You might think that transitioning between adult and pediatric telehealth physical therapy is a piece of cake, but I’m here to tell you that you should definitely do some homework before embarking on a virtual journey with littles.
The novel coronavirus took all of us by surprise. And while everyone around the world has been impacted to varying degrees, the healthcare industry—and specifically, the rehab therapy community—has been uniquely challenged during this time.
This year has been a roller coaster of change for PTs—and for healthcare workers in general. Even though we’re only halfway through the year, we’ve seen PTs cycle through all sorts of ups and downs, from shutting down their clinics to widely adopting telehealth…
Three months ago, if you had asked me, “What is the application for telehealth in physical therapy?” I would have answered, “Very limited.” Up until then, I believed that for patients with no other options—like those in the remotest parts of the country—telehealth might be useful. But otherwise, not so much. Physical therapy is by definition physical. For it to be effective, the provider must be physically with the patient. Or so I thought.
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.
We’ve talked at length about nearly every aspect of telehealth as it relates to physical therapy: its advantages, its shortcomings, how to bill for it, how to launch and market it—the list goes on. However, there’s one angle we’ve yet to cover, and it’s perhaps the most important when it comes to the future of telehealth in rehab: the case for telehealth’s continued use and coverage in PT.
Ever since the novel coronavirus reached US shores, the entire physical therapy profession has been caught in a tumultuous storm of change and uncertainty. But here’s the thing about storms: eventually, the rain stops, and the clouds disappear. While there might be some leftover
They say growth only happens when you get out of your comfort zone, which is why I always try to remain optimistic in the face of major change. After all, change drives creativity and innovation—and for physical therapists, that translates to better and more accessible care for every patient.
Whenever I write a post for the WebPT Blog, I always start with a rough draft—and believe me, they’re usually very rough. Then, once I’ve gotten all my ideas onto the page, I go back through with a proverbial fine-tooth comb to make sure my post doesn’t sound like the vague ramblings of a madwoman.
Prior to the pandemic, telehealth was slowly gaining traction as a viable mode of service delivery for OTs, PTs, and SLPs. Providers and patients were beginning to appreciate its benefits (especially for patients in rural areas and pediatric patients living on federal land) but adoption was scattered. Some states, such as Georgia, explicitly authorized telehealth in their rehab therapy state practice acts, while others authorized rehab therapy telehealth via a separate, related statute.
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.