Teletherapy During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency
During the declared state of emergency, individual telehealth (virtual) early intervention services can be provided in accordance with the child’s Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) and for which there is a service authorization under speciﬁc circumstances.
If you are interested in participating in a teletherapy visit with your child’s provider, please review the following guidelines and details about telehealth visits and/or contact your service coordinator to discuss access to telehealth visits for your child’s services.
The New York State Department of Health’s Bureau of Early Intervention has provided the following circumstances for which telehealth visits will be available:
The family expresses a need for and agrees to use of virtual early intervention visits during the time of this declared emergency.
Prior to initiating telehealth services, the family must sign a consent for service to be delivered virtually and that the family understands that virtual services pursuant to their IFSP will be in place of and not in addition to their IFSP mandate. Signing the consent can take place via email (if the family has consented to use of email), or via US postal service or fax).
Providers and families have the necessary platform to conduct virtual therapy services. This means that the service must include video and audio components for the entire duration of the authorized visit.
Therapy services cannot exceed the visits included in the child’s IFSP.
Virtual therapy services must be a minimum of 30 minutes in duration.
Providers must maintain all required documentation of the therapy service and note that it was provided virtually.
Group services cannot be conducted virtually; however, the child’s IFSP may be amended to reﬂect individual services if appropriate.
Providers must obtain parent signatures on a service log that documents that the service was received by the child at the date and time recorded by the provider. The provider can maintain the list of sessions furnished virtually for the week and send the service log to the parent for signature via US mail. The signed service log can be returned to the provider either via the US mail or electronically (scanned/returned via email or the parent can take a picture of the signed document and return it electronically).
Approved Virtual Visit Products/Platforms
Any non-public facing remote communication product that is available to communicate with families for the entire duration of the authorized EI visit is permissible during this state of emergency. Under this Notice, covered health care providers may use popular applications that allow for video chats, including Apple FaceTime, Facebook Messenger video chat, Google Hangouts video, or Skype, to provide telehealth. Providers are not responsible for the functionality of these platforms on families’ devices.
Provider and parents/guardians must be aware that these third-party applications potentially introduce privacy risks. It is the responsibility of the provider for the provider to be in a conﬁdential location while conducting virtual visits. It is the responsibility of parents/guardians to insure the parents’/guardians’ location for the virtual visits provides the level of conﬁdentiality they desire.
PTHC will utilize one of the following platforms for telehealth: Skype (PC, Android and Apple), Google Hangouts (PC, Android and Apple), Facetime (Apple only).
Skype Google Hangouts Facetime
Please contact your service coordinator to discuss access to telehealth visits for your child’s services.