Telehealth allows patients to meet with healthcare providers in real-time or ”virtually” through an audio and/or video connection to the Internet. During the COVID-19 crisis, MMI Department of Physical Therapy providers are available for telehealth consultation to address a patient’s movement, equipment and functional mobility needs.
Frequently Asked Questions about Telehealth
No, physical therapists have been providing these services to improve patient access to care for years. In many cases, clients have paid out of pocket for physical therapy telehealth services to enhance their care.
Based on CDC recommendations to maintain social distancing and the highly contagious nature of COVID-19, MMI strongly believes telehealth appointments are the safest way to protect the health of the individuals, children, families we serve, our providers, and entire community until the public health emergency (PHE) is lifted.
Yes. First, telehealth offers the opportunity for patients to stay connected with their physical therapist (PT) regardless of the ability to get to a clinic. Second, a skilled PT can provide helpful recommendations regarding safety, mobility or physical activity in the place where patients need it most or spend the most time -- the home. Third, scheduling flexibility may be greater with the elimination of the need to travel to a specific location. MMI PTs will continue to offer telehealth visits as they would during their normal working hours.
PTs are specialists trained to evaluate the environment, task and client through different types of observation. This does not change with telehealth. The client’s, parent’s or caregiver’s ”hands,” in combination with the PT’s ”eyes” and expertise, will problem-solve what needs to be done to support the client’s movement needs. In fact, several current approaches focus on ”coaching” as the most effective tool for providing a motor intervention.
In most cases, yes. During this public health emergency, telehealth services are covered the same as in-person services. We encourage you to check with your insurance plan’s member services department to verify coverage. You can find the number to call on the back of your insurance card.
Our team will contact you to set up a day and time for an appointment. You will then receive a secure ”Zoom” link via email inviting you to your scheduled appointment. When you click the link, it will connect you to your provider in real time.
Here are some steps you might consider:
- Set up a space for the visit within range of your computer’s camera and audio. Remove unnecessary distractions, turn off the TV or music to eliminate background noise, make sure that there is space for movement and get any equipment that might be useful or that you may have questions about.
- Try out your computer connection and speakers 10 minutes before your session to be sure you are ready.
- Have toys/activities and questions prepared so you can efficiently demonstrate what you would like to problem-solve with your provider during the session.
- If using your phone or tablet, it is recommended to close all other programs that may be running in the background. This improves the quality of your connection.
If you have additional questions or want to schedule a telehealth appointment with a physical therapist, call the Munroe-Meyer Institute Department of Physical Therapy at 402-559-6415.
As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves guidance and best practices are changing rapidly. The following are resources developed by trusted sources may be helpful for both patients and providers.
- ChoosePT is the official consumer information website of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA)
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources for the Physical Therapy Profession provided by American Physical Therapy Association
- Medicaid & Long-Term Care during Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information provided by Department of Health and Human Services
- Medicare Telemedicine Health Care Provider Fact Sheet provided by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services