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COVID-19 References and Resources:


April 1, 2020 - Update from OPTA Reimbursement Chair


Dear OPTA Members,


With the ever changing landscape of COVID 19, rules, regulations, and guidelines continue to develop.  We continue to recommend frequently referencing CDC, APTA, PPS, CMS, HHS, and official notices by local and federal government.  The OPTA will continue to monitor and share information with our members.  The information below is what we believe to be true and accurate as of 8:00am CDT on Wednesday, April 1, 2020. 


Your health, safety, and welfare in the face of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) is our highest priority. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), older adults and people who have severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung, or kidney disease seem to be at higher risk for more serious COVID-19 illness.  This means that most people with Medicare are at higher risk. Link:


The Trump administration announces Tuesday, March 31, 2020,  an unprecedented expansion of telehealth services for seniors, an effort to prevent healthy and sick Americans alike from visiting doctor’s offices in person and risk spreading or catching the novel coronavirus. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued an array of temporary regulatory waivers and new rules to equip the American health care system with maximum flexibility to respond to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. CMS sets and enforces essential quality and safety standards for the nation’s health care system and is the nation’s largest health insurer serving more than 140 million Americans through Medicare, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and Federal Exchanges.  Link:


OKLAHOMA CITY (March 29, 2020) – Governor Kevin Stitt has issued a sixth amendment to Executive Order (EO) 2020-07, requiring travelers from six states to self-quarantine for 14 days, requiring delivery personnel to submit to screenings upon request at hospitals, clinics, long term care facilities and daycares, and protecting health care workers and their families from discrimination in housing or childcare. Link:


Oklahoma State Board of Medical Licensure and Supervision announces (March 31, 2020) Telehealth in Physical Therapy. During the coronavirus pandemic and until the declaration for emergency is no longer in effect, the Executive Order  2020-07 is in effect for PTs and PTAs who may incorporate a tele-therapy platform to avoid: break in treatment, cross-contamination by keeping both patients and providers safe from spread of the virus, and closing the practice altogether creating adverse economic impact, etc.  After an in-person evaluation as appropriate, tele-therapy and physical therapy is appropriate for quick screening follow-ups, post-surgical monitoring, rehabilitation, therapeutic exercise, therapeutic activities and home management, patient and caregiver instructions, and other areas as appropriate.  Real-time audio/video synchronous encounters are highly recommended.


PTs and PTAs must ensure that when providing telehealth services or billing for them, they are practicing legally and ethically, and adhering to payer contract agreements, including but not limited to guidance from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.  We recommend that PTs and PTAs use their discretion as to the nature and frequency of providing services via telehealth, and to do so within their scope of practice, training, experience and availability of appropriate hardware and software. Link:


Notification of Enforcement Discretion for Telehealth Remote Communications. During the COVID-19 Nationwide Public Health Emergency.  Medical providers are being empowered to serve patients wherever they are during this national public health emergency. According to Roger Serverino, OCR Director, We are especially concerned about reaching those most at risk, including older persons and persons with disabilities.


Under this Notice, however, Facebook Live, Twitch, TikTok, and similar video communication applications are public facing, and should not be used in the provision of telehealth by covered health care providers.


Covered health care providers that seek additional privacy protections for telehealth while using video communication products should provide such services through technology vendors that are HIPAA compliant and will enter into HIPAA business associate agreements (BAAs) in connection with the provision of their video communication products.  The list below includes some vendors that represent that they provide HIPAA-compliant video communication products and that they will enter into a HIPAA BAA. Link:


  • Skype for Business / Microsoft Teams
  • Updox
  • VSee
  • Zoom for Healthcare
  • Google G Suite Hangouts Meet
  • Cisco Webex Meetings / Webex Teams
  • Amazon Chime
  • GoToMeeting
  • Spruce Health Care Messenger

With regards to Federal Payers, Commercial Payers, State Emergency Orders, State Mandated Health Orders, and Occupational Medicine Providers, as it relates to telehealth and COVID19, please reference:  Several PDFs are posted, downloadable and assessable to members.


Other news related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the APTA Board of Directors has made the difficult but necessary decision to transition the in-person House of Delegates to a virtual format and cancel the NEXT Conference & Exposition in Phoenix and replace it with a separate virtual event.


As always, if you have any questions, feel free to contact the OPTA office at


We will continue to provide updates with OPTA membership, as information becomes available. Thank you for your continued efforts and understanding during this trying time for our patients and our profession. We will respond and update as quickly as possible.


Thank you,



Chris Juneau PT, MBA

OPTA Reimbursement Chair



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