Telehealth/Remote Therapy: NYC Procedures
Updated: Mar 23, 2020
The following is a reproduction of an email from Daniel H. Stephens, MD, Deputy Commissioner for Family and Child Health, NYC DOHMH, dated March 18.
As stated in the New York State Department of Health COVID-19 Guidance of March 18, 2020, during the declared state of emergency, reimbursement will be available for individual telehealth (virtual) early intervention services provided in accordance with the child’s Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP). Therefore, all Early Intervention evaluations and therapy services should be provided utilizing a teletherapy approach to the maximum extent possible. In order to ensure that teletherapy is appropriately implemented:
Service Coordinators must ensure that:
The parent/guardian has 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.
The parent/guardian understands that they must be present for the entire duration of the session and that they will be actively participating throughout the session.
The parent/guardian family signs a consent for service to be delivered virtually before initiating teletherapy services.
The consent for teletherapy is uploaded into the child’s integrated case.
The parent/guardian understands that teletherapy services provided pursuant to their IFSP will be in place of, and not in addition to, their IFSP mandate.
They use the attached checklist with each family, titled “New York City Bureau of Early Intervention Sample Checklist for Teletherapy Intervention During the Declared State of Emergency for COVID-19.”
The family has the option of signing the consent via email (if the family has consented to the use of email), or via US postal service or fax.
They check-in with the family within 1 week of initiation of teletherapy to ensure that teletherapy has been initiated and is being delivered as authorized.
Therapist/Teachers delivering teletherapy must ensure that:
They have discussed teletherapy services with the parent/guardian with proper consideration given to the parent/guardian’s comfort with and access to the necessary technology.
They conduct the session/evaluation in a secure area that is private and cannot be overheard or viewed by individuals who are not involved in the session.
No other family’s personally identifiable information is visible during the session.
They discussed the parent/guardian’s role before the initiation of teletherapy to ensure that the parent/guardian understands that they will be actively participating during the entire duration of the session/evaluation.
They do not initiate the delivery of teletherapy until the assigned Service Coordinator has obtained consent from the parent/guardian and attached it to the child’s integrated case in NYEIS.
Below is a the checklist that service coordinators are required to complete prior to the start of Telehealth services.