people-receiving-services