Due to the COVID-19 crisis currently enveloping our country, states such as Missouri have pivoted rapidly to allow telehealth visits or virtual visits with a physical or occupational therapist. Additionally, many insurers are now covering virtual visits for their members during the peak of this crisis. This allows the opportunity for Axes Physical Therapy to provide an alternative to “in-clinic” evaluation and treatments. While physical and occupational therapy remain highly hands-on with regards to diagnosing and treating a wide range of musculoskeletal injuries and post-surgical conditions, these unprecedented times require an alternative for patients who are in pain, injured, or recovering.
Is Axes Physical Therapy providing Virtual Visits? Yes, we are! For the past several weeks, we’ve been monitoring state and federal regulations and recommendations regarding virtual physical therapy appointments.
What is a Virtual Visit or Telehealth? A telehealth visit can occur over the telephone, in a chat setting or over a video “virtual meeting” platform, such as Facetime or Zoom. Most people think of the video face-to-face option when they hear the term telehealth.
What can I expect? If you’re an existing patient who has suspended attending “in-person” appointments, your physical or occupational therapist is going to contact you again this week. During your weekly telephonic visit, you’ll be given the option to perform a virtual face to face treatment session. If you’re a new patient seeking physical or occupational therapy for a painful condition or following an injury/surgery, you can call any of our clinics or submit a request online at axespt.com. Upon doing so, you’ll be immediately connected to a therapist who will assess your situation individually. A decision will be made, depending on the circumstances, as to the best course of action.
What do I need? We live in a connected world, therefore, it’s relatively simple. You need an email address where we can send you a link to the virtual meeting. Additionally, you’ll need a device with a camera and microphone. A laptop or tablet with a built–in camera and microphone is ideal. However, a phone or desktop computer will also work.
Will my Insurance cover my visit? For the majority of cases, yes. We are monitoring the payer landscape daily as things are changing very rapidly. There are some insurers not covering telehealth visits. In those cases, we’ll continue to do what we’ve always done – stay in touch, consult with you over the phone or virtually and manage your condition, regardless of payment for our services.
What if I want to keep my regularly scheduled, in-person appointment or schedule an in-person appointment for the first time? You may! As physical therapy is an essential service, all 11 of our clinics will remain open to continue returning patients to the activities they love. We are stringently following the guidelines of the CDC to provide the safest possible environment for patients and employees during the COVID-19 crisis. Sanitation and clinic cleanliness has been and continues to be a top priority. Furthermore, we’re continuing to screen for “at risk” patients and following recommendations for practicing good hand hygiene and social distancing. For those who desire additional safety precautions, virtual options are provided.
Axes Physical Therapy is navigating this situation like most small businesses in the greater St. Louis area. We are committed to keeping our workforce intact if we are able. While this creates certain challenges currently, we recognize the value that our physical and occupational therapists provide within the medical community. This includes assisting as front-line practitioners to manage pain and injuries in order to prevent additional strain on the medical system. We appreciate the support of the community and the patience of everyone during these difficult times.