Returning to Care During the COVID-19 Crisis: A Conversation with Kimberly Brown

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has changed and restricted the delivery of physical and occupational therapy services for many patients in need. We recently spoke with Kimberly Brown, PT, the Regional Director for FOX Rehabilitation in central New Jersey, about the impact of COVID-19 on her practice and what patients can expect when receiving care during this time.

Watch the interview below:

We asked Kimberly the following questions:

  • How has the ongoing COVID-19 crisis impacted your ability to care for your patients? (0:05)
  • Has your practice been able to stay open during this time? (1:10)
  • We know patients are avoiding care to limit exposure to COVID-19. What are some risks associated with skipping needed physical and occupational therapy services? (1:53)
  • What precautions is your practice taking to keep patients and therapists safe? (3:30)
  • For patients who return to the office for in-person visits, what can they expect? What will be different? (4:36)
  • What advice do you have for patients who may be unsure about returning to care during this time? (6:02)

Even as physical therapy providers and patients struggle to navigate the growing health challenges related to COVID-19, physical therapists have another great threat on the horizon: A severe Medicare reimbursement cut in 2021.

Just this week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released the proposed rule for the 2021 Physician Fee Schedule, which detailed cuts to dozens of specialties and increased the cut to physical therapy services to 9% from the originally planned 8% cut. Coupled with a series of payment reductions in recent years, this cut will undermine patient access and lead to negative downstream consequences for American seniors and healthcare delivery system costs.

We are in the middle of an unprecedented crisis. Now is not the time to implement a severe cut to healthcare providers. Ask Congress to stop the Medicare cut before it goes into effect.