COVID-19 Update

3/29/20

Recent events have brought on unprecedented times for our state, country, and world.  As you are aware, The City of Columbia has issued a “Stay at home” order  to close all non-essential businesses in an effort to reduce exposure and promote social distancing to all Columbia residents. As per federal and local guidelines, outpatient physical therapy was classified as an essential operation. 

After careful consideration, it has been decided by Vertex PT Specialists to significantly reduce in-office visits at this time and convert a large portion of physical therapy appointments to a telehealth/virtual care platform effective Monday March 30th and extending for 2 weeks through Friday April 10th. If you have an appointment scheduled for this coming week and you have not been contacted yet regarding this change, we will be contacting you shortly to review options.

This 2 week period will allow our state and local governments to continue to fight this global pandemic without risking continued exposure to this deadly disease.  This decision is the next step made by Vertex PT Specialists in order to limit exposure and risk. Each physical therapist will continue to have limited in-office hours for patients deemed appropriate. This decision guarantees a continued reduction of people in the facility at one time, allowing for more adequate spacing of patients and continued high levels of cleaning and sanitation. We encourage all patients to continue their physical therapy appointments via telehealth/virtual care with your provider over this interim period. While we feel each and every patient’s care is essential, we also believe in taking as many necessary precautions at this time to reduce infection risk for patients and providers. For those who will be continuing physical therapy in the office, our providers will give you a questionnaire inquiring on recent travel, possible illness in those who you live with or have had close contact with, and your adherence to social gathering limitations. We also ask that when arriving for appointments that you please wait in your vehicle until your scheduled appointment time and to not bring additional people into the facility to minimize contact with other patients and staff.  Vertex PT Specialists and their providers reserve all rights to refuse in office treatment to any patient whose answers do not meet the requirements set by our company. These patients are encouraged to perform telehealth/virtual care visits at this time and take the necessary steps to ensure safety before returning to the facility. 

While we understand this decision may appear abrupt, we feel this is in the best interest of the health and safety of our staff and patients. 

Below are some frequently asked questions: 

What about my appointments which are scheduled for next week?

– Our staff and/or your physical therapist will be reaching out to you with information on your appointments, telehealth/virtual care and continued physical therapy. Please feel free to call our Millwood office at 803.851.3506 or our Cayce office at 803.973.0100.

I am post-operative and/or my condition necessitates in-office visits, what should I do? 

 – We understand that some post-operative and more complex patients may continue to benefit from hands-on skills provided within the office. Therapists will be reviewing their schedule to determine the best time for these in-office visits to occur for those in a critical period of recovery.

What is the cost of telehealth/virtual care visits?

 – Current policies, procedures, billing coding, and coverage of such visits remain highly varied from insurance to insurance. We will guide you through this process before initiating your appointment with your provider.

This decision is continually being monitored and any changes  will be relayed through continued email, text message, or phone communication.

We appreciate you understanding these changes. We look forward to continuing in-person visits for all patients in the near future when it is safer for all parties.

– Vertex PT Specialists management

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