There are many advantages to implementing digital, physical therapy into the practice of physical therapy. Regardless of the patient’s location, digital therapy can help therapists reach patients more conveniently. However, the physical therapy profession must be able to determine the appropriate steps to use to ensure safe and effective care. For instance, broadband connectivity may be limited locally or internationally. Additionally, physical therapists must consider their role during social isolation, shelter in place, and other emergencies. By implementing digital therapy in their practices, physical therapists and students can provide safe care while limiting fraud and abuse risks.
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The Association for Physical Therapy Administration (APTA) has released a white paper on digital-physical therapy and telehealth, citing recent research, clinical trials, and testimonials from members. The report calls digital physical therapy a “game-changer,” noting that it improves access to physical therapy for patients with disabilities and access to subspecialists for people living in rural areas. The report also highlights the benefits of telehealth in physical therapy and areas of concern.
A digital visit is not for every patient. It takes more planning and training than an in-person visit. In addition, digital visits require a greater connection with patients. Not all patients with disabilities benefit from digital visits, improving one-on-one time with patients. This means that APTA members can provide more individualized care. However, this new technology may not be appropriate for every patient or impairment. As a result, the Association recommends that PTAs and PTs use digital visits only when appropriate for their patient.
While telehealth and digital, physical therapy may be relatively new, the practice has been around for quite some time. In the past, telehealth was reimbursed at a lower rate than traditional face-to-face visits, but the recent Covid-19 pandemic has forced CMS to reconsider its policies. With the increased use of telehealth and digital, physical therapy, the future of these technologies appears bright. Despite early challenges, both have the potential to improve health care services.
The use of telehealth has increased access to rehabilitation services, as well as increased insurance reimbursement. It is also becoming increasingly popular with patients, particularly those with chronic conditions. Telehealth is also gaining momentum in policy debates, as state and federal lawmakers argue about the logistics and necessity of providing care via the Internet. The CONNECT for Health Act seeks to address these concerns by making telehealth more accessible for patients. You can learn more about this and other digital physical therapy information at different websites like HingeHealth.com.
The team behind Digital Physical Therapy at Fern Health is determined to provide a better, more personalized experience for patients with chronic pain. Their digital approach to physical therapy incorporates restorative techniques, pain neuroscience education, and health coaching. These components combine to give patients an individualized treatment plan tailored to their needs. The Fern Health team is now looking to expand its partnership with Massachusetts General Hospital. They hope to advance digital physical therapy through this partnership by leapfrogging “one size fits all” pain management platforms.
The team is composed of experts in data and clinical research. The study authors were Jackie Mendelsohn, Christina Nadasky, Malcolm Hess, Naomi Yudanin, and Meredith Christiansen. The results of the study will be presented at ATA2021 in June. Further research will be needed to assess the efficacy and acceptability of the digital therapy system. Nevertheless, fern Health is proud to welcome this new opportunity to offer patients a better treatment experience.
Omada Health’s Musculoskeletal Program for Joint and Muscle Care delivers virtual therapy to individuals suffering from pain, injury, or musculoskeletal disorders. MSK disorders affect the bones, muscles, and joints and affect about 50 percent of adults in the U.S. The most common MSK conditions include arthritis, back and neck pain, injuries, and osteoporosis. Patients can engage in digital-physical therapy anytime, anywhere. The Omada platform’s proprietary AI technology can assess movement patterns and make treatment decisions based on data.
Omada has partnered with Physera to provide remote physical therapy. Physical provides virtual video consultations with a licensed physical therapist. Patients can also get personalized treatment plans and follow the exercises prescribed by the physical therapist. The system also helps the patient improve their range of motion and mobility. Omada Health plans to expand its offerings into digital musculoskeletal care with this acquisition.
A new virtual program from UnitedHealthcare provides 24/7 exercise feedback to members with musculoskeletal problems. The technology is powered by artificial intelligence and aimed at enhancing health outcomes, reducing costs, and avoiding invasive treatments. It’s already available nationwide for self-funded employers. Read on to learn more about the benefits of virtual therapy. But first, a little background. Virtual medicine isn’t yet fully mainstream. But it’s here to stay.
The UnitedHealthcare benefit plan includes telehealth visits with providers that are in-network. Members will pay a copay, deductible, or coinsurance for out-of-network services. All plans do not cover telehealth visits. The individual coverage policies will have specific details regarding eligibility and reimbursement rules. The program’s telehealth coverage varies by state. For those with telehealth coverage, UnitedHealthcare provides a list of reimbursable codes. The COVID-19 national public health emergency code is also valid for these visits.