South Shore Health Launches Virtual Visits for Physical and Occupational Therapy

Tim Harrington, PT, conducts a virtual visit.
Physical therapist Tim Harrington conducts a virtual therapy visit with a patient.

In an effort to help patients continue their rehabilitation while maintaining proper social distance, South Shore Health today announced the availability of virtual visits for rehab patients.

These appointments will be available for current patients in South Shore Health’s physical therapy and occupational therapy programs. 

Visits will be conducted live with a licensed member of South Shore Health’s rehabilitation team. These visits will allow patients to receive the same level of care they would receive at an in-person visit from the comfort of their homes.

How do virtual visits work?

Virtual rehab visits are conducted via Zoom, a secure video-conferencing platform. The platform allows the therapist to see and talk to the patient (and vice-versa). 

On the day of the virtual visit, the patient will receive an email with a link to launch the Zoom meeting. A few minutes before the scheduled time, the patient simply clicks the Zoom link to launch the visit.

Each virtual visit will last approximately 30 minutes.

What kind of technology is required?

Patients need either a smartphone or a computer with a web cam and microphone in order to have a successful virtual visit.

For smartphone users, the virtual visit will feel a lot like using FaceTime or other common video chat platforms. 

For desktop or laptop computer users, it’s best to do a quick test of your web cam and microphone before your visit.

Where should virtual visits be held?

We know that most patients will not have home gyms or other spaces readily available — and that is not a problem! All patients really need is a well-lit space in their home with enough of an open area to perform their normal activities.

During a patient’s first appointment, the therapist may make suggestions about the optimal space in the home for the interaction.

Is exercise equipment required?

If patients have equipment on-hand, their therapists will be happy to help them put it to good use. However, exercise equipment isn’t a necessity.

Therapists will work with patients to help perform their rehab with common items. In cases where equipment may be required, the therapist will work with the patient to help order the relevant items.

Are virtual therapy visits covered by insurance?

In most cases, yes — virtual visits will be treated the same as a similar in-person visit.

We encourage patients to confirm coverage with their insurance provider prior to their virtual visit.

How can I make an appointment for a virtual therapy visit?

Patients interested in scheduling a virtual therapy visit can call 781-624-8140. 

Please note that virtual therapy visits are only available to current patients at this time, with the expectation that they will be open to new patients in the near future.