March Update: Coronavirus and PT as an alternative to Primary Care

For those of you who prefer to read, I tried to write all this down before I made my video this time. Usually I just think about what I want to say and jot a few notes, then let 'er rip - what do you think? Can you tell I'm reading more than just talking? And the more important question is, do you like having a written version of this available? I usually prefer to read vs watch video myself, but I've attempted to transcribe my other videos in the past and I don't have the discipline to both type it all out AND not edit it to death afterward, ha! So here is the pre-edited version, that I didn't read entirely verbatim... but close.

Hey y’all, it’s Kelly or as my mom likes to call me, Dr. Clark your friendly neighborhood physical therapist over here for my regularly scheduled office hours at Patient PT.

I don’t have anyone here for a drop-in visit right now (just $45 every Tuesday from 1-3PM and Friday from 9-11AM) so I wanted to pop on camera and say a quick word about coronavirus aka COVID 19, and how it affects operations here at Patient PT.

  • [Moves Hand Sanitizer to corner of desk nearest guest chair]

So, it’s just little old me here in my office, and it’s inside a shared office building called Executive Park North at 2620 N Walnut on the north side of Bloomington. We have nice wide hallways and not much foot traffic, thanks to a lot of small businesses like mine that only serve one or two clients at a time, if any. There are no busy waiting rooms. I’ve just got a couple of waiting chairs in the hallway for folks who arrive early, and once you’re inside it’s all one on one consultation and treatment with me. I sanitize everything myself in between visits and use fresh linens washed with bleach and fragrance-free detergent for every person who graces my treatment table. So basically, don’t feel like you need to cancel your visit or hold off on treating that pain that decided to rear it’s ugly face during this time that is really stressful for all of us.

Just like the rest of my fellow healthcare professionals I am still coming to work every day, I’m well-informed of all the precautions to avoid infection, I wash my hands about a hundred times a day, and I’ve got plenty of disinfectant and hand sanitizer. If you’re not feeling so hot yourself and would rather not leave the house I always have and always will I offer video-conference and telephone consultations at the same low rates as any other visit. Because I’m a cash PT, I have the freedom to do that any time, but unfortunately, most health insurance companies don’t cover those kinds of visits, which we call Telehealth, for physical therapists. I heard that a few of the big companies are reconsidering that policy in light of the coronavirus pandemic, which is wonderful news for the folks who have a hard time getting out and around.

Here in Bloomington we have a primary care provider shortage, which means we don’t have as many physicians and general practitioners to go around. That’s why folks have to wait 3, 4, even five months to get in to see someone a lot of the time.  Thankfully, the American Physical Therapy Association Indiana Chapter got our practice act updated last summer, so now folks can go to a physical therapist without a prescription and even keep getting treatment for up to six weeks without one. I am not a physician so I can’t give you a prescription or an xray or a surgery, but I can give you my full attention for as long as I need in order to help you figure out why you’re having those aches and pains, and thanks to my Doctor of Physical Therapy degree, I can still tell you if it looks like something more serious than I can treat with exercises and hands-on treatments. In the U.S. Military, physical therapists do this all the time and are actually a sort of gatekeeper for physicians so they don’t get overextended or accidentally recommend a surgery or injection when a little targeted strengthening would do. I know it’s a little weird to pay out of pocket for healthcare, but healthcare is a little weird these days and here at Patient PT I don’t make it any weirder by letting an insurance company get in the way of giving you the absolute best advice and treatment my education has taught me to give. If you want to learn more, check out I’ve got all my services and pricing posted for you to see and understand exactly what you’re getting yourself into before you commit to an appointment. I was a writer and an electronic education professional before I became a physical therapist, so I have a lot of content on that site including a blog where you can learn all about me and what I’m doing over here in my little clinic on the north side. I’ve still got same and next-day appointments available almost all the time, and just like right now, walk-in visits every Tuesday afternoon and Friday morning.

Okay, that’s my spiel for today! Hope you have a good one and remember to keep a nice big bubble of personal space out there and wash those hands for at least twenty seconds.