Telehealth Services

OTA The Koomar Center is committed to providing services to support the ongoing and evolving needs of our clients and the community. As an organization we are pleased to be able to offer telehealth services so that we can continue to provide high quality occupational therapy and speech language therapy services.

While telehealth is an established approach in the health care and medical communities, we recognize that accessing telehealth services may be a new experience for you.  With that in mind, we wanted to provide some general information about telehealth, as well as share some information about the telehealth model being used at OTA.

Introduction to Telehealth

What is Telehealth?

Telehealth is a mechanism that allows therapeutic services to be delivered at a distance. It can be used to deliver a variety of services including evaluation, treatment intervention, consultation, education and training.  Telehealth can occur using a variety of approaches including commonly used video conferencing and phone calls.

Why use Telehealth?

Telehealth helps provide access to care when an individual is in need of health care services but in person services are not accessible. With situations such as the current social distancing requirements associated with the COVID-19 crisis, telehealth can be used to continue to meet the therapeutic needs of individuals and their families.

Telehealth Services at OTA The Koomar Center

What services are being offered?

OTA is currently offering occupational therapy and speech language therapy services.  These telehealth services include both evaluation and intervention for clients of all ages and abilities.

For current information in services OTA are offering, please speak to your therapist or visit our website www.otathekoomarcenter.com

What approaches are being used by OTA therapists?

OTA’s highly skilled and adaptable therapists are utilizing a multi-faceted approach to telehealth using methods including –

  • Direct Intervention – engagement in sensory and motor activities, language and communication activities
  • Observation– watching live or recorded activities, routines, interactions and providing feedback and suggestions
  • Coaching – instruct/actively support parent through implementation of activities, interactions, routines and games
  • Consultation– discuss strategies and structure and provides support
  • Education – sharing underlying theories and intervention models to support participation, communication and engagement

Therapists are working together with clients and families to decide the most effective approaches to be used to meet each client’s unique needs.

What are the outcomes of Telehealth services?

OTA continues to be committed to focusing on functional goals that are meaningful to  clients and families.  Feedback from families that have been accessing OTA telehealth services report improvements in a range of functional areas including regulation, participation in daily routines and accessing academics.   Parents also report that the coaching and modeling that are embedded into the sessions have made it easier to understand their child’s needs in order to support their children throughout the day.

Therapists are enjoying being able to observe and work with clients and families in their home environments to really understand each client’s current needs and challenges in order to provide tailored and effective intervention.

If you have additional questions about our telehealth services, please speak to your therapist or contact OTA The Koomar Center at admin@otathekoomarcenter.com

Financial Questions and Answers

Do we need a new referral from our physician to come to OTA for telehealth services?

OTA The Koomar Center does not require you to have a medical doctor refer you for services, but if you want services reimbursed by an insurance company, it is necessary that you get one. Most clients find it helpful to have a medical referral on record, so it is there if needed. Your current LMN of file is sufficient.

What insurances cover telehealth?

Currently under the MA state of emergency in state insurances that are in network with OTA are covering the patient responsibilities (co-payments and deductibles). This is subject to change at any time. In such a case OTA will begin billing for co-payments and deductibles. Please check with your specific insurance carrier for confirmation. Some out of state insurances are requiring patients to cover co-payments and deductibles.

OTA remains a provider for occupational therapy clients covered by HPHC and UHC-HP, and for speech and language clients covered by HPHC, UHC-HP and BCBS. Clients need to provide OTA with a Letter of Medical Necessity from their primary care physician.

Do I need to pay a co-payment if my insurance is a participating (in-network) provider for Telehealth services?

Currently under the MA state of emergency in state insurances that are in network with OTA are covering the patient responsibilities (co-payments and deductibles). This is subject to change at any time. In such a case OTA will begin billing for co-payments and deductibles. Please check with your specific insurance carrier for confirmation. Some out of state insurances are requiring patients to cover co-payments and deductibles.

I do not have an insurance that is covered in network by OTA can I still receive services?

Clients that are not covered by HPHC and UHC-HP for occupational therapy and HPHC, UHC-HP and BCBS for speech and language therapy can receive services by paying privately for services. Please contact jkapadia@otathekoomarcenter.com in our billing office for further information around payment.

Can my insurance company pay you directly and I only pay the copayment/coinsurance?

Unfortunately, OTA can only do this for insurance companies for whom we are an in-network provider.

Clinical Questions and Answers

I was a previous client who stopped services when OTA closed on March 16th. Will I see my regular therapist with telehealth?

Yes. Clients are working with their regular therapists. If you saw more than 1 therapist at OTA from the same discipline your primary therapist will be in touch to discuss the most appropriate service delivery model.

How long does a telehealth therapy session last?

Speech and Language Therapy sessions are based on an untimed code and last for 45 minutes.

Occupational Therapy sessions are timed codes and need to be billed in 15 minute increments. Sessions can last 30, 45 or 60 minutes depending on the age, engagement of the client and the model of intervention that is being adopted by you and your therapists.

What if my child won’t engage with a screen? Can we still participate in Telehealth?

Yes. Please review our intro to telehealth document that describes the variety of ways you and/or your child can engage in a telehealth session. The client does not need to be at the screen for the whole session. Sessions can involve direct intervention, parent coaching, consultation, video review, and education. They can occur over a video link as well as over the phone.

How do I get started if I am a new client to OTA?

Please visit the “getting started” tab on our website and fill out an intake. One of our clinical intake coordinators will be in touch.

How do I get started if I was a client when OTA temporarily closed its physical location on March 16th?

Please reach out to your primary therapist or contact kwedekind@otathekoomarcenter.com.

Phone: 1.617.969.4410
Fax: 1.617.969.4412
Newton, MA 02458
74 Bridge Street