Discussing the Impact of COVID-19 with Plymouth Physical Therapy Specialists Owner Jeff Sirabian
As the COVID-19 continues to spread across the US, 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 sat down with Plymouth Physical Therapy Specialists Owner Jeff Sirabian to discuss how physical therapists are responding to the COVID-19 crisis and the value of telehealth-based physical therapy services for their patients.
See the full interview here:
We asked Jeff the following questions:
- What are your overall observations about how the COVID crisis has impacted physical therapy practices and patients? (Answer at :26)
- How is your practice reaching Medicare beneficiaries who aren’t visiting clinics right now? (Answer at 1:13)
- How quickly have your patients adapted from in-clinic visits to telehealth-based appointments? (Answer at 2:30)
- What services and care are you able to provide via telehealth? (Answer at 3:34)
- Looking beyond the present crisis, what downstream effects might we expect because of this interruption? (Answer at 4:46)
- 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 5:59)
- What steps need to be taken to allow therapists to perform telehealth services for Medicare beneficiaries? (Answer at 6:40)
- Can you share an example of a private insurance patient benefitting from these telehealth services? (Answer at 7:38)
- Are there any specific cases you can share of a patient who would benefit greatly from Medicare covered telehealth therapy visits? (Answer at 8:58)
- Is there anything else that you feel the general public, Medicare, or Congress should hear? (Answer at 10:34)
Congress recently passed the CARES Act, which authorized 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 use this authority and immediately issue a waiver to allow physical and occupational therapists to provide telehealth services to Medicare beneficiaries during the COVID-19 crisis.