There’s a whole lotta talk about why you should use telehealth in your physical therapy practice right now (e.g., scheduling flexibility, financial stability, and reduced no-shows). But what about how to use it? After all, any new technique or technology is bound to come with a learning curve—and if you’re implementing it in your practice on a tight schedule, you need that curve to be a short one.
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In these tumultuous times, it is of the utmost importance that we prioritize the safety of our fellow healthcare workers and patients. That is why many providers are seriously considering changing their business model and reallocating resources to telehealth—especially considering that CMS is beginning to reimburse PTs and OTs for certain telehealth services.
The pandemic isn’t over, but many rehab therapy clinics are starting to resume operations. Yet, things aren’t—and can’t be—the same as they were before (at least not for the time being), which means in order to move into this next phase, clear communication is paramount.
The coronavirus pandemic was a catalyst for a new wave of regulatory changes that expanded the rehab therapist toolbox almost overnight. Most recently, CMS made telehealth more widely accessible to rehab therapy providers. (Hallelujah!) While the industry has been fighting for this privilege for years, the swift change cast many providers into the uncharted waters of remote care with very little time to prepare.
For those who have no experience with hearing and speech deficits, it’s hard to grasp just how lonely life can be for those who do. Add to that the self-quarantine and social distancing measures implemented in response to the novel coronavirus outbreak, and it’s a recipe for an incredibly isolating experience.
“New normal.” It’s a phrase we’re hearing more and more as the US begins to open up and resume operations—at least partially. This tentative move toward some sense of normalcy means many of us will face significant change in the weeks ahead.
COVID-19 has created the perfect witch’s brew of intense stress. People across the country are concerned about the health of themselves and their families; job security is shaky (and household incomes are dropping); and basic necessities like food staples and hygiene supplies are still—even after two months—difficult to find.
It feels like the entire country has been in a state of hibernation for the past two months. As new instances of the novel coronavirus begin to decrease and an end to stay-at-home orders appears within our sight, people are itching to emerge from their caves and embrace the warmer weather.