The What? When? & How? It's Easy & Effective!
With Social Distancing and Social Isolation becoming the catch phrases of 2020, TELEHEALTH is going to be the answer to keeping ourselves healthy and well.
This begs the questions, what is Telehealth and is it going to be accessible for everyone?
What is Telehealth?
The World Health Organisation defines Telehealth as the provision of health care services to patients using a video call or video conferencing for diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease and injuries. This is required when there are geographic, social and health factors, which limit the patient's access to physical services.
What are the benefits?
Safe - Telehealth involves the receiving of voice, data, images and information from health professionals, using the internet and a video call, from the safety of your own home.
Easy - All you need is a strong internet connect and either a mobile phone, a tablet or a laptop with video call access. This means Telehealth and video conferencing is easy for everyone able to access these things.
Effective - Excellent treatment outcomes are experienced as clients are empowered to self-manage conditions correctly under the guidance of a physiotherapist. Treatment is individualised and specific to the client's needs.
Who is benefitting from Telehealth?
- Carers of young children/disable relative. Telehealth has enabled this population to link up with their clinician from home, removing the need to organise childcare or a support worker for a face to face appointment;
- Busy employees unable to leave work can now attend on their lunch break through their mobile phone;
- The physcially disabled or frail or those particularly restricted who struggle to attend medical appointments can receive care at home;
- People in quaratine or in self-isolation due to the threat of COVID-19.
How do you access Telehealth with our clinic?
These are the steps you would take to access a Telehealth Physiotherapy video call with us...
- Set up your access to a laptop, tablet, or phone with a camera and internet connection.
- You will then receive an email with a link that you would click on to access the video call, using the secure software program, Physitrack.
- During the call our therapists would ask you a series of questions and ask you to perform a series of movements to diagnose what your condition is.
- Treatment would involve providing information on your condition, the best management approaches, how you can care for yourself and guide you through an exercise program using a special program which shows you how to do the exercises correctly. This program also allows us to show you links or pages online to direct you to the best resources to manage your condition.
- Payment for the Telehealth Consulation via payment over the phone, or via bank transfer would then be organised. An invoice will then be emailed to you so you can claim back through your health fund.
Is there any rebate available from Medicare or private health funds for Physiotherapy Teleconsultations?
Medicare is now covering Telehealth Physiotherapy Consults under the Medicare Enhanced Primary Care Plan Scheme for clients with Chronic Diseases.
Eligible patients can access 5 services per calendar year. For those clients who already have a referral for physiotherapy services from their GP under the Medicare EPC Plan, you are able to access Telehealth Physiotherapy Consults using this referral.
If you don't already have a Medicare referral, you will need a GP visit to access Telehealth under Medicare. This GP visit can now also occur via Telehealth. Call your local GP to see if they can do a Telehealth consult. Ask specifically for a Telehealth plan to see us.
Several private health funds have agreed to provide benefits for individual (one on one) physiotherapy teleconsultations provided by physiotherapists from Tuesday 14 April 2020 where:
- The customer is undergoing an existing course of treatment and the customer has seen the physiotherapist over the past six months, or
- For new patients, the tele-physiotherapy service has been recommended by their general practitioner or relevant medical specialist, and
The primary condition being treated is one of the following:
-Post orthopaedic surgery rehabilitation (e.g. Total hip or knee replacement)
-Chronic musculoskeletal condition (e.g. osteoarthritis)
-Pulmonary rehabilitation, or
-pelvic floor muscle training,
-The service is delivered before 30 September 2020, and
At this stage you will need a GP referral if you require a Telehealth consult and are a new patient to our clinic. Once again, call your local GP to see if they can do a Telehealth consult and ask specifically for a Telehealth referral to see us.
Health fund members should check with their health fund to see if they will cover tele-physiotherapy consultations. Some funds may impose additional conditions.
For more information click HERE for a link to the Australian Physiotherapy Association's press release.
How do I organise a Telehealth Physiotherapy Consultation?
Call us on 83536233 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why is telehealth important for our HEALTH?
In our current sitation when self-isolation or quarantining is becoming essential, Telehealth allows people to still seek help from their Physiotherapist. This will ensure people stay healthy, active, and receive the best management and advice for their condition.
Physical activity is vital during this current pandemic to support your immune system but also to protect your mental health.
Exercise can play a key role in boosting positivity and creating healthy habits during these uncertain times when being isolated from family, friends and the community may have damaging effects on our mental health.
However, doing the right exercise is crucial, and telehealth physio consults provides that connection of physical activity and expert help.
Video-conferencing and telehealth will most likely be the way of the future, (or for now anyway) and will be allowing access to healthcare services for those who can't physically get access to our services. Instead of leaving the safety of your home, make use of this wonderful technology we are so fortunate to have, and continue to look after your health using Physiotherapy Teleconsultations and TELEHEALTH!