The Board of Licensure Considers the Future of Telehealth Assessments
Join us at the June 6 Board of Registration in Speech-Language Pathology & Audiology meeting
In recent months, the Executive Committee has been tracking a very important issue that is up for discussion at the Board of Registration of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology. Read below to learn more and see what you can do.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Board of Registration implemented a number of waivers to facilitate people receiving adequate services. One of these waivers was in regard to providing evaluations through telehealth technologies. The Board's permanent policy bans teleassessment. They are currently considering what their post-pandemic policy should look like.
The MSHA Executive Committee asserts that licensed professionals should be provided with the flexibility to provide teleassessment when appropriate. As we are bound by the ASHA Code of Ethics, we are also bound to providing high-quality evidence-based care. This should serve as our metric for determining the appropriateness of teleassessment for any given patient.
Of concern, was a draft policy we received that appeared to imply that any patient who had been evaluated through a telehealth platform would have to be re-evaluated regardless of medical necessity and not considering that some assessment tools are not valid if re-administered in too short a timeframe.
We advocate that the Board of Registration not bar clinicians from evaluating people through telehealth technologies, but instead rely on our judgement and knowledge of the needs of the individual patient. Certainly no one should be forced to be re-evaluated unecessarily.
Several members of the MSHA Executive Council attended the special meeting of the Board of Registration on May 2 - via Microsoft Teams. While we were not offered the opportunity to comment during their discussion, we are hopeful that their updated language will support our position.
What can you do?
Complete our Google Form to let us know how telehealth regulations impact you and your patients. We will collate these responses and deliver them to the Board of Registration.
You can attend the next meeting of the Board of Registration, which is scheduled for Monday, June 6 at 9:30 am. This will also be accessible via Microsoft Teams. We will have more information about accessing the meeting as it is available to us. You can also look for the meeting announcement, which will include the link at: https://www.mass.gov/service-details/2022-meetings-for-board-of-speech-language-pathology-and-audiology