Federal Council of Speech Therapy regulates the practice of Tele-speech therapy
Resolution No. 580/2020 of the Federal Council of Speech Therapy (CFFa) was published in the Federal Official Gazette of August 25, 2020. The purpose of the resolution is to regulate virtual speech therapy as a practice of Speech Therapy, for the purpose of promoting health, improving speech and voice, as well as for the prevention, identification, evaluation, diagnosis and intervention of human communication disorders, balance and orofacial functions.
The Resolution provides for the provision of virtual speech therapy in the following manners: asynchronous, synchronous, hybrid or automatic. Still, CFFa also provides examples and defines activities that can be performed by online speech therapy, such as: interpretative services, second training opinion, teleconsultation, teleconsulting, tele-interconsultation and telemonitoring.
The practice of virtual speech therapy can take place both among Speech Therapy professionals or between Speech Therapy professionals and client. The client (or their legal representative) must consent to the provision of the online speech therapy services, by signing a free and informed consent form (ICF), which will be included in the client's medical records. In addition, the professional must respect the precepts of the Speech Therapy Ethics Code when providing remote services.
The new resolution has been in force since the date of its publication, and it revokes and replaces the previous regulation on the matter (Resolution CFFa No. 427/2013 - that provided for telehealth in Speech Therapy). On April 23, 2020, CFFa had already issued a recommendation for the use of telemonitoring and teleconsultation during the crisis caused by the novel coronavirus. It is important to highlight, however, that Resolution CFFa No. 580/2020 is not specific to the pandemic, so that the activities are regulated to be also carried out even after the social distancing measures are over.