For many of us, Governor Brown’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” executive order brought immense changes to our daily lives. We now work from home, had “non-essential” medical and dental visits cancelled, and are learning how to balance work-home life under the same roof. Though Impact Physical Therapy of Hillsboro and Banks remain open as an essential healthcare provider, we understand that many of you wish to follow social distancing recommendations and hold off on coming into our clinic. BUT…just because we cannot see you in-person, does NOT mean that you have to wait to reduce your pain, improve your strength, or accomplish your goals for physical therapy. To help our clients continue feeling and moving better, Impact Physical Therapy of Hillsboro and Banks are now offering telehealth services in order to overcome current and future barriers to attend office-based sessions.
Here are some Frequently Asked Questions about Telehealth with Impact:
1. What does a telehealth session look like?
Prior to your scheduled telehealth appointment, your physical therapist will send you a link to our telehealth platform via email. You will click on the link, enter your information, and then enter Impact’s virtual waiting room. From there, your therapist will start the session at your scheduled appointment. You will then have a HIPAA-secure video and audio connection with your therapist. From there, your therapist will ask you about how your symptoms are lately or how your exercises are going. Based on your discussion with the therapist, your therapist will then suggest some things to help get you feeling and moving even better. Our goal is for these telehealth sessions to provide you with the same high-quality experience you expect in our office, but instead, in the comfort of your home.
2. How can I optimize my telehealth session?
- Ensure a good connection – forming a good connection with your therapist during telehealth is just as vital as in the clinic. Minimizing distractions and having your telehealth system ready to go helps reduce frustrations that technology tries to create.
- Be prepared with specific questions – the quality of your session depends on the communication between you and your therapist. Have detailed questions and observations ready to discuss with your therapist. Be prepared for your therapist to ask follow up questions regarding your initial concerns.
- Create enough space for you to exercise safely and comfortably – we don’t mean that you need to rearrange your living room. But do think about finding a place where your webcam can easily allow your therapist to see you exercise from head to toe potentially.
- Find your exercise equipment before the session – gather your resistance bands, hand weights, or yoga ball before the session starts. If you don’t have an item, your therapist may have suggestions for modification or how to use household items to supplement.
- Be honest and realistic – telehealth sessions are different from normal in-person physical therapy visits. Be prepared for technology to not work optimally at times or to have delays in obtaining a good quality video and audio experience. Also, be open about how much exercise you can do at home now that you may also be working from home, helping your children with school, and caring for other family and friends in new ways.
3. How much does telehealth cost?
In the past few weeks, many health insurance companies added telehealth physical therapy services to their subscriber’s benefits. Depending on the client’s individual plan, most telehealth sessions are billed the same as an in-office visit. We are still learning what reimbursement for these sessions look like for each insurance. Call our front office to further discuss the details of your specific benefits.
4. What are Impact’s plans for telehealth after COVID-19?
Impact plans on implementing telehealth into our available services for the long term in order to help our clients fully achieve their goals. We are already seeing new benefits from providing telehealth physical therapy at a client’s home compared to at our clinic including:
- Increasing our clients’ confidence and independence to exercise and move better
- Improving completion of a client’s home exercise program when it is designed around their current home set up
- Enhancing the safety of a client’s home such as to reduce the risk of falling
- Adding convenience for our already-busy clients who work from home or typically travel often for work