The Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy
would like to take this opportunity to answer the many inquiries we have had in
relation to telehealth and the unprecedented challenges in the face of the
COVID-19 pandemic. We would like to answer a few common questions we are
Can occupational therapy telehealth services be
provided in the state of Alabama?
Yes. While our current practice act does not
explicitly address telehealth, it also does not limit its use for therapy
either. All ethical and scope of practice guidelines apply to telehealth
practice the same as face to face practice.
Can occupational therapy providers licensed in
Alabama provide telehealth services to clients in other states without a
license in that state?
Under normal circumstances, the provider must be
licensed in the physical location of the patient unless a state has a specific
exemption specified. Contact the state of location of the patient to determine
if licensure has been waived at this time.
Are telehealth services reimbursed by insurance?
The Board does not involve itself with issues of
reimbursement. We encourage you to call your insurance providers and request
that telehealth services be covered in the face of the COVID-19 public health
Are there restrictions for seeing our patients?
We recommend you follow the guidelines of the
Will the board relax/adjust/modify the licensure requirements
during this period (i.e. - reduction in number of fieldwork hours/requirements,
allow immediate license reciprocity for individuals not dually licensed in
Alabama, remove licensee supervision requirements)?
No. This Board does not
have the authority to change educational requirements set by the Accreditation Council for
Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE).
At this time, we are not considering any changes to our current
regulations to continue our mission of safeguarding the public health, safety,
and welfare for those in need of occupational therapy services. There will also
be no change in renewal requirements or expiration of licenses.
Governor Ivey’s State of Emergency Declaration states all State
Agencies are asked to minimize exposure to the public, and their
employees. During this time, this office
will be closed. Our staff will be
providing minimum services via phone, and electronically. Emails will be answered, and phone calls
returned during the day. There will be
delays in issuing of licenses, and subsequent services provided by this
office. We may not have access to USPS
mail, or deliveries made by Federal Express or UPS. We will resume full service as soon as the
We would also like to remind you, your professional associations
(ALOTA and AOTA) are the advocates for the profession working with the
reimbursing sources to extend services for telehealth. Contact them to get
involved. www.alota.org www.aota.org