Physical Therapy Practice during COVID-19 Outbreak; Info & Resources
Last Updated 3/26/2020, 12:44 pm
The response to the COVID-19 outbreak is evolving rapidly, with mandatory measures and guidance being published daily at the local, state and national levels, we strongly encourage you to follow the links below frequently for updated information as things change.
Stay Home. Save Lives.
The Governor has issued Executive Order 20-12 on 3/23/20 expanding social distancing requirements designed to slow the spread of the virus and save lives. While a physical therapy clinic, as a heath care facility, is an allowable destination under the order, as a provider or patient of physical therapy, it is critical that we all follow social distancing measures to the greatest extent possible to limit the spread of the virus and protect the most vulnerable populations. Executive Order 20-10 pertaining to elective and non-urgent procedures and the use of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) also applies to all physical therapy practitioners. The Oregon Health Authority has issued guidelines for complying with EO 20-10.
Overall, be sure to stay current on all requirements and recommendations for social distancing, cleaning and screening practices, and make adjustments to patient care, including the application of telehealth and rescheduling of all non-urgent care.
Guidance for Practice
The Oregon Health Authority, under direction of the Governor's office, is coordinating the State response and guidance including guidance for health professionals. The primary landing page for information is here, We highly recommend signing up for updates..
OHA also includes links to CDC guidance, or you can go here directly. CDC recently published guidance and communication tools for clinics here.
The Governor has issued several Executive Orders relating to COVID-19. All Executive Orders are published directly here. The Governor also has a general landing page for COVID-19 information here.
Increasingly, city governments are also publishing mandates that may apply to you. We recommend taking a moment to reference their websites and signing up for notifications.
The Oregon Board of Physical Therapy has rules in place governing telehealth practice. You can review those rules here.
Nationally, there have been several actions to ease the utilization of telehealth; if you are new to telehealth or are considering expanding your use of telehealth temporarily, we recommend regularly reviewing information published at HHS.gov and CMS.gov. Here are two relevant links recently published relating to billing and HIPAA compliance:Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Telemedicine Fact Sheet
And for those new to telehealth, the APTA has a good resource page here.
Business Oregon has put together a resource for businesses impacted by COVID-19 here.
Information relating to impacts on the NPTE and other services provided by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT) can be found here.
The American Physical Therapy Association is maintaining a frequently updated resource for information and guidance related to COVID-19 and PT practice for both members and non-members here.
Oregon Health Authority's Health Security, Preparedness and Response Division has several resources for guidance and preparation, including information on volunteering with the State Emergency Registry of Volunteers -- SERV-OR. OHA is actively seeking more volunteers.
SERV-OR Frequently Asked Questions
Board Office Hours and Board Meetings
While State Offices are currently closed to the public for in-person visits to protect public health, we continue to be open for business via phone and email, or via the services available on our website. We are experiencing higher than normal call volumes and cannot always answer immediately. Please do leave a voicemail or contact us via email and we will get back to you as quickly as possible. Please be sure to include your full name and license number, if applicable, in your message.
Additionally, meetings of the Board scheduled for the next several months will be conducted via teleconference. Meeting notices and agendas will be updated with public call-in information ahead of the meetings.