FYZICAL Continues Its Innovative Approach to Health and Wellness as Some of the Nation’s Biggest Insurance Providers Announce Temporary Telehealth Coverage
SARASOTA, Fla. — FYZICAL Therapy & Balance Center, one of the leading physical therapy franchises in the United States, offers a wide variety of services and is equipped to address a range of diagnoses and concerns, including orthopedic, dizziness, balance and neurological issues and pelvic health. Through a holistic, innovative approach, FYZICAL not only helps clients to recover from injuries and surgeries but also takes rehabilitation a step further to help clients achieve optimal wellness and regain their love of life — and even learn new skills. Now, as physical therapists find ways to care for patients outside of the traditional clinic setting in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, FYZICAL has continued its innovative approach to health and wellness with the rollout of face-to-face telehealth services.
“The FYZICAL team has implemented ongoing strategies in order to provide a continuation of essential care for those who urgently need it during this crisis,” said Christopher Mulvey, President of Company Owned Clinics at FYZICAL Therapy & Balance Centers. “We have been following the CDC’s ever-changing policies in order to create a safe space for our clients. For example, in response to the social-distancing order, we made sure to minimize contact with patients and staff, limited the number of people allowed in the facilities at one time, and implemented temperature checks for all parties. Now, we are rolling out robust telehealth services as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has begun approving the use of many common therapy treatments for these platforms.”
While telehealth, which includes real-time face-to-face modalities as well as non-real time and non-face-to-face services, has been a movement within the physical therapy space for many years, insurance companies have been slow to cover these services. Over the past weeks, insurance giants such as Cigna, Aetna, and UnitedHealthcare have each announced temporary benefit changes allowing physical therapists to bill for most therapy procedures delivered by way of telehealth. While the three major insurers moved relatively quickly, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has taken a more incremental approach.
In March CMS announced waivers for e-visits, virtual check-ins, remote evaluation of recorded video/images, and telephone assessment and management services. The CARES Act, which was passed late last month, gave CMS the power to waive telehealth restrictions during the public health emergency, although physical therapists, occupational therapists, and speech-language pathologists have not yet been added as eligible providers. However, FYZICAL anticipates an approval is imminent in the near future and is gearing up to meet the needs of patients across the U.S.
“Across the physical therapy industry, patients have been identified as needing care but are unable to receive it due to the risks associated with COVID-19,” said Mulvey. “Having telehealth as a uniform platform across all payers will allow FYZICAL to serve those clients who have struggled to find care. We’ve already trained a large portion of our workforce to provide telehealth services, including protocols regarding paperwork, patient safety, and home program development. Through telehealth, patients are getting access to the care they need without putting themselves or their therapists at risk, and we are confident that these services can be an essential physical therapy resource.”
FYZICAL Therapy & Balance Centers across the country are being deemed an essential business, as vestibular treatment offers an important preventative measure during the COVID-19 crisis. “A lot of our patients are isolated at home alone and scared,” said North Andover franchisee Heather Popp. “Dizziness doesn’t stop during a time like this. Without a continuation of therapy, they have a much higher risk of falling, which could lead to more hospital overcrowding. Recently, we were able to successfully treat a 71-year-old woman with vertigo in a telehealth session, and we were proud to return her to a healthy lifestyle at home.”
The spirit of innovation has increased across the country during the COVID-19 pandemic as physical therapists find ways to adapt to the new environment. One of FYZICAL’s biggest advantages is its ability to leverage its network of franchisees — which includes more than 400 centers spanning 45 states — in order to gather regional information and quickly respond to the ever-changing landscape. Now more than ever, FYZICAL is keenly aware that physical therapy is an essential business and is not only keeping its centers open, but also constantly innovating in order to better provide care.
To find the closest FYZICAL location, visit www.FYZICAL.com.
FYZICAL is the fastest-growing physical therapy franchise in the United States and is headquartered in Sarasota, Florida. With more than 400 centers in 45 states, FYZICAL’s revolutionary business model is designed to optimize profitability and growth, and the company offers comprehensive patient care through unique balance protocols and healthy lifestyle products and services. FYZICAL is a champion of patient choice and direct access, and a leader in the future of health, wellness, and preventative care. For more information on joining the FYZICAL family, visit FYZICALFranchise.com.