Pediatric Telehealth: The Answer to Your Child’s OT, PT and Speech Needs

Posted by Peter Harris

| Pediatrics Telehealth

The world we live in today is so vastly different than it was just a few weeks ago. The rapid changes brought about by COVID-19 has required the way in which we provide healthcare to change as well. As you may not be able to come to us for your child’s OT, PT and speech therapy needs, we can certainly come to you, at least virtually! 

Here are some common FAQs regarding telehealth and how it can benefit your child.

What is telehealth?

Simply stated, telehealth is a visit with a healthcare provider that uses telecommunication systems between the patient and a therapist. Surprisingly, telehealth has not been widely adopted by our healthcare system ... yet. This is largely due to two reasons:

  • Insurance companies have been slow to identify it as an accepted means of medical care.
  • Patients are unfamiliar, and in some cases, intimidated by the technology.

We believe the events that are happening in our world today will change all of this. This pandemic demands that healthcare providers and payers reconsider how care is delivered to reduce the risk of further spread of infection. Access to telehealth has become of paramount importance to ensure the safety of patients and ensure the ability for all healthcare providers to care for their patients.

How can it help my child?

Like any skill, it can be lost if not practiced. Your child has most likely made gains during his or her pediatric therapy sessions, and our therapists can continue to help you and your child reach goals that were established during his or her initial evaluation.

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What do I need for a telehealth visit?

Not much. Either a desktop, laptop, tablet or smart phone with a camera, along with internet access, is all you need for a successful telehealth visit. If you are using a tablet or smart phone, it may be beneficial to use a tripod or stand.

How do I know if my insurance covers telehealth?

More and more insurances are now offering telehealth as an alternative to in-clinic visits. So far, Tricare, Anthem, United Healthcare, Cigna, and Blue Shield are just a few insurances that cover telehealth visits.

How is this different than therapy sessions we experienced in the past ?

Telehealth visits look distinctly different than your past in-clinic sessions. The biggest difference lies within the role of the parent. The model used within telehealth is largely a therapist acting as a teacher or coach, sharing with you the parent how to utilize your home as a tool for maintaining progress and meeting established goals. You’ll be given explicit exercises that can be easily replicated within a home setting that will benefit your child and allow for continued progress.

We think telehealth can and will become a game changer within healthcare. Our therapists will now have a unique perspective on how to adapt your child’s needs to the one place they spend most of their time – in their own home.

If you're interested in learning more about how telehealth can help you or a loved one, please contact us today. 

Author Bio:

Peter embodies the essence and culture of Therapy Specialists. He represents our outpatient clinics to physicians and payers who are interested in working with Therapy Specialists to provide multi-disciplinary therapy services to their patients. He has been working with healthcare personnel and providers in San Diego for the last few years and has made a significant contribution to enhancing our established reputation for quality care in the community. In addition to his responsibility as director of outpatient sales, you have probably seen Peter’s work on our social media sites where he is responsible for curating and posting valuable content for our patients, associates, and business partners. He is also a part-owner of Therapy Specialists and serves on our Board of Directors helping to lead and guide our organization into the future.