You’ve probably heard of telehealth, and perhaps you’ve even utilized it. Whether you have or haven’t used telehealth, you most likely still have questions, especially when it comes to physical therapy services via telehealth. So, who might choose telehealth for physical therapy? Then, when and how do you go about doing it?
All of our 21st Century Rehab locations have the capability to serve our patients in person and via telehealth, which means all of our patients have the option to utilize telehealth. Currently, telehealth is accepted by most insurance carriers due to the pandemic. This can be done for several appointments or in combination with in-person visits. For instance, let’s say you have a sick family member and you can’t make it in for your in-person appointment. The same goes for inclement weather, which we all know is on it’s way. You may also be a person who is immunocompromised and/or someone who is just more comfortable at home. In any of these cases, Instead of missing out on that appointment, you are welcome to switch to a telehealth visit.
While the visit doesn’t allow for manual therapy, soft-tissue mobilization, or techniques like electrical stimulation or ultrasound, it still allows you the chance to meet with your physical or occupational therapist. With video capabilities, we can still demonstrate exercises and monitor how yours are going and answer any questions you might have. In addition, telehealth provides a unique opportunity for us to answer any questions you may have about how to make your home safer in general or how to improve the ergonomics of your home office set-up.
We still anticipate that most patients will continue to prefer all/mostly in-person visits, but the expansion of telehealth has certainly helped maintain contact and progress with patients who might have otherwise had to cancel. For instance, any of the below points might be a reason you choose to switch to a telehealth appointment:
- Busy schedule or transportation issues that limit your ability to make it in to appointments
- If you simply have questions for your physical therapist but don’t need to see them in person
- Have a sick kid or family member that you are taking care of but don’t want to miss out on your physical therapy appointment.
- If you, yourself, aren’t feeling well and don’t want to infect anyone in the case that you are contagious
- If you’re on vacation/going south for the winter but still want to see your usual physical therapist back home
- Someone who is immunocompromised or still more comfortable at home during the pandemic
So, how do you go about setting up a telehealth appointment? If you are a current patient and need to switch to an in-person visit, we recommend you call the clinic you are being seen at to request the switch. If you are a new or returning patient who is not currently being seen, you can still call your local 21st Century Rehab and schedule that way. Or, you can also request a telehealth appointment on our website by clicking here.
In the past, in anticipation of winter weather, we have called our patients in advance to reschedule. This year, we still plan to call our current patients in case of inclement weather, but we will be asking if you’d like to switch to a telehealth appointment if your therapist recommends it and you have the capacity to accept it.
For your telehealth visit(s), you will need access to one of the following:
- A computer or phone with a camera function
- Internet connection and/or cell service (depending on the method you choose).
- A place you feel comfortable to take the call
If you have any questions about the equipment, process, or eligibility involving a telehealth appointment, please reach out to your nearest 21st location and give them a call. We will be happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have. You can find a list of our locations and phone numbers by clicking here. We look forward to seeing you in person or virtually and getting you on the road to recovery!