COVID-19 INFO: Governor’s Expansion of Telemedicine – OT, PT, SLP Services

Published: March 26th, 2020

Special Education Directors,

As you may already be aware, there has been some uncertainty regarding the ability of OTs, PTs, and SLPs to provide services during school closures via telehealth to those students for whom it is deemed to be appropriate and feasible. The uncertainty arose from a lack of clarity as to whether their respective licensing entities permitted the provision of therapy services by telehealth.

Yesterday, Governor Ducey issued Executive Order 2020-15: Expansion of Telemedicine. The order includes Occupational, Physical, and Speech therapies. The Executive Order is effective immediately and expires upon the termination of the Declaration of Public Health Emergency related to COVID-19 (March 11, 2020). As a result of the order, OTs, PTs, and SLPs are authorized to provide services by telepractice for the duration of the health emergency.

Future changes with regard to Medicaid billing are unknown. To date, therapies provided by PEAs using telehealth are not reimbursable through Medicaid school-based claiming. ADE/ESS is aware of this issue and will keep you apprised of any updates.

The FAQ section of the ESS COVID-19 webpage is being updated to include new questions related to the provision of these services through telepractice.

For questions or comments, please email the ESS Inbox.