Telehealth FAQs

What is Telehealth and TelaPT?

Now you can receive live, personalized, one-on-one physical therapy on your computer or smart device without leaving your home. During the video session, you’ll be evaluated and receive professional treatment from a licensed doctor of physical therapy.

TelaPT is safe, effective and covered by most health plans. The use of Telehealth by physical therapists is recognized by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) as not only appropriate, but a powerful means of delivering effective care and expanding patient access to that care.

How is telehealth used in physical therapy?

Physical therapists utilize Telehealth to assess and treat their patients who prefer to receive their care from the comfort and convenience of their home or office. Using video/audio through an internet connection and a HIPAA-compliant, secure telehealth platform, a therapist can perform an effective assessment of a patient through in depth oral history and meticulous observation.

Physical therapists utilize advanced Telehealth techniques and commonly provide a full term of patient care, including multiple visits and reassessments, without the patient ever needing to come to an actual office. Information and instruction can be provided to a patient with verbal explanation, visual demonstration, shared documents and video examples. Providers and patients often find this to be more convenient and effective than in-person techniques.

Most importantly, scheduling and attendance is very convenient and leads to greater compliance with the patient’s plan of care, the single biggest contributor to positive outcomes from physical therapy.

Is TelaPT real Physical Therapy?

Absolutely. At TelaPT, all of our providers are Doctors of Physical Therapy (DPT). They are highly educated medical professionals who always put you, the patient, first. In addition, they are all trained on being expert TelaPTs, practicing the nuances of video interaction to optimize each patient’s experience. 

Each physical therapist goes into every patient session with the aim of helping their patient work towards their ultimate goals. TelaPT visits are more than a quick chat and home exercise review session. The expectation of every visit is to assess your current status, progress your PT program towards your goals, and provide instruction on exercise and activities until your next appointment.

A typical appointment might look like this:

  • Review of current status – are you better, worse, same? What’s working and what isn’t? How are your home exercises and daily activities?
  • Warm-up – gentle movements to get your blood flowing and lubricate stiff joints for the activities ahead 
  • Soft tissue work using a foam roller or other massage tool – possibly the most valuable part of TelaPT. We can train you how to get to that nasty knot in the middle of your back with your fancy massage device or even a tennis ball.
  • Stretching and range of motion exercises to restore normal mobility – more than stretching, you will learn how to loosen stiff joints and safely mobilize yourself (no back cracking techniques being taught here).
  • Neuromuscular re-education exercises to activate dormant muscle groups and neural pathways – this is where your physical therapist will teach you how to move normally again by activating the right muscle groups, at the right time, in harmonic coordination.
  • Strengthening exercises – almost every patient needs to strengthen something. We’ll use what you have at home, in addition to your body weight, to make sure you get stronger where you need it most. No home gym necessary.
  • Functional activities based on your lifestyle, home activities and work requirements – walk without a limp, go up/down stairs without pain, lift safely, and work overhead. We’ll help you get back to normal, pain-free activities. 
  • Cool down and review of your home exercises – you’ll be prepared for the next few days between visits with the tools to manage your condition and progress towards your goals.

How does Telehealth improve patient care?

There are many advantages to TelaPT over traditional Physical Therapy at an outpatient office…

  1. Firstly, scheduling an appointment with TelaPT is easy, convenient and flexible. Studies show that the sooner you begin care after an injury, the more likely you are to fully recover. We can often start new patients the same day or the day after we receive a request for an appointment.
  2. All sessions are one-on-one. When you are on a video visit with your PT, there are no distractions and you’re the only patient they are caring for at that time. This focus increases engagement by both parties and provides an environment for an efficient session. 
  3. Because of the convenience, it’s less likely that you will cancel an appointment. There is no traffic on the way to a TelaPT visit. If you or your PT are a little under the weather, it doesn’t mean you have to miss your appointment that day. Our PTs are also very flexible with their schedules, offering appointments much earlier or later than traditional clinic hours.
  4. Shared screens allow for sharing of information very efficiently. Your PT can send a link to a new massage device she wants you to have for next session; she can send you to a YouTube link with an exercise she wants you to do; and you can share an image from your last MRI report – securely, right on the screen. 

These are just a few. In addition, research has repeatedly shown that Telehealth PT is as effective as in-office PT for most patients

Do you also have an office where I can go for physical therapy?

TelaPT does not currently have any physical offices. We do have an ample network of physical therapy and specialty practices that we work with, so if you do need to be seen in person, we can definitely refer you to a local preferred practice.

Do I need to download and install an app to use TelaPT?

No. You do not need an app to participate in a video appointment.  

However, we strongly encourage you use our mobile app for a more seamless mobile experience, designed exclusively for Telehealth visits! TelaPT over your tablet or smartphone is a much better experience when you can leverage the capabilities of your mobile device. The native mobile applications provide a high quality, stable, and customizable video conferencing experience specifically on iPad, iPhone and Android devices.

Download BetterTelehealth App on the Apple App Store

Download the BetterTelehealth App on Google Play

Do patients like Telehealth?

Patients like the convenience, the one-on-one care and the cost savings of Telehealth. Many of our patients have sworn off in-office physical therapy because they like TelaPT so much. Although we haven’t had the opportunity to do a large-scale patient survey yet, we’ve gotten only rave reviews from our patients thus far. 

Patients appreciate Telehealth for all of its benefits and most people who try it continue to use it through their full course of care. At TelaPT we haven’t lost a patient yet.

How Should I Prepare for my first TelaPT visit?

  • Set up a comfortable, well-lit space for your session. Good lighting will ensure a quality picture.
  • Make sure you’re in a private space with some room to move around. A clear open space will ensure you have free range of motion and that you make the most of your TelaPT session.
  • Wear clothes that allow for easy movement without binding or constricting you.
  • Make sure you have a stable internet connection. In order to have the best TelaPT  experience possible, you must be using a strong, stable internet connection.
  • Keep your hands free. Prop your phone or tablet on a stand, a bookshelf, or against a heavy coffee mug. Consider using bluetooth headphones (AirPods) but they’re not necessary if your speakers and microphone are sufficient. Your PT will advise you on that.
  • Remember to use a compatible internet browser. Below is a list of compatible internet browsers for your telehealth session. Whichever browser you are using, make sure to keep it updated to the most recent version.

BetterTelehealth compatible mobile browsers

  • Telehealth video visits will work on most iOS and Android smartphones, tablets, and brands of computers. Just make sure any device you use is updated with the latest version of its operating system.

What devices will work?

Telehealth video visits will work on most iOS and Android smartphones, tablets, and brands of computers. Just make sure any device you use is updated with the latest version of its operating system.

Does my insurance cover telehealth appointments?

Most health plans cover Telehealth PT, however, every insurance company is different. Once we have your insurance information, we’ll check your benefits and inform you of your coverage. We are always 100% transparent on the cost to our patients. We’ll let you know the terms of your coverage and any deductible, copayment, or coinsurance you’re responsible for.

Can I self-pay?

Yes. If your insurance doesn’t cover one or more visits, you can always pay us directly by credit card. We offer discounts on prepaid bunches of 5 or more visits. Please visit our pricing page for detailed information.

Do I need a prescription for my first telehealth visit?

All 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the US Virgin Islands allow patients to seek some level of treatment from a licensed Physical Therapist without a prescription or referral from a physician. There may be some restrictions in your state, but for the most part this means that you can receive Physical Therapy, even TelaPT, without a physician’s referral/prescription. We will always check your state’s regulations prior to your first appointment.