ISSUE 129 / 2020
In Person or Virtual? Maybe Both!
Some folks I know have decided they are never going to shop in person again. Order and pick up is the new way to get groceries. And just like shopping, PT has changed. Virtual physical therapy has quickly moved from a niche offering to mainstream. And some people will never go back. In person is so 2019.
We all think of PT as a full contact experience, but for some folks, the idea of walking into a medical office right now is overwhelming. Having options to stay home and still get PT might be just the ticket. To decide what’s right for you, we’ve laid out the ways each work to help you meet your goals.
In Person Physical Therapy
The main advantage of traditional PT is getting hands-on assessment and treatment. Your PT can test your strength and assess and treat tight joints. They can adjust your position or movement as you exercise too. In the clinic you have access to special exercise equipment or needles if needed.
In person PT is best in these
New patients – the ability to
physically examine you makes
it easier for your PT to
accurately determine what’s
Less active patients – if you’re
not used to exercising and
moving, having someone
physically present to help you
feel the correct movement
pattern can be a big benefit.
Virtual Physical Therapy
The main benefits of virtual PT are convenience and safety. The fact that you don’t have to travel to the clinic makes it easier to squeeze a visit into a busy schedule.
Virtual PT works well for:
Athletes and others with good body awareness – Being on your own for your home exercise program requires you to be in tune with your body and how it moves.
People with common athletic injuries – Because we see certain injuries in the clinic everyday, we have the advantage of experience. We recognize common patterns and can easily adapt a treatment plan to meet individual needs.
Existing and returning patients – If your physical therapist knows you, it’s easier to treat you virtually.
People in quarantine – You may have been exposed, so you can’t come to the office, but you don’t want to lose ground. For example, it’s common for exercises to morph over time into something entirely different and not at all effective. It
happens. During a virtual visit you can sort out what’s helping and what’s not to keep you moving forward until you can come back into the office.
Overwhelmed patients – In 2020, who isn’t overwhelmed? If we take the time of getting to your appointment out of the picture, you might be more apt to stick with your plan and see it through to a successful ending.
So, which will it be?
One or the other might be best for you, but they’re not mutually exclusive. Combining the two can work well. Doing an in person visit for your initial evaluation then alternating between virtual and in the clinic can be the best of all.
We have a pretty good idea at this point, of who benefits most from a visit in the clinic, and who does fine with a virtual visit. Whatever you decide to do, the important thing is that you do something. Discontinuing therapy before you complete your plan of care leads to problems. Avoid the pain of starting over – schedule a visit.
Medicare on the Fence
Thanks to all of you who have written your legislators about the 9% Medicare cut scheduled to go into effect January 1. Budgetary issues continue to be contentious, and we don’t yet know if H.R 8702 – Holding Providers Harmless From Medicare Cuts During COVID-19 Act – will pass.
We ran multiple scenarios to see how we might best continue to serve our very dear Medicare patients and at the same time keep the lights on. If the 9% cut prevails, we will opt to become a non participating provider for Medicare. Our only other option was to
opt out completely, in which case we could not bill insurance for any care you receive.
What this means to you:
We will to continue to bill Medicare for services you receive. Medicare will reimburse you directly.
We will collect an estimated amount from you for each visit. You will have an additional charge of $10-15 per visit. We are waiting to hear how this affects Medicare Advantage Plans.
If the Medicare cut does not go into effect, nothing changes for 2021. Keep your fingers crossed.
Our Office Will Be Closed:
Don’t Forget to Schedule
for Next Year!