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OPINION

Health and Wellness: Physical therapy by internet

Ann Cochran - Dallas County Health Department

Who would have thought that instead of going to a clinic, we would be able to have a physical therapy or occupational therapy appointment using a computer? Persons recovering from an injury or surgery can have the benefits of assessment and coaching by a therapist trained in recuperation, without the typical challenges of going to a clinic one or more times every week.

Using a device connected to the internet, patients are now receiving health care services at home. This is good news for several reasons:

  • Reduced risk of exposure to COVID-19
  • No struggling to get in and out of a vehicle, then into a clinic
  • Less dependence on someone else for a ride
  • Savings in fuel costs or bus fare
  • Therapists can see your environment and what challenges your home has for you

Many insurances cover telehealth services, with co-payments the same as for in-person visits. If you’re unsure whether your insurance covers online therapy, call the member services phone number on your insurance card. Medicare recipients can go to www.medicare.gov/coverage/telehealth. You may also call the Dallas County Health Department at 515-993-3750 and a Health Navigator can help you with the details of your insurance plan.