A Discussion with the Jackson Clinics’ Ben Keeton During COVID-19
As our nation combats the COVID-19 pandemic, it is critical that skilled care remains available for the millions of patients who rely on physical therapy services to manage their pain, post-operative care, mobility and risk of falling.
APTQI spoke with the Jackson Clinic’s Director of Clinical Operations R. Benjamin Keeton, PT, DPT, MBA, OCS, about how physical therapists are responding to the COVID-19 crisis and the value of telehealth-based physical therapy services.
See the full interview here:
We asked Ben the following questions:
- What are your overall observations about how the COVID crisis has impacted physical therapy patients and their therapists? (Answer at :23)
- How is your practice reaching Medicare beneficiaries who aren’t visiting clinics right now? (Answer at 1:43)
- What does a telehealth physical therapy appointment look like? (Answer at
- Since the onset of the onset COVID-19 and subsequent statewide “stay at home orders,” how dramatic has the drop been in physical therapy visits across clinics? (Answer at 5:28)
- How quickly have your patients adapted from in-clinic visits to telehealth-based appointments? (Answer at 7:04)
- Looking beyond the present crisis, what downstream effects might we expect to see from this interruption? (Answer at 9:03)
- What steps need to be taken to allow therapists to perform telehealth services for Medicare beneficiaries? (Answer at 13:02)
- Can you provide a couple recent examples of private insurance patients benefitting from these telehealth services? (Answer at 15:00)
- Are there any specific cases you can share where a patient would benefit greatly from Medicare covered telehealth therapy visits? (Answer at 17:51)
Congress recently passed the CARES Act, which authorizes CMS to issue a blanket waiver expanding the range of providers eligible to deliver telehealth services under Medicare, including physical and occupational therapists. CMS must now use this new authority and immediately issue a waiver to allow physical and occupational therapists to provide telehealth services to Medicare beneficiaries during the COVID-19 crisis.