Home exercise programs are part of physical therapy. There is no standard format though. And as a result, PTs issue HEPs with varying degrees of instructions and importance.
Some send patients home from a session with verbal instructions only.
Others send photocopied exercises.
More technical PTs use email or telehealth solutions like ours at In Hand Health.
And some don’t bother.
Discover the untapped potential of home exercise programs
Most agree home exercise programs are the key to faster outcomes for patients. So why treat them as an afterthought?
Or here’s a new angle, why not combine home exercise programs with a telehealth solution and monetize it as a service?
“Why would I charge patients extra for exercises,” you say. “That’s part of what they are paying for to see me in the first place.”
That’s fine. It’s not an approach that works for every physical therapy practice.
But if your practice fights declining reimbursements, it’s worth re-evaluating.
And if your patients have higher expectations for service than they used to, you should read on.
Or if you are exploring new sources of revenue, we have something for you.
Embrace a new delivery for PT care
The next wave in healthcare is upon us. You might have heard it as telehealth, telemedicine, or telerehab. By any name you choose, you know your patients access all kinds of information and services from their smartphones every day already. Your practice and physical therapy expertise should be on their home screens!
Solutions that leverage mobile technology to deliver physical therapy provide many advantages for patients and providers.
Patients enjoy on-demand access to clear instructions about their exercises when at home. With a complete system like ours, they can send HIPAA-compliant messages to their PT between sessions.
PTs track patient adherence to home exercise programs. They also have the ability to send secure messages to keep rehabilitations on track. And now with In Hand Health, practices can treat telehealth as a new revenue stream.
Show you the money!
Some practices may be able to market and sell telehealth services as we have described them to this point.
If you’re opposed, just offer it at no charge to patients as part of your service. However, you should consider your time to work with patients outside visits with a telehealth system. That time is yours and it’s valuable! Don’t feel bad about charging for it.
If you just can’t bring yourself to charge for home exercise programs via telehealth during a plan of care, you should at least consider it when a patient nears discharge from your practice.
Extend home exercise programs and your services with telehealth
Nearing the time of discharge, you can choose to “extend” a patient’s care beyond their reimbursed visits through the reach of telehealth.
Or for patients who need wellness services, a telehealth connection to your practice is a perfect complement to any program you put in place. You can offer exercises and tips direct to their smartphones; they can reach you with any questions or problems.
All these services (wellness or extended care) need your time to make them work. Reminder: That time is valuable. And you should charge for it.
To telehealth or not to telehealth. There is no question.
So monetizing home exercise programs might be a hard sell for some practices. Others may reap the rewards right away. Some might limit it to wellness services.
But here’s a sure bet for all: Telehealth is a good investment for your practice’s future where patient engagement is a key for sustainable growth.
Presenting a patient with smartphone access to his or her care plan and PT is a no-brainer. If not now, most patients will expect that from you in the near future anyway so why not get on board now?
Not only does it provide the patient a sense of security, it might be the one thing that sets your practice apart from others if you offer it before your competition.
And if you’re willing to put a price on the service from the get-go, it can be a win-win for both your patient and your practice’s bottom line.
Are you interested in a telehealth solution such as the one described in this blog post for your practice? Request an invitation to try In Hand Health. Upon receipt of your request, we will respond with the next steps for you to access and test the solution in your clinic.