We are in rapidly changing times and unprecedented terrain with COVID-19, yet telehealth is not such a new development. Medical professionals have been using this method well before this present need emerged. Now the need is greater, and we need to ACT!
Two days ago I received a notice from our professional organization asking me to consider taking some action to write my legislators to waive restrictions on the use of telehealth for physical therapy services. I did not hesitate and wrote. This part was easy; APTA had already outlined great points about how health care providers and payers must reconsider how care is “delivered,” how telehealth assists us as providers to ensure the safety of our patients and provide our needed services. I urge that if you have not already contacted your legislators, do so now with this link.
Don’t stop there…..you need to also make sure you understand what and how to do telehealth effectively. APTA has put together so many resources to assist. FAQs, resources such as Telehealth in Physical Therapy in Light of COVID-19, previously recorded webinars, a template letter for you to use in advocating to your members, and much more. You can use your knowledge to speak and respond to legislative staff that reaches out with questions, spread the word to colleagues about this management avenue, to educate the public on this availability and how to request this service, actively engage in this manner with your patients, or all of the above.
Yesterday, our governor waived these restrictions for physical therapists in Colorado. Things are moving fast at this time, but as Edna Mode put it in The Incredibles” “Luck favors the prepared.”1
Support and utilize APTA as an active member of this great profession.
Stay safe, stay healthy, and dream big.
1 Adaptation from Louis Pasteur: “Fortune favors the prepared mind.”