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Oregon Telepractice Requirements for Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists

The information below is collected from state licensure boards or regulatory agencies responsible for regulating the professions of audiology and/or speech-language pathology. The information is reviewed on an annual basis. Please be advised that laws, regulations, and policies may change at any time, so always check with your state for the most up-to-date information.

Telepractice State Licensure Board Requirements

This state has licensure laws or regulations for telepractice.

Definitions [….]

(3) “Telepractice” is the application of telecommunications technology to delivery of professional services at a distance for assessment, intervention, and/or consultation. “Telepractice” means, but is not limited to, telehealth, telespeech, teleSLP, telehear, telerehab, teletherapy, teleswallow, teleaudiology when used separately or together.
   (a) “Patient” or “client” means a consumer of telepractice services.
   (b) “Telepractice service” means the application of telecommunication technology to deliver audiology and/or speech-language pathology services at a distance for assessment, intervention and/or consultation.
   (c) “Client/patient site” means the location of the patient or client at the time the service is being delivered via telecommunications.
   (d) “Clinician site” means the site at which the audiologist or speech-language pathologist delivering the service is located at the time the service is provided via telecommunications.

Citation: Board of Examiners for Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, Chapter 335 Division 5 PROFESSIONAL AND ETHICAL STANDARDS, subchapter 3385-005-0010 (Definitions). 

[….] “Telepractice hold an Oregon license can provide telepractice services through telephonic, electronic, or other means, including diagnosis, consultation, treatment, transfer of health care information. Telepractice, whether the service is rendered from Oregon or delivered to Oregon, constitutes the practice of audiology or speech-language pathology and shall require state licensure.

(2) Services delivered via telecommunication technology must be equivalent to the quality of services delivered face-to-face (i.e. in-person).

(3) The telepractitioner is responsible for assessing the client’s candidacy for telepractice, including behavioral, physical, and cognitive abilities to participate in services provided via telecommunications.

(4) Telepractice services must conform to professional standards including but not limited to ethical practice, scope of practice, professional policy documents, and other relevant federal, state, and institutional policies and requirements.

(5) Telepractitioners must have the knowledge and skills to competently deliver services via telecommunication technology by virtue of education, training, and/or experience.

(6) The use of technology—e.g., equipment, connectivity, software, hardware must be appropriate for the service being delivered and must be able to address the unique needs of each client.

(7) Audio and video quality shall be sufficient to deliver services that are equivalent to in-person service delivery.

(8) Telepractice service delivery includes the responsibility to ensure calibration of clinical instruments in accordance with standard operating procedures and the manufacturer’s specifications.

(9) Prior to the initiation of telehealth services, a Licensee shall obtain the patient/client and if applicable, their parent or guardian’s consent to receive the services via telepractice. The consent may be verbal, written, or recorded and must be documented in the patient/client’s permanent record. The notification will include, but not be limited to, the right to refuse telepractice services, options for service delivery to the extent compliant with applicable Federal laws and regulations, and instructions on filing and resolving complaints.

(10) Telepractitioners shall comply with all laws, rules, and regulations governing the maintenance of client records, including but not limited to HIPAA and FERPA, and client confidentiality requirements in the state where the client is receiving services, regardless of the state where the records of any client within this state are maintained.

(11) Telepractice services may not be provided by correspondence only—e.g., mail, e-mail, fax—although these may be used in connection with telepractice.

(12) When providing services via telepractice, the Licensee shall have procedures in place to address remote medical or clinical emergencies at the patient/client’s location.

Citation: Board of Examiners for Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, Chapter 335, Division 5 PROFESSIONAL AND ETHICAL STANDARDS, subchapter 3385-005-0016 (Tele-practice). 

Telesupervision State Licensure Board Laws and Regulations

Telesupervision is permitted for support personnel in remote areas or shortage situations. Oregon has no laws or regulations for telesupervision of clinical fellows or student interns.

Support Personnel

4. In remote geographic areas of the state or in other situations with severe shortages of licensed personnel, where direct supervision requirements cannot be met by an on-site speech-language pathologist, educational facilities may apply for a one-year exemption from certain requirements for supervision of certified speech-language pathology assistants.

5. (a) This exemption allows educational facilities to use the review and evaluation of audio- or video-taped records or live audio- or video-conferencing of clinical interactions, or a combination thereof, to provide a portion of the required direct supervision hours, up to a maximum of 75% of the required direct supervision hours.

6. (b) During the exemption period, a licensed speech-language pathologist may supervise up to four full-time equivalent certified speech-language pathology assistants.

7. (c) This exemption will expire on July 31 of the year in which it is granted. An exemption shall only be granted for a maximum of two years out of each consecutive five year period.  

Citation: 335-095-0050 Requirements for Supervising Licensed Speech-Language Pathology Assistants 

Clinical Fellow

No regulations.

Student Intern

No regulations.

Telepractice Reimbursement Laws and Regulations

Telepractice Private Insurance

The law is not clearly defined indicating that any health care provider and service may be covered.  It is left up to interpretation and/or will be determined by the payers. Clinicians will have to contact payer sources to determine if and how telepractice is covered. 

(1) As used in this section:
      (a) “Health benefit plan” has the meaning given that term in ORS 743B.005.
      (b) “Health professional” means a person licensed, certified or registered in this state to provide health care services or supplies.
      (c) “Originating site” means the physical location of the patient.
(2) A health benefit plan must provide coverage of a health service that is provided using synchronous two-way interactive video conferencing if:
      (a) The plan provides coverage of the health service when provided in person by a health professional;
      (b) The health service is medically necessary;
      (c) The health service is determined to be safely and effectively provided using synchronous two-way interactive video conferencing according to generally accepted health care practices and standards; and
      (d) The application and technology used to provide the health service meet all standards required by state and federal laws governing the privacy and security of protected health information.
(3) A health benefit plan may not distinguish between rural and urban originating sites in providing coverage under subsection (2) of this section.
(4) The coverage under subsection (2) of this section is subject to:
      (a) The terms and conditions of the health benefit plan; and
      (b) The reimbursement specified in the contract between the plan and the health professional.
(5) This section does not require a health benefit plan to reimburse a health professional:
      (a) For a health service that is not a covered benefit under the plan; or
      (b) Who has not contracted with the plan. 

Citation: Or. Rev. Stat. § 743A.058 Telemedical Services

Telepractice Medicaid

No laws or regulations identified that include audiology or speech-language pathology. 

ASHA Guidance

Telepractice State Licensure

  • Obtain a license from the state in which you reside and from the state in which the patient/client resides.
  • If a state has not established regulations on telepractice, then contact the licensure board for further guidance and ask for written verification.
  • It is the responsibility of the clinician to review the regulations on the state licensure board website in their entirety and regularly for updates or changes.

Telesupervision

If a state has not established regulations on telesupervision, then contact the licensure board for further guidance and ask for written verification.

Reimbursement for Telepractice Services

Audiologists and speech-language pathologists should keep in mind that while a state may have passed telepractice reimbursement laws and/or regulations, this does not guarantee that payers will reimburse for these services. Learn more about considerations for audiologists and speech-language pathologists.   

Resources

For further information on telepractice requirements for audiologists and speech-language pathologists, please visit these websites:

Questions regarding state advocacy issues? Call ASHA at 800-498-2071 and ask for the State Advocacy Team.            

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