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Team Newsletter

June 2022

Team Transformational Solutions

Telehealth

The utilization of telehealth services over the last two years has increased dramatically in the US.  Individuals were able to seek virtual care, removing the fear of exposure during the pandemic.  The data from telehealth services has been very positive noting an increase in access to healthcare, improved provider-patient relationship, and monetary savings for the healthcare industry.

The path for Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy and Speech Language Pathology for telehealth has been unique.  PT, OT and SLP were not able to perform and bill for telehealth services prior to the public health emergency.  With the public health emergency currently in place through mid-July and a 151 day extension of telehealth services we are able to provide PT, OT, and SLP via telehealth through almost the end of 2022.  The speculation is the public health emergency will renew for at least another 90 days as there are numerous healthcare related items tied to this emergency.

The legislation allowing telehealth for PT, OT, and SLP is being watched closely by our professional organizations as we see great value in telehealth services.  Currently, it is critical to reach out to your political representatives to support permanent legislation for telehealth services in our healthcare sector.  The key talk point is access to quality PT, OT, and SLP services for individuals in need of care.

  • Senate Bill 1512 and House Bill 2903: expand telehealth under Medicare
  • Senate Bill 3193 and HB 2168: permanently allow telehealth by PT, OT, and SLP

In today’s political environment we are not positive these bills will be passed prior to November election

At TTS we currently use telehealth services to promote initiation of therapy services as soon as possible.  This allows us to initiate therapy services even when our PT, OT, or SLPs are not able to travel to the facility for face-to-face visits. We have seen very positive results with outcomes and patient/ family satisfaction with these services.

We see value in an increase in utilization of telehealth combined with outpatient post discharge.  If a resident is not in need of home health services, we can support a smooth transition home with a combination of telehealth services and face to face outpatient therapy.  Stay tuned for more details in this TTS care continuum.

 

Andy Wagner
Vice President of Rehabilitation