When the pandemic is finally over, one of the few silver linings may be that it will have helped bring telehealth physical therapy to mainstream medicine. Telehealth may not seem to be the ideal way to practice physical therapy as there are some cases where a patient is better off being seen in person. But there are also many times when a patient just needs to be seen and not physically in an office – and for somebody aged and infirmed who finds mobility difficult, a telehealth visit can be just what the physical therapist ordered. This is based on the feedback from our own patients as well who often find a telehealth visit preferable and more convenient.
So if you have considered introducing telehealth physical therapy to your practice but haven’t done so yet, here’s what to think through.
How Telehealth Physical Therapy Has Grown in Light of Covid-19?
Telehealth, in general, has exploded during the pandemic. When Covid-19 began and shutdowns started, physical therapists across the country began doing telehealth physical therapy visits – and while it is definitely a shift from the normal visit there are still a variety of effective services PTs can provide virtually to patients.
For example, one can demonstrate exercises and stretches and techniques you want the patient to try, and just as you would in the exam room, monitor and watch them doing it and guide them until they have got it right. One benefit of telehealth visits over coming to a PT practice, in fact, is that the PT can see the patient in their own home environment. That can be beneficial, allowing greater insight into the factors that affect the patient daily, allowing for care recommendation that can better suit the space that they live and interact in.
Again, sure, it’s wonderful to see patients in person, and nobody’s suggesting otherwise. But a telehealth physical therapy session can still do wonders for a patient.
What Does it Take to Get a Telehealth Program Started?
There are many in the PT industry that have launched successful telehealth physical therapy services, figuring out what has worked for them and what has not is an excellent place to start the process. One way to jumpstart this process and get a telehealth physical therapy program started is to partner with the team at Hands-On Diagnostics. We have a wealth of experience when it comes to telehealth, whether it is set and implementation or best practices we can help any PT with the equipment and training needed to conduct physical therapy telehealth sessions.
How Does Billing for PT Telehealth Work?
Thanks in great part to lobbying from the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), as well as the pandemic forcing many to evolve in how they think about telehealth visits. In the spring of 2020, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services changed its guidance. The CMS now allows PTs and PTAs in private PT practice to make full use of telehealth with their patients under Medicare Part B. Meanwhile, many states around the country began changing its laws so that insurance companies are required to cover telehealth appointments like any in-person office visit. As a result, increasingly from a financial standpoint, there is no difference between a telehealth and an in-person visit.
But more importantly, when you partner with Hands-On Diagnostics, we help you navigate the technical and stressful world of billing and insurance in order to maximize profit when it comes to telehealth physical therapy visits.
So, if you have a physical therapy practice or are considering opening one, we hope you’ll contact Hands-On Diagnostics, and learn about the variety of options there are when it comes to practicing telehealth physical therapy at your PT practice.