Grand Rapids-based telehealth network goes live

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Agile Virtual Care, which offers virtual physical therapy services, is now live and accepting patients.

Headquartered in Grand Rapids but equipped to serve patients throughout the country, Agile Virtual Care will begin taking appointments immediately.

Created by physical therapists and powered by HIPAA-compliant video communications, the Agile Virtual Care platform was designed to help people with a variety of musculoskeletal injuries or limitations. Patients can receive evidence-based treatment plans from licensed physical therapists without leaving the house.

“The world around us is changing at a rapid pace, and so is our preference for how, where and when we choose health care,” said Richard Leaver, CEO of Alliance Physical Therapy Partners, a network of outpatient physical therapy clinics and operators of Agile Virtual Care. “As people, we tend to crave convenience and quality, and we believe that the service we’re providing — top-notch care from licensed physical therapists paired with the comforts of home — will both resonate with patients and help them to reach their goals.”

Patients undergo an initial video consultation with a licensed physical therapist, where the discussion is centered on how the injury or situation took place, any pain or barriers they are experiencing, and the patient’s goals for recovery. That same physical therapist will then design a customized treatment plan and visit with the patient for every follow-up as they work toward reaching the patient’s objectives.

Treatment plans and video tutorials of the proposed exercises are accessible at all times in the patient’s self-service web portal. The ability for the patient to have regular dialogue with their specific physical therapist between formal visits also is available, a feature that grows in importance as the patient progresses through the plan and begins to see success or encounters pain or discomfort.

Virtual physical therapy can treat the same conditions brick-and-mortar clinics address, including aches and pains of the neck, back and joints; injuries like sprains and strains; chronic conditions; women’s health matters like those related to the pelvic floor and post-pregnancy; and athletic conditioning.

In some cases, virtual physical therapy can even help patients avoid costly trips to urgent care and ER facilities where insurance coverage may be less favorable and where patients may be subject to unnecessary and expensive testing and treatments.

A case study conducted by Alliance Physical Therapy Partners in concert with Agile Virtual Care’s technology partner, MedBridge, found several patient benefits that favor the use of virtual physical therapy or a hybrid mix of virtual and in-clinic appointments as an alternative to exclusively in-clinic visits.

According to the study, the average wait time for telehealth visits is 60% faster than for in-person appointments, and the service has reduced the total number of patient visits needed per episode of care by 32%.

Patients who received a hybrid mix of virtual care and in-person visits saw a decrease in cost by 47%, while 93% of those patients experienced a decrease in pain and 98% reportedly made functional progress. That same study found an average net promoter score of 86, which is considered world-class.

Patients located in areas where an Alliance Physical Therapy Partners clinic exists can utilize that hybrid option, seeing the same licensed physical therapist at visits both online and in-clinic.

Agile Virtual Care works with most insurance providers, though a self-pay rate also is available for patients who lack coverage or elect not to use it, and a referral from a provider is not typically necessary. The company is considering adding services beyond just physical therapy and into more holistic health care, including wellness and weight management.

“Whether it’s your neck, back, knee, shoulder or any other part of your body, dealing with pain is no way to live your life,” Leaver said. “Agile Virtual Care focuses on the type of long-term independence and pain-free function that can get you back to doing the things you love.”

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