Please read all announcements to learn of current COVID-19 Accommodations. New Announcement Posted 3/23/2020 Regarding Proposed Emergency Rule

Announcements

Emergency Board Meeting and Proposed Temporary Rule

March 18, 2020

Pursuant to Executive Order 116 issued by Governor Roy Cooper and in the interest of the protection of the citizens of North Carolina and their continued access to care, The Board is actively in the process of creating an emergency temporary rule allowing SLP-Assistants to provide services via telepractice during this declared state of emergency. The same level of direct supervision will be required for the provision of those services.  All services provided by the SLP-Assistant are the sole responsibility of the Primary Supervising Licensee.  An emergency Board meeting will be held Thursday, March 19th, at 9:00a.m. This is an open session telephonic meeting with this being the only issue on the agenda. To attend the meeting please use the following link (Link Expired)

In advance of the meeting, we are posting this proposed rule. We will provide updates when the rule takes effect. This accommodation is in place to allow access to care and for the purpose of public safety. However, the Board cannot guarantee reimbursement for services provided by SLP-Assistants through tele practice. Licensees and registrants should check with their third party payers regarding reimbursements.

21 NCAC 64 .0219 is amended under emergency procedures as follows:

21 NCAC 64 .0219          TELEPRACTICE

(a)  The Board shall temporarily waive the requirement for licensure for telepractice in order to allow speech and language pathologists to delegate telepractice to speech and language pathology-assistants under the same level of direct supervision as required by 21 NCAC 64 .1003(e)(1)(2) and (6). This temporary waiver of licensure shall apply only to speech and language pathology-assistants and shall continue for the duration of the declared emergency as set forth in Executive Order No. 116 issued March 10, 2020.

(a)(b)  For purposes of this Rule the following words shall have the following meanings:

(1)        “Patient site” means the patient’s physical location at the time of the receipt of the telepractice services.

(2)        “Provider” means a licensed speech and language pathologist or audiologist who provides telepractice services.

(3)        “Provider site” means the licensee’s physical location at the time of the provision of the telepractice services.

(4)        “Telepractice” means the use of telecommunications and information technologies for the exchange of encrypted patient data, obtained through real-time interaction, from patient site to provider site for the provision of speech and language pathology and audiology services to patients through hardwire or internet connection. Telepractice also includes the interpretation of patient information provided to the licensee via store and forward techniques.

(b)(c)  Telepractice shall be obtained in real time and in a manner sufficient to ensure patient confidentiality.

(c)(d)  Telepractice is subject to the same standard of practice stated in Rules .0205 and .0216 of this Chapter as if the person being treated were physically present with the licensee. Telepractice is the responsibility of the licensee and shall not be delegated.

(d)(e)  Providers must hold a license in the state of the provider site and shall be in compliance with the statutory and regulatory requirements of the patient site.

(e)(f)  Licensees and staff involved in telepractice must be trained in the use of telepractice equipment.

(f)(g)  Notification of telepractice services shall be provided to the patient and guardian if the patient is a minor. The notification shall include the right to refuse telepractice services and options for alternate service delivery.

(g)(h)  Telepractice constitutes the practice of Speech and Language Pathology and Audiology in both the patient site and provider site.

History note:      Authority G.S. 90-304(a)(3);

Eff. July 1, 2010;

Amended Eff. March 1, 2014;

Pursuant to G.S. 150B-21.3A, rule is necessary without substantive public interest Eff. October 4, 2016;

Emergency Amendment Eff.        

21 NCAC 64 .0219 is proposed for amendment under temporary procedures as follows:

21 NCAC 64 .0219          TELEPRACTICE

(a)  The Board shall temporarily waive the requirement for licensure for telepractice in order to allow speech and language pathologists to delegate telepractice to speech and language pathology-assistants under the same level of direct supervision as required by 21 NCAC 64 .1003(e)(1)(2) and (6). This temporary waiver of licensure shall apply only to speech and language pathology-assistants and shall continue for the duration of the declared emergency as set forth in Executive Order No. 116 issued March 10, 2020.

(a)(b)  For purposes of this Rule the following words shall have the following meanings:

(1)        “Patient site” means the patient’s physical location at the time of the receipt of the telepractice services.

(2)        “Provider” means a licensed speech and language pathologist or audiologist who provides telepractice services.

(3)        “Provider site” means the licensee’s physical location at the time of the provision of the telepractice services.

(4)        “Telepractice” means the use of telecommunications and information technologies for the exchange of encrypted patient data, obtained through real-time interaction, from patient site to provider site for the provision of speech and language pathology and audiology services to patients through hardwire or internet connection. Telepractice also includes the interpretation of patient information provided to the licensee via store and forward techniques.

(b)(c)  Telepractice shall be obtained in real time and in a manner sufficient to ensure patient confidentiality.

(c)(d)  Telepractice is subject to the same standard of practice stated in Rules .0205 and .0216 of this Chapter as if the person being treated were physically present with the licensee. Telepractice is the responsibility of the licensee and shall not be delegated.

(d)(e)  Providers must hold a license in the state of the provider site and shall be in compliance with the statutory and regulatory requirements of the patient site.

(e)(f)  Licensees and staff involved in telepractice must be trained in the use of telepractice equipment.

(f)(g)  Notification of telepractice services shall be provided to the patient and guardian if the patient is a minor. The notification shall include the right to refuse telepractice services and options for alternate service delivery.

(g)(h)  Telepractice constitutes the practice of Speech and Language Pathology and Audiology in both the patient site and provider site.

Authority G.S. 90-304(a)(3).