ROCKLIN, Calif., Aug. 25, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- First-of-its-kind research from Luna, the leader in on-demand outpatient physical therapy (PT) via in-person delivery, televisits, and in-app exercises, demonstrates that at-home PT enables better patient outcomes, substantial healthcare cost savings, and greater safety and convenience. These findings come on the heels of skyrocketing interest in alternative models of care as patients increasingly shy away from facility-based care in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Luna's unique service sits at the intersection of two booming industries: the on-demand economy and alternative healthcare models. The pandemic has driven consumers to become increasingly reliant on the on-demand economy, whose value hit $110 billion in 2019 after the sector experienced year-over-year growth for the last half-decade.1 Simultaneously, patients are seeking viable alternatives to visiting a clinic for their healthcare needs. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Informatics Association, nonurgent virtual televisits at one health system grew by 4,345% between March 2 and April 14 of this year.2
In short, COVID-19 has accelerated what many predicted to be an inevitable transition to an on-demand healthcare model,3 as patients are increasingly seeking ways to receive high-quality care delivered to them at home. Luna's new research reveals that this rapid transition may not only facilitate more safety and convenience, but also greater adherence, faster healing, and reduced costs. In other words, it's a measurably better way to receive care.
With standard physical therapy, 70% of patients don't complete their care — dropouts and no-shows are pervasive in traditional PT. Luna's patients, on the other hand, demonstrate a 50% higher adherence rate than patients who visit the clinic. Luna's network of nearly 1,000 physical therapists offer local care to patients in-person, delivered to them on their schedule. Without traffic, driving time, and waiting rooms, patients are far more inclined to finish their recommended treatment plan at home.
What's more, patients who are referred to Luna aren't just more likely to finish physical therapy — they're also more likely to begin it. Luna boasts the highest sign-up rate in the physical therapy industry. An impressive 92% of patients referred to Luna go on to start care with a Luna physical therapist.
Patient behavior isn't the only significant difference between Luna and traditional therapy. Data from Luna indicates that outcomes are better, too. Luna patients experience a 45% average reduction in pain within 10 visits, compared to an industry benchmark of 30%. Even more strikingly, Luna patients experience an average of 52% functional improvement within 10 visits, compared to an industry benchmark of 15%.
The benefits don't end with patient outcomes. Research shows that services like Luna substantially reduce the cost of care, as well. The average wait time for traditional physical therapy is 24 days, but with Luna, patients see a physical therapist at their home within 48 hours of receiving a referral. Every day of delay is estimated to cost an average of $83, as it becomes more likely that a patient will need costly MRIs, tests, or ER visits. That's an average savings of $1,922 per Luna patient — savings that can be captured by health systems and insurance companies.
In a recent study, Luna treated patients at home within 48 hours of joint replacement surgery. Each patient received treatment tailored to their condition and home environment, and therapists worked with the patients' surgeons to create a plan to proactively monitor and manage post-operative care.
Furthermore, Luna found that its efficient outpatient delivery service enabled savings of $3,000 per patient over traditional, more expensive home health options. With joint replacement surgeries expected to grow rapidly over the next two decades, Luna's model is increasingly essential to reducing healthcare costs while ensuring high-quality care.
Luna's research demonstrates that patients are experiencing improved health outcomes and greater cost savings as they turn to on-demand healthcare options, such as at-home delivery and telehealth. The increased demand for alternative care models may have been propelled by an unexpected and temporary event. However, the compelling proof-of-concept demonstrates that on-demand healthcare is, and should be, here to stay.
Luna's full research findings are now available for download on its website.
About Luna On-Demand Physical Therapy: Luna is the leading on-demand physical therapy provider. Our mission is to re-imagine the physical therapy experience. Luna makes receiving and practicing outpatient physical therapy more convenient, modern, and impactful — through the use of technology. Now, patients have greater access to care, and therapists have the autonomy and flexibility they need to manage their careers and thrive in their own practice.
1 "On Demand Economy Research," Rock Research, 2019.
2 "Telehealth set for 'tsunami of growth,' says Frost & Sullivan," Healthcare IT News, May 15, 2020.
3 "When the Waiting Room Is Your Living Room," New York Times, February 24, 2019.