Grand Rapids’ Agile Virtual Care launched its virtual physical therapy services the last week of October, allowing it to serve patients across the country.
Created by physical therapists and powered by HIPAA-compliant video communications, the platform was designed to help people with a variety of musculoskeletal injuries or limitations. Virtual appointments will be conducted by licensed physical therapists.
“The world around us is changing at a rapid pace, and so is our preference for how, where, and when we choose health care,” says Richard Leaver, CEO of Alliance Physical Therapy Partners, a network of outpatient physical therapy clinics and operators of Agile Virtual Care. “As people, we tend to crave convenience and quality, and we believe that the service we’re providing — top-notch care from licensed physical therapists paired with the comforts of home — will both resonate with patients and help them to reach their goals.”
Patients undergo an initial video consultation with a physical therapist, during which they will discuss how the injury took place, any pain or barriers they are experiencing, and goals for recovery. The physical therapist will then design a customized treatment plan and visit with the patient for every follow-up.
Treatment plans and video tutorials of the proposed exercises are accessible at all times in patients’ self-service web portals. Patients can also keep in touch with their physical therapists between formal visits to keep them updated as they progress through treatment.
Agile says virtual physical therapy can treat the same conditions as brick-and-mortar clinics and, in some cases, can help patients avoid trips to urgent care and emergency rooms.
A case study conducted by Alliance Physical Therapy Partners in concert with Agile’s technology partner, MedBridge, found a number of patient benefits that favor virtual physical therapy or a mix of virtual and in-clinic appointments. According to the study, the average wait time for telehealth visits is 60 percent faster than for in-person appointments, and the service has reduced the total number of patient visits needed per episode of care by 32 percent.
Patients who received a mix of virtual care and in-person visits saw a decrease in cost by 47 percent, while 93 percent of those patients experienced a decrease in pain and 98 percent made functional progress.
For patients who live near an Alliance Physical Therapy Partners clinic, hybrid online and in-person treatments are available. Agile Virtual Care works with most insurance providers, and a self-pay rate is also available. The company is looking into adding services surrounding holistic health care, including wellness and weight management.
“Whether it’s your neck, back, knee, shoulder, or any other part of your body, dealing with pain is no way to live your life,” Leaver says. “Agile Virtual Care focuses on the type of long-term independence and pain-free function that can get you back to doing the things you love.”