You Asked About Telehealth, We Have Answers!
Download this printable PDF with Frequently Asked Questions about virtual telehealth.
What is telehealth?
Telehealth is virtual access to robust, value-based care, over large and small distances, with no interruption to plans of care. These remote, often referred to as “virtual” therapy sessions are delivered by the same highly-trained physical, occupational and speech therapists through the use of any video platform to conveniently, easily and securely connect with patients.
Telehealth gives you the ability to stay connected remotely and in real-time with a CORA clinician at a time when visits to clinics may not be an option. It’s a sense of control and choice over your health in your home environment with highly-trained clinicians at your fingertips!
Do telehealth (virtual) visits provide the same quality of care as visits to a CORA clinic?
Yes. In fact, we’ve found that patients feel the same authentic, personalized connection through virtual visits as they do in a clinic setting. Experience has also demonstrated that the virtual environment helps motivate and engage our patients to produce the same or better outcomes in the comfort of your home.
What sort of exercises or activities occur during a telehealth (virtual) appointment?
During a telehealth visit, the therapist will watch your movements and activities to determine the treatment. This may include taking range-of-motion measurements or asking you to perform functional tasks. The therapists will provide you with education and modify activities to decrease pain. Treatment can be flexibility, self-mobilization, strengthening and much more.
Sometimes virtual therapy requires a creative component … so it can be fun too! Instead of using the clinical equipment our therapists might normally have access to, they will find substitutes in household items. For example, in place of parallel bars, patients being treated for fall and balance issues may be holding onto a chair or a kitchen counter. A can of soup is a good fill-in for a one-pound barbell.
When should you consider a telehealth visit?
If you are considered at risk (for example, sick or displaying symptoms), if it has been recommended by a medical professional that you stay at home, or if you are uncomfortable attending your scheduled appointment, then telehealth is a great option for you to continue your therapy sessions. Your CORA clinician will be able to provide quality treatment and education from virtually anywhere using a computer with a camera, tablet, or cell phone.
What platforms can you use to connect with your therapist?
Your CORA therapist will speak to you about your options. CORA VISION, powered by MedBridge, is our HIPAA-compliant digital platform that means no interruption to plans of care, even when scheduled clinic visits are not an option.
And currently, with increased access to telehealth services, our highly-trained clinicians are able to use Apple FaceTime, Facebook Messenger video chat, Google Hangouts, Zoom, Skype, WhatsApp and more. Any private platform that has both video and audio for a telehealth session is acceptable at this time.
Is a telehealth (virtual) visit right for you?
“As much as I’d like to try telehealth, I’m not very tech savvy and have never used any of these video platforms before.”
Of course! Fact is we hear this all of the time, and it’s easier than one might think to get set up. Your CORA therapist can help you every step along the way to get setup and ready for your virtual appointment. You can also follow these instructions for MedBridge GO, our HIPAA-compliant digital platform:
- How to download the MedBridge telehealth app – Click Here
- MedBridge telehealth platform how-to guide – Download
During COVID-19, any device with video and audio such as your cellphone, laptop or desktop are all viable options. We’ve created these step-by-step guides for Zoom and WhatsApp, some of the more reputable and trusted options during this time.
*Zoombombing has no place at CORA. We’ve compiled some basic instructions to prevent this recent phenomenon from occurring during your telehealth session. Download these tips and Say ‘No’ to Zoombombing with us.
How can you schedule telehealth (virtual) appointments?
You can talk to your CORA therapist to schedule an appointment, or Book a Telehealth Appointment directly on the website.
What can you do to prepare for your video call?
Your CORA therapist will call ahead of time to ensure that everything is set up prior to your first telehealth appointment. They will help you pick an app or program to use beforehand and make sure that you have it downloaded before the planned call time. For cellphones and laptops, make sure you have a charger handy in case your phone or laptop battery begins to run low mid-call. If you plan a long call, have a spot to rest your phone so you don’t have to hold it up.*
We found a helpful checklist of items to consider for your video call: The Beginners Guide to Video Chat.*
How long do telehealth (virtual) appointments typically last?
Telehealth sessions are scheduled in 30 minute increments but we will always work to accommodate schedules if you are only available for 10-15 minutes. Bottom line is we take care of our community and will take advantage of whatever amount of time we have with you to provide quality care while you are in a home setting.
Are treatment sessions private?
Our therapists ALWAYS put our patients’ privacy first. The situation surrounding COVID-19 is unprecedented territory for us all but we have been instructed to take any and all security precautions – and even engage in extra measures to protect a patient’s privacy. Part of doing so means that our therapists will use private locations such as a clinic or home office where it is 1-on-1 with you. Speak with your therapist about which video platform is right for you.
Is telehealth available for you?
We encourage patients to check with their insurance provider to see if their health plan covers these services. Patients can also contact their local CORA clinic or speak to their therapist. And that list of payers is growing by the day!
What hours are telehealth (virtual) appointments available?
Anytime! Again, we encourage you to speak with your therapist to determine a schedule that best fits your schedule and for your plan of care. At CORA, we understand that your schedules have been disrupted and will do our best to accommodate appointments in the evenings or weekends as needed.
What about families that do not have an internet connection?
For those who do not have an internet connection, many companies are offering free internet for low income families. Talk to your internet provider to see what sort of options might be available.