Welcome to the #LifeCantWait Blog, SPEAR Physical Therapy’s official stream for fitness tips, exercise advice, and healthy lifestyle inspiration. Our articles and features are written by our physical therapists and staff members with your progress in mind. Designed to educate and motivate, SPEAR’s #LifeCantWait Blog exists to share your stories and help you get back to life! Disclaimer
We at SPEAR have maintained an optimistic outlook about the future and what it holds. The reason our people get up in the morning every day to do what they do is for one purpose—to help others get back to life. We stand committed to this promise. This new clinic serves as an opportunity for more patients to receive the care they need, and as a beacon of hope for a bright future ahead for all of us.
Our second location in Brooklyn, this brand new space is located in the beautiful Park Slope neighborhood, and nearby many MTA lines, including the 2, 3, B, Q, and R trains.
Austin Afshar, Clinical Director of Park Slope – Union Street
Our newest Brooklyn clinic will be led by Austin Afshar, PT, DPT, CSCS, former clinical director of our Murray Hill – E 34th Street location. Austin has treated an extremely diverse population, including post-operative and sports-related injuries as well as neurological disorders. He has treated patients with neurological disorders ranging from cerebral vascular accidents, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, as well as treated patients in the intensive care unit.
Austin believes in treating his patients through evidence based practice, as well as through the utilization of education, manual therapy and therapeutic exercises. He hopes to help his patients obtain the best quality of life possible through improving their strength and functional mobility, allowing them to stay active and to continue to pursue the life they desire through meeting their personal goals.
With most insurance companies covering up to 100% of telehealth costs, and SPEAR’s in-network relationship will all major insurance providers, including Aetna, receiving the treatment you need is easier than ever.
Did you know: 100% of Telehealth costs are now covered by most insurance companies!?
The stress of the Coronavirus has impacted everyone in a multitude of ways. One of the most pressing matters on many people’s minds is how to continue receiving physical & occupational therapy treatment in the midst of this chaotic storm. With the launch of our newest telehealth service, SPEAR LIVE, we’re able to reach more patients from the comfort of their own home. We wanted to introduce this convenient option in order to reach more people who need our continued help.
While Telehealth has provided an avenue for continued physical & occupational therapy treatment, insurance companies realized how challenging it is to stay healthy during the stay-at-home orders: the nation’s citizens are logistically and financially burdened, and with these barriers, it is becoming increasingly more difficult to stay active.
To help combat this problem and help you continue your course of care, nearly all insurance companies have now decided to cover 100% of the costs of telehealth online physical & occupational therapy treatment!
This exciting new decision helps more insured patients receive the care they need, even if they are unable to travel to a clinic. With the accessibility of our in-home virtual appointments, it’s never been easier to stay active, build healthy habits, and upkeep the cadence of your physical & occupational therapy treatment.
Want clarity and confirmation on your insurance costs?
SPEAR LIVE works on any mobile device, including a tablet, laptop, and even a cell phone. If you’re able to video chat on your device, you’re able to use it with SPEAR LIVE! You don’t need to download any fancy equipment, either—we’ll send you over a link to access directly from your browser!
Now that the Coronavirus pandemic is keeping patients at home, telehealth physical & occupational therapy is in high demand. However, it is still an unknown service to many patients. Therefore, to help you understand what to expect with online, virtual therapy, we have compiled the most frequently asked questions about our telehealth physical & occupational therapy service, SPEAR LIVE. Watch and read below!
What is Telehealth Physical and Occupational Therapy?
What exactly is telehealth physical and occupational therapy?
Telehealth physical and occupational therapy is the use of electronic telecommunications technology to provide physical and occupational therapy services, instead of being performed in-person. Telehealth therapy utilizes online audio and video (very similar to FaceTime or Facebook Messenger, or any of the other video communications platforms available to the masses) to allow the patient and the therapist to be in separate locations and still conduct an appointment. Telehealth goes by many names and is often referred to as “online” or “virtual” therapy.
Will the telehealth visit be the same as an in-office visit?
Telehealth physical therapy visits will of course not include manual, hands-on treatment. The sessions are meant to fill in whatever gap you’re currently facing. Our Physical and Occupational Therapists are here as your resource! They are also typically around 30 minutes long. And, just like you’re used to, we will guide you through the exercises, give you new exercise progressions, or answer any questions you might have about your current issue (or any new issues)!
How will our sessions be as effective as in-clinic sessions?
We will structure the sessions however you’d like. I will make sure your home exercise program is updated and clear so you know what to do each day! These sessions have the potential to be even more effective than our in-person appointments by helping you independently manage your condition.
What are we going to do during the sessions?
We can do whatever you’d like during the session as we want it to be as meaningful as possible. We can go over home exercises, discuss modifications as you adjust to this new lifestyle, answer questions, progress exercises, and/or go over specific techniques.
What does the therapist do during the session?
Your therapist will base it off of what you prefer by asking you beforehand. Some patients are uncomfortable with the idea of a PT constantly watching them do the exercises. To make them feel more comfortable therapists do the exercises with them while providing cues. Other patients prefer that their therapist watch and provide concurrent feedback on their form.
How will I be able to still make progress in physical therapy without coming into the clinic?
You and your physical therapist will work together to come up with an integrated plan to manage your symptoms at home. The online sessions will be a means of communication about how you are doing so far and what else you can be doing to improve your symptoms during this time.
I don’t have much equipment or space at home, is that a problem?
Not a problem at all! You would be surprised how effective these sessions can be with little to no equipment. Your physical therapist will work with what you have in your home. We can get creative with household items and body-weight exercises to ensure the session is still challenging and progressing you towards your goals. Your PT can also provide links to purchase equipment if needed.
I’m worried I’ll disturb my neighbors and roommates…
Your therapist will let you know ahead of time what your treatment will be, so you can decide the best date and time to avoid disturbing neighbors. Many sessions will not require exercises or stretches that make any noise at all!
What Technology is Required for Telehealth Physical and Occupational Therapy?
What technology do I need for a SPEAR LIVE telehealth appointment?
We have intentionally made this the easiest process and technology possible! At the time of your appointment, you will simply receive an email with a link to click. Make sure you use Google Chrome or Firefox as the browser!
What devices are supported by SPEAR LIVE?
Any device that has a camera, internal microphone and can run the Google Chrome or Firefox browser will work! This includes virtually all smartphones, tablets and desktop or laptop computers
Do I have to download a new app on my computer? I’m nervous I won’t be able to figure it out!
No worries—getting started is easy! You won’t need to download anything—simply follow the link in the email we send you! The video and audio will automatically launch in your browser.
How Much Does Telehealth Physical and Occupational Therapy Cost?
Will telehealth physical therapy be half my copay since I am only there for 30 minutes?
Most sessions are about 30 minutes long, regardless of the condition to be treated, and most insurances are covering 100% of the costs of these sessions!
What will be my out-of-pocket costs be for online, telehealth physical therapy?
Most likely: $0, if you have insurance! Give us a call or fill out our appointment request form and we will confirm. If you pay with cash, the cost is $75. And even if your insurance does not pay 100% of the costs, your cost will be just the same as coming in for an in-person visit (for example, your copay/coinsurance).
Is telehealth physical and occupational therapy covered by my insurance?
Yes! In fact, during the COVID-19 pandemic, most insurance companies have agreed to cover 100% of the costs of online, virtual telehealth physical therapy! We can confirm your copay information prior to scheduling if you call or use our online form (insert numbers and links.
How Does Telehealth Physical and Occupational Therapy Work?
How do I schedule a SPEAR LIVE telehealth physical therapy appointment?
To get scheduled, you can request an appointment online, or give us a call at 646-518-5554. One of our Care Coordinators will be in touch to get you started!
Will SPEAR LIVE work for me?
The answer is most likely, “Yes!” Reach out to us with more information and we’ll be able to further assist you.
I am in a different time zone—can you accommodate my availability?
Reach out to us with your preferred date and time and we will work to accommodate you!
How long does a typical session last? Is the appointment length different depending on the type of session (e.g. initial evaluation versus a follow-up appointment; body part)?
Most sessions are about 30 mins regardless of condition to be treated.
I only have “x” number of visits in my calendar year plan, should I wait for in-person appointments?
Definitely keep your insurance benefits in mind to maximize the amount of sessions. We can decide the optimal frequency after evaluating you on your first telehealth session. The most important thing is setting you up so you continue to progress and build off of all of previous treatments.
How long will you be offering telehealth physical and occupational therapy?
As long as is needed! We want to make sure we can continue to provide physical therapy services until we are able to continue with in-person visits. And even after that, many patients appreciate being able to maintain treatment remotely for numerous reasons, including business or leisure travel.
Let this also be a reminder that our offices are still open should you wish to make an appointment in the clinic. We are going above and beyond CDC guidelines and ask that all in-clinic patients do the same!
The Coronavirus has forced virtually all New Yorkers to spend more time at home. However, it remains vital for each of us to continue our health care, maintain a sense of day-to-day normalcy, and continue moving and stretching. While you can’t change what’s going on out in the world, you are in direct control of your physical health. Always involved in our community, we wanted to offer a safe, beneficial solution for continued wellness.
That’s why we are so proud to be able to offer you our newest service, SPEAR LIVE, a virtual, online video telehealth appointment with the same SPEAR therapist you’ve been working with all along!
Just Like a FaceTime Session
SPEAR LIVE gives you the opportunity to continue your physical therapy and occupational therapy treatment from the comfort of your home, bringing your Physical Therapist straight to you via video. It’s the next best thing to an in-person appointment! SPEAR LIVE allows you to:
Avoid the crowds and maintain social distancing
Maintain the same relationship you have with your current therapist .
Stick with your current treatment plan, so you can get back to your favorite activities .
Pay no more than you’re paying now for in-clinic visits. You’ll have the same financial responsibility.
Continue the cadence of your treatment.
There’s no need to disrupt the cadence of your treatment plan while you’re home—we can help you continue progressing on your journey towards improved health.
We want you to continue progressing on your journey towards improved health, even while you’re at home. We are delighted to offer you this remote, online, in-home option.
Our top priority is ensuring a safe and secure environment for both our team members and our patients. Therefore, we are closely monitoring the latest news reports regarding Covid-19 (Coronavirus). And although there have been no cases of Coronavirus at any of our facilities, we have taken great measures to protect our team members and patients from the spread of COVID-19.
SPEAR LIVE: ONLINE, IN-HOME PHYSICAL THERAPY
To ensure our at-home community members are able to stay active, we have launched SPEAR LIVE, an online version of traditional, in-clinic physical therapy appointments. This FaceTime-like appointment allows anyone to maintain proper social distancing by remaining in their home, yet still receiving quality physical therapy on any device: mobile phone, tablet or laptop.
Require our team members to deeply clean all tables and equipment after each use.
Provide hand sanitizer that meets the CDC requirements for antiviral disinfectant.
Perform nightly deep cleaning of each clinic.
We have also hired an additional cleaning service to increase the frequency and depth of clinic sterilization, which includes:
Using EPA-registered disinfectant that qualifies under the EPA’s emerging viral pathogen program for use against SARS-CoV-2, a coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
Full external company sanitization of all clinics multiple times a week at each clinic. This includes cleaning of:
All high-touch point areas: light switches, doorknobs, faucets, elevator buttons, chair handles, equipment, tables, etc.
Each and every office space in all facilities: all computer mice, keyboards, telephone handsets, keypads, desktops, etc.
All bathrooms: all surfaces, toilet seats, door handles, faucets, dispensers, etc.
TEAM MEMBER AND PATIENT GUIDELINES
Per CDC guidelines, we are also requiring all team members, and are asking the same of all patients at our clinics, to:
Wash their hands and/or sanitize after each interaction with any individual, including but not limited to physical therapy treatment.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
If soap and water are not readily available, use the CDC-recommended hand sanitizer available at our clinic.
For additional details and the most up-to-date information on COVID-19, please visit: