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What is Tele-Health & how can it help me?

What is Tele-Health?

With all the news out there at this time, Tele-Health has been thrown around a lot more. I'm doing a lot of visits with Tele-Health technology and have been getting questions as to what it is and how does it work in physical therapy. Here are is my explanation and top 5 reasons you should be considering tele-health as part of your medical experience.

Tele-Health basically means you are able to see your healthcare provider via online video messaging, cell phone video messaging (think Duo, Facetime, Skype, etc.), or phone call conversations. Depending on your current medical needs, each profession can provide a unique approach to making sure you're taken care of and remain as healthy as possible.

In the physical therapy world, Tele-Health is best in a video format method, as a lot of my skill relies on visual cues and observations of movement. Currently, many insurance plans will not reimburse for Tele-Health visits and this is yet another great example of why I do not rely on insurance companies for payments. This is just another area the insurance companies try to control your access to healthcare and limit you in your decision making and limit what kind of healthcare can be provided to you. Luckily, with me this is not the case and I see patients without any problems.

How can Tele-Health physical therapy help me?

Here are my top 5 reasons why and how Tele-Health PT is perfect.

1. HOME ASSESSMENTS: If a home/work visit isn't possible, I like to see your home gym or exercise environment to be able to fully understand what you're working with and what we can utilize to reach your athletic goals. I often schedule times to drop by your home because you spend the majority of your time at home. Often, I have athletes telling me they need some fancy gym membership or need expensive equipment and that is often not the case. You'd be surprised at how efficient a gallon of water can work you out!

2. FOR MINOR FIXES: Good to check in on you when you're doing well and just need some minor corrections and adjustments. This option is best when you don't need a full visit or hands on treatments. Typically my athletes in the wellness to maintenance phases are in this realm and though I still like to have clinic visits at least once a month, you don't need to be coming in three times a week. Plus, this helps with saving you the time and energy to get to the clinic and it's environmentally conscious.

3. QUICK HELP: The clinic can fill up fast and appointments can be hard to go by and sometimes you need answers quickly. Tele-Health is a good way to stay in contact and keep me updated on your progress. If we are using video, I can identify what you may be doing wrong and what you need to do to fix it. Then you're back on the road, exercising worry free!

4. PT NOT FOR YOU: When physical therapy isn't right for you. You read that right, you might be thinking you have a minor injury or you're trying to work through the pain and just need a good stretch. Well there are some key signs to look out for that might signal a more serious pathology and you don't want to make things worse. Or maybe your problem isn't musculoskeletal at all and you need an internal medicine doc or a family practitioner. Some simple questions can clear things up and if you need a different provider, you've just saved yourself some time and money.

5. GOING OUT OF TOWN: You live in a hard to reach area or are going out of town is another good reason. You don't want to miss an appointment, especially when you're on a recovery record and are transitioning to a self-wellness program. You might be attempting to test your limits and see where you're at in your recovery by doing an out of town trip, which is great and should be a personal PT goal for you, but you want to make sure things are going well. I can easily reach you when you have some time and I can see how things are progressing to make sure you stay on track.

So whatever your rehab goals are, consider attempting a Tele-Health physical therapy appointment. It just might be the kind of visit you didn't even know you wanted and it will save you some money in the long run.

~Dr. Bow Tie

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