The COVID-19 pandemic hit the PT industry like a wrecking ball—and now clinics across the nation are beginning to pick up the pieces and learn how to treat patients in this new, virus-laden world. To help PTs navigate this new healthcare landscape, Heidi Jannenga, PT, DPT, ATC, WebPT Co-Founder and Chief Clinical Officer, and Nancy Ham, WebPT CEO hosted an hour-long webinar discussing the impact of the pandemic and strategies for reopening.
Last week, CMS announced that PTs—along with OTs and SLPs—are eligible to provide telehealth services to Medicare beneficiaries for the duration of this emergency, which is huge. Rehab therapists have been advocating hard for this move since well before the pandemic struck, and now that this change is on the books,
It all happened in an instant—or at least it felt like an instant. One day, we were living our lives as normal—going about our work days, our family and social obligations, our routines. Then came news of the outbreak, the pandemic, the national emergency—all in such rapid-fire sequence that before we even had time to process it, we were reeling from the shock of having our lives turned upside down.
If you’re like me, you may be starting to lose track of time. This seems to be a common problem right now—as we are all adjusting to a new normal and learning new patterns of living and working. Most of us are somewhere between week four and week six of social distancing and non-essential school and business closures.
In these unprecedented times, it’s tough to stay motivated and not be mired in the negative. I’ve had to constantly remind myself to focus on what I can do—and not on what I can’t do.
There’s no question that quality nutrition advice can be invaluable for patients, especially given that the Standard American Diet—aptly referred to as the SAD—is heavy on highly processed, non-nutritive food. Many people either don’t know what constitutes good nutrition, or—if do they know—they don’t have the strategies, access, or motivation to implement it into their daily lives.
Health care is an appointment-based industry, which means you only make money when your patients show up for their appointments. Unfortunately, getting patients to do that consistently is no easy task. Missed and cancelled appointments are the bane of many a provider’s existence—at least until they discover integrated scheduling software with automated appointment reminders and waitlist management.
Your desire to become a physical therapist likely didn’t stem from an interest in sales. More likely, you went the PT route because you wanted to help people, and those altruistic intentions can discourage some therapists from doing anything that might be perceived as “salesy.”
I’ve been discussing the importance of leveraging data to demonstrate the unequivocal efficacy of rehab therapy for a while now. After all, data is objective. It’s clear-cut. It’s obvious—and yes, it continues to be important, whether it’s outcomes data at the practice level or national research studies that prove the benefit of first-line rehab therapy in terms of cost-effectiveness, long-term results, and safety.
We know automated text, phone, and email reminders improve patient attendance rates and help prevent cancellations and no-shows. But, what is the ideal send time and frequency for each type of reminder?