Healthcare has made intense adjustments over the last year in response to COVID-19. Hospitals and clinics have made extensive efforts to limit in-person visits. They have focused on opening new avenues for patients to receive necessary healthcare treatments. These methods have existed for some time now, but have only recently risen to popularity out necessity.
The first big change we saw at the beginning of COVID was the growth of telehealth. Telehealth, or telemedicine, is the use of “2-way communication technology for certain health care services”, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The practice of using remote monitoring and 2-way communication to provide healthcare services started as early as the 1960s.
The idea was innovative and had fair potential, but it also had distinct barriers that kept it from spreading nationwide. It wasn’t until recently, in 2010, that we saw a movement for change. President Obama’s ‘Connecting America: The National Broadband Plan‘ looked to close the gap of accessibility and more readily create the opportunity for remote, technology-based healthcare.
This plan, along with The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and the HITECH Act, were some of the first major modern movements to succeed in growing telehealth and the advancement of medical technology. Now that it was accessible in a less restricted setting, more companies and governmental voices backed it as a method of care.
One major company that has been instrumental in moving policy and increasing awareness and quality in the telehealth world has been the American Telemed Association (ATA). They have been working with lawmakers, providers, and insurance companies to ensure that telehealth can and will provide affordable, quality healthcare with easy access.
While this movement has been grew steadily over the last decade, it continued to face setbacks in the form of misinformation. Many people believed that telehealth and home health provided low-quality care. This was largely due to the cross-market idea of price-quality relationships, which tell us that desirable good and services are always expensive. The misconception here was slowly clearing up over time, as more people had experience with telehealth and home-care, but it wasn’t until COVID-19 that we got to see telehealth take the spotlight.
Telehealth was the saving grace of healthcare systems around the world in 2020. It allowed facilities to limit infection opportunities of patients who did not need to have an in-person visit. Additionally, it allowed for continued monitoring of COVID (and otherwise ill) patients without increasing the infection risk of healthcare workers. The sudden and widespread use of telemedicine was a new practice for many, both patients and providers, but it’s increased use helped clear away misconceptions about the quality of telehealth care.
Telehealth rose and fell in popularity through 2020. While it held strong in the beginning of the pandemic, it wasn’t long before people were feeling Zoom Fatigue. While it was interesting, and maybe even fun, in the beginning, the idea of only communicating with new people electronically quickly became exhausting.
With these factors in mind, home-care companies have been growing to fill the need for in-person interaction. Proven to be a regulated, safe, and effective form of healthcare, in-home care has taken off since the start of 2021 in multiple healthcare sectors. With so many companies looking to grow their services to provide homecare, the market for finding low-cost care on nearly any schedule has never been easier.
One company that has stood out for in-home care has been Luna. The company started in 2018, but has grown significantly since then and plans to grow further. Luna’s business model is an ideal balance between providers, insurance companies, and patient needs. Additionally, Luna uses the advanced technology made popular by telehealth to make giving and receiving care as simple as possible.
For providers, Luna creates a patient list for physical therapists that are limited to their specialties and their location. Providers are regularly connected to the same people, giving patients the feel of a concierge service in the comfort of their own home. Patients benefit greatly from the effects of a home health aide, especially when services are faster to schedule, personalized, and covered by all major insurances.
This type of care is not familiar to everyone, but it is certainly on the rise as a middle-ground between in-person clinic visits and telehealth care. While we do admire Luna’s business model and the work they are doing to create a healthy and safe environment for physical therapy, it’s important to note that they are not the only company doing so.
If you are looking for care outside their area of coverage, or are looking for a different type of care, there is always a company near by. If you are unsure how to find one, familiar hospitals and clinics often partner with in-home care groups, so call your local providers to get a recommendation that you can trust.
If you are a provider looking to branch into this area of care, whether through physical therapy or another healthcare specialty, take a look at our job board! We staff for permanent openings all across the country and would love to help you find an opportunity that fits your needs!