MVPT COVID-19 UPDATE
Our number one priority has always been the health and well-being of our patients and staff. With that as our focus, we’ve been working diligently to ensure that we continue to provide the highest-quality physical therapy services, while implementing policies and procedures to keep our patients and team members safe. Here is how we are “Keeping Your Safe” at MVPT:
Since the middle of March, we have expanded our telehealth services so that patients can get initial screenings and treatments from the comfort and safety of their homes. For higher acuity injuries, or for patients who prefer in-person visits, our 50+ clinics remain open. At our clinics, we have implemented all CDC safety recommendations to ensure the safety of our patients.
April 14, 2020
Dear Valued Patient,
At a time of increased focus on health and safety, Merrimack Valley Physical Therapy is more committed than ever to supporting your overall health and well-being. This is not a time to ignore pain, make an injury worse, or neglect an effective physical therapy treatment plan.
At Merrimack Valley Physical Therapy, we’ve taken extra steps to treat you safely and conveniently, including the expansion of our telehealth services. Telehealth gives you real-time access to our skilled therapists from the comfort and safety of your home. Using telehealth, our network has already helped over 6,000 patients improve mobility, increase strength, and reduce pain.
How does it work?
Telehealth connects you directly to one of our physical therapists through a video chat on our secure PhysiAppTM. Just like an in-person session, your therapist will evaluate and discuss your symptoms, guide you through a customized treatment plan, and track your progress. Yes, you will make progress! A session lasts around 30-40 minutes, sometimes longer depending on your needs.
What set up is needed?
Almost none. All you need is a smart phone or laptop for the session. If you’ve never used FaceTime or other video chat service, we’ll show you how. During the first session, we’ll help you set up a space in your home to do exercises. Some of you already have access to resistance bands or small weights for specific exercises. But if you don’t, don’t worry. We’ll incorporate items you already have in your home. (Soup cans are very effective 2-pound weights!) Longer term, we can help you order basic exercise items.
Is telehealth covered by Insurance?
Yes. Almost all insurers including Medicare (through e-visits) and NH Medicaid are covering telehealth services. Even better, most plans are now waiving cost-sharing for patients, including co-payments, co-insurances, and deductibles. This includes BCBS, Cigna, Tufts, Aetna, and United Health Care.
Do I need a referral?
As with in-clinic evaluations, PPO plans will cover the costs of telehealth visits without authorizations or referrals. HMO plans typically require a referral from your primary care provider. If you’re not sure what coverage you have, please call one of our offices and we’ll help you figure it out.
Will I be covered if I’m a new patient?
Most insurers will cover telehealth for new patients, with the exception of Medicare that requires an in-person initial evaluation. But in response to COVID-19, the federal government is continually modifying requirements. If they do, we’ll keep you posted.
How do I get started?
To initiate a telehealth evaluation, click here, fill out the form, and we will contact you!
If you have any additional questions about telehealth services, please don’t hesitate to call our offices. In the meantime, we will keep you posted on ways to stay safe, healthy, and pain-free.
Kevin Pozzi, DPT, PT, OCS
Merrimack Valley Physical Therapy
March 23, 2020
Our Valued Patients,
We wanted to provide you an update on our therapy operations during this difficult time. We have been working diligently to ensure that we can continue to care for our patients in need of physical therapy services, while also implementing policies and procedures to keep you and our team members safe.
As of Monday, March 23rd, 2020, Merrimack Valley Physical Therapy will begin transitioning certain visits to telehealth. We have been developing the telehealth/virtual visit capability over the last couple of months and will be offering one-on-one telehealth/virtual appointments for lower-acuity and routine patient visits. We will be keeping our four NH clinics open for new patient evaluations, re-evaluations, and emergency patient visits to ensure that you are able to receive the care that you need. All in-clinic visits are subject to passing COVID-19 screening procedures to ensure patient and team member safety.
We are grateful to be able to serve you during this challenging time, and we will work diligently to continue to assist with your care journey.
Your Team at Merrimack Valley Physical Therapy
Please see below for additional information on our response to COVID-19
What is changing?
MVPT is transitioning lower acuity and routine visits to telehealth/virtual visits beginning 3/23/20 with our four MVPT offices to remain open for new patient evaluations, re-evaluations, and emergency visits.
Why are we transitioning some patients to virtual visits?
The safety of our patients and team members is paramount to MVPT, and we also believe that we have an obligation to support social distancing efforts in our communities. We prefer to provide in-person care, but we believe that virtual visits will ensure that you continue to progress towards your goals and objectives.
What is a telehealth/virtual visit?
Virtual visits are a one-on-one remote therapy visit with your physical therapist. The visits will last for 30 minutes each, and you will be directly connected through video on your phone, tablet or computer. To assist with this connection, we will be using a program called PhysiApp, a dynamic exercise-based program that is available for free.
How do I get PhysApp?
Your therapists will be reaching out to schedule you for your visit and can assist with downloading the free application (click this link). You can download the application on your phone, tablet or computer, as long as a camera is accessible (let your therapist know if you don’t have one). We will be sending out emails that include a download link and patient code. Be on the lookout!
Why stay open at all?
Physical Therapy plays a critical role in reducing stress on other areas of the healthcare system. Our healthcare colleagues in primary care and emergency room settings will be challenged during the time ahead, and physical therapy has the vital responsibility of managing musculoskeletal symptoms, improving your health, and keeping you all out of the doctor’s office and emergency room.
It is important to remember that our patients have a wide array of diagnosis, and that some of you are further along in your care journey than others. For those of you that have progressed and aren’t experiencing acute pain, virtual visits will be a great solution for continued rehabilitation. However, many of our patients are in pain or have limited mobility. It is vital that we assist with pain management, help them avoid higher risk environments, and allow other medical professionals to focus on defeating COVID-19.
We recognize that there is no perfect solution to eliminate risk, but we are doing everything in our power to create a low risk environment.
Patient Care Coordinators are screening patients for symptoms by phone and in-person. If you are exhibiting any of the following symptoms, we ask that you reschedule your visit at the later of 14 days or the elimination of symptoms.
- Shortness of breath
- Sneezing with nasal discharge
All team members are also conducting daily screening for symptoms. Any employee presenting symptoms consistent with COVID-19 will be sent home to self-quarantine for 14 days
Spacing and Distancing
- All care is one-on-one with a physical therapist
- Actively managing patient spacing within clinics
- Prohibited vendors, observers, and other non-essential individuals from entering the clinics
- Reiterated hand washing and hygiene protocols with team members
- Implemented mandatory hand washing upon patient arrival
- Enhanced cleaning regimen of clinics and equipment
- Placed alcohol-based sanitizer in the clinics for patient and employee use
- Conducting COVID-19 response meetings to assess patient and team member risk
- Coordinating with leading healthcare and infection agencies to mitigate potential risks
Are you accepting new patients?
Yes, we understand that pain and injuries continue to occur. If your insurance requires a script, a call to you physician’s office may allow you to avoid an in-person doctor’s appointment.
Keep Up to Date:
The situation is constantly evolving, so please keep up to date with our latest news, information and health tips. Follow us on social media:
For more information on COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and the ways to keep your family and communities safe, please visit the CDC website or NH.gov.
The safety and well-being of our patients and employees is our highest priority.
If you have any questions, comments or concerns please reach out to our Managing Partner, Kevin Pozzi or email Info@mvptnh.com .