Infinity Rehab – Innovation, not Emulation

There comes a time when a company, in order to be successful, must choose to be a leader or a follower. Infinity Rehab has chosen to be a leader. In addition to providing high-intensity rehabilitation services, we are also continuously implementing new technologies to help us be a more efficient and cost-effective Contract Therapy provider.Physical Therapy Series

From using advance equipment such as LiteGait and VitalStim at some facilities to providing laptops on moveable carts so our therapists can practice point-of-service care, we take the necessary steps to empower our therapists in all that they do. One aspect of our continued drive for innovation is leading the charge for more access to telehealth services. Read on to learn more.

Telehealth

Infinity Rehab is a pioneer in establishing telehealth as an option for patient accessibility and affordability for physical therapy services.

The impetus for researching telehealth as an option was our concern for the public health issue: reduced access and affordability of care for many individuals – particularly in remote locations – as a result of the increased demand for physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech language pathologists. This decreased supply of therapists negatively impacts the public by causing delays in the start of care or resuming care after an interruption. Physical Therapist Assistants, also licensed professionals, cannot commence treatment without a physical therapist evaluation, nor can they proceed past a 5th treatment session without a supervisory visit by the physical therapist.

In 2005, Infinity Rehab approached the Washington State Board of Physical Therapy (governing the state practice of physical therapists) with a modest goal: allow physical therapy supervisory visits and rechecks to be conducted via telehealth.

Physical therapist with senior woman climbing stairsThe board approved a pilot program and Infinity Rehab sprang into action. We set up secure two-way web cameras for two pilot buildings in concert with a web-based electronic medical record that could be reviewed and charted remotely. With these critical mechanisms in place, Infinity Rehab began conducting 5th visits. Patients met with a physical therapists while in the presence of a physical therapist assistant. The result – no delays in treatment, improved accessibility, affordability, and coordination of care.

In October of 2010, Tim Esau, MSPT, Director of Compliance for Infinity Rehab, presented to the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy, the association of state physical therapy boards, an overview of the pilot program, the positive outcomes on patient care, and increased accessibility to therapy for patients.

In March of 2011, the Washington State Board of Physical Therapy submitted new legislation to the State of Washington, permitting supervisory visits conducted via telehealth.

Infinity Rehab took the initiative to speak to each state Physical Therapy Board where they operate to discuss the Washington model, with the goal of permitting telehealth for evaluation and supervisory visits in order to improve accessibility to affordable health care. In addition, plans are underway to approach State Boards of Occupational Therapy and Speech Language Pathology.

Though Infinity Rehab utilizes telehealth for a very small amount of the care it provides in Washington State, the value of this legislative victory will continue to be felt in coming years as health care providers everywhere struggle to offer more care and services with less reimbursement and personnel.