Disclaimer: I currently work as a physical therapist for Luna, but I did not receive any compensation for the writing of this article.
As many of you have read in previous Money Mobilizer articles, I have tried to bring awareness to how much extra income physical therapists can generate by working side hustles – especially with prn home health physical therapy.
For the physical therapist intimidated by the idea of working prn home health, I wrote a 2-part article series on Home Health PRN Physical Therapy – How and Why to Get Started. For the physical therapist entering the prn home health arena but struggling to maximize profits, I wrote a 2-part series How I Made as Much as an Extra $8,000 per Month with PRN Home Health Physical Therapy.
The theme with these articles is how lucrative it can be for physical therapists willing to go to patients’ homes to provide treatment.
However, the concept of treating patients inside of their own homes does not suddenly cease to exist outside the realm of home health agency-provided patients. In fact, there is a company that exists to provide physical therapists with the opportunity to see patients still in their homes but with visits billed as outpatient physical therapy.
The name of this unique company is Luna.
Since I have firsthand experience working for this unique company, I am going to share my honest review so that you can best decide if working for Luna should be your next lucrative side hustle.
Part 1 of this 2-Part series will cover the process of getting hired by Luna and the logistics of working at Luna. Afterward, be sure to read A Physical Therapist’s Review on Working for Luna – Part 2 which will discuss how working for Luna can help increase your side hustle income potential.
Let’s get started.
HOW DID I LEARN ABOUT LUNA?
I first learned about Luna from a physical therapy colleague. I was pleased to hear a positive review from someone I knew that had firsthand experience working for the company.
This was a breath of fresh air, as companies looking to hire me often attempted to make contact by sending unsolicited flyers in the mail or even making cold call job offers. These were usually only good enough to leave me wondering how my personal information had been obtained.
After hearing about Luna, I decided to research the company myself. I discovered that Luna was founded in 2018 and, since then, Luna has been making headlines.
In August 2020, PRN Newswire featured a study conducted by Luna revealing the benefits of treating patients in their homes. In March 2021, Home Health Care News featured Luna in an article detailing Luna’s mission to become “The Doordash for Physical Therapy.” Another article by Koombea echoed this sentiment, going into even further detail on Luna’s beginnings and goals.
News outlets have also been tracking Luna’s exciting business dealings. Luna’s unique partnership with the rideshare company Lyft was noted to provide Luna physical therapists with $500 per month to use with Lyft for transportation to the homes of patients. Luna also partnered with Upright to provide Luna physical therapists with access to its biofeedback products for treating musculoskeletal disorders. Most recently, both Emory Healthcare in Georgia and Scripps Health in San Diego each came to an agreement with Luna to complement their existing clinic-based outpatient physical therapy partnerships with Luna’s in-home services.
HOW DID I GET HIRED BY LUNA?
After reading enough online about Luna to pique my interest, I visited Luna’s website. I noted Luna’s requirements of needing a physical therapy license in one of the states listed on their website and having at least 3 years of physical therapy work experience. Having met these, I decided to submit my information.
The following day, I received an email to sign up for an interview. With my busy work schedule, I was pleased to find that I was able to choose an interview the very next day in a timeslot most convenient for me.
During the interview, I was able to get a better understanding of Luna’s business model while I also provided requested information about my employment history and experience. Later that same day, I received an email inviting me to join the company as an independent contractor and what steps I needed to complete next to move forward. The steps included
1. Inputting my following information:
– Email Address
– Phone Number
– Date I want to start receiving patients
– Filling out my profile for potential patients to see
2. Completing Luna’s Credentialing Packet which included uploading the following:
– A Profile Picture
– 3 Personal References
– CAQH Information
– Physical Therapy License
– Driver’s License (both front side and back side)
– Bank Information
– National Provider Identifier (NPI) Information
– Physical Therapy Diploma
– Current CPR Certificate
– Current Malpractice Liability Insurance Coverage
– Proof of Any Residency/Fellowship Completion
– Proof of Any Specialty Certifications
– A picture of my signature
3. Agreeing to the company’s contract
As noted above, Luna recommended that physical therapy professional malpractice liability insurance be obtained if not already purchased. If this is a new concept for you, I highly recommend you read the article linked here to get an in-depth overview of what to look for before purchasing your own policy.
Luna also recommended that I purchase a portable treatment table because patients are told to expect Luna physical therapists will have one in hand upon arrival for the first session. This was the treatment table Luna recommended that I purchase.
More on this table below.
Once I completed all of the above, the very same day I received an email from Luna providing instructions for the next step where I had to approve Luna to be a surrogate to my Medicare account.
The following day I received an email to submit my information for a background check.
After this, I was prompted to download the Therapist version of the Luna app. Once I opened the app, I was able to learn how to use it by completing the Lunaversity training. More on this below.
After I finished the training, I had a 15-minute onboarding meeting with a Luan staff member who uploaded a sample patient onto the app. This allowed me to practice using the app before seeing my first real patient.
WHAT WAS MY EXPERIENCE WITH LUNAVERSITY?
When I first opened the Lunaversity training on the app, I have to admit, I was quite overwhelmed. There were six different categories and each of these categories had two or three videos to watch.
However, the training provided an in-depth description of each of the app’s major features, even allowing the opportunity for interactive examples. I was especially appreciative of this, as I am a very visual and kinesthetic learner. In fact, I bet the kinesthetic learning style is common among physical therapists – good job Luna for figuring this out!
Although the training took around one to two hours for me to complete, I did feel much more familiar with the app once I was done.
DID I END UP LIKING THE TREATMENT TABLE LUNA RECOMMENDED?
Yes, I did. It was one of the cheaper options I had found online. However, nearly every patient I treated remarked how comfortable the table was. I also found the table sturdy and safe when my patients were on it and easy to fold up and carry when in between patients.
When my 5-foot tall wife attempted to carry it, though, it was a bit cumbersome. Therefore, investing a little more in a table that is easier to carry can make sense depending on the strength and stature of the physical therapist.
I was also glad that the table fit into my small SUV. It was too large to fit into the trunk but I was able to slide it behind the front seats.
Rather than deal with taking the table out of my car on days I didn’t see Luna patients and putting it back into the car on days that I did, I opted to just keep the table in the car all of the time. On the rare days I needed the extra space in my car, I took the table out and stored it in my home.
DID LUNA PROVIDE ANY SUPPLIES?
While I had to purchase the treatment table myself, Luna did mail me a generous amount of supplies. The items I received ranged from infection control products (e.g. hand sanitizer and gloves) to treatment products (e.g. resistance bands and a yoga strap).
Of everything Luna sent, though, my favorite was The North Face Luna branded backpack.
It was obvious that Luna took great care to choose a functional item with a reputable brand to ensure that it was both useful and comfortable to wear. My favorite aspect was that it came with several different pockets making my job even more efficient. This item genuinely made me feel like part of an organization that cares about its physical therapists.
HOW DOES LUNA’S DOCUMENTATION WORK?
Luna offers two different options for documentation. Both are performed using the Luna app.
The first method is dictation. I was really impressed that Luna even had this option. The idea is that you can complete your documentation in the car while driving from one patient’s home to another. I do feel Luna is onto something here, as documentation in the prn home health setting can be quite lengthy, and having the option to complete your documentation in between patient visits would improve efficiency greatly.
The second method is manual documentation. At first glance, this option may not seem as innovative as dictation, but Luna streamlined the documentation process so well with the manual option that I actually found myself using it more often than the dictation option. The manual option had short, straight-forward boxes to fill out and incorporated a carry-over feature which allowed the objective information from my previous note to be automatically pasted into my new note. Of course, I could still make manual edits to the objective section, but the ability to avoid having to type out every single therapeutic exercise I carried over from my previous visit was a huge time saver. More on the importance of this in A Physical Therapist’s Review on Working for Luna – Part 2.
Luna also gives you peace of mind by checking the notes that you submit for any potential errors. Corrections made can range from spelling and formatting to the amount of time allotted for each type of treatment charged. After Luna finishes editing your note, the note is then returned to you so that you have the opportunity to make changes based on what they did. After this, you submit the note again and this time it is considered completed and finalized.
HOW DID I LIKE USING THE LUNA APP FOR COMMUNICATION?
The Luna app served as an efficient and safe means of communication, both with Luna concierge and with patients.
The Luna concierge is a department of Luna dedicated to answering your questions. When you write a question to the concierge team, you are prompted to select what category the question falls under so that Luna matches you with their team member best equipped to answer your question. The Luna concierge feature was one of my favorite aspects of the Luna app since, while working prn home health, it can be difficult to get assistance when needed.
When communicating with patients in prn home health, you have to be careful to guard the personal information of your patients. However, Luna’s app provided a HIPPA compliant means of communication with patients, putting your mind at ease.
It also alerted patients when you schedule their future appointments. I noticed this helped patients recall the date and time of our next appointment.
HOW DO YOU PRESCRIBE A HOME EXERCISE PROGRAM (HEP) ON LUNA’S APP?
The Luna app does have a component that allows you to access a database of therapeutic exercises to attach to the patient’s chart. These exercises have both pictures and numbers to illustrate technique and frequency. However, your patient will only be able to access these exercises if they also download the Luna app.
That’s why I like to use MedBridge to print paper handouts for my patients.
The great thing about MedBridge is I also get all of the CEUs I need to maintain my license. If you would like to sign up with Medbridge, be sure to use this link so you can save $175 which is the lowest price available.
For the majority of my patients that did download the app, the app also provided a tracking feature to improve patient compliance. As the patient continued to log in and perform their HEP, a tree illustrated on their Luna app continued to grow more. I received many positive reviews from patients that used this feature since the tree provided reinforcement for them to remain consistent with their exercises. I also found it easy to make changes when updating their HEP on the app as well.
FINAL THOUGHTS. . .
Now that you’re familiar with the logistics of working at Luna, stayed tuned for next week’s A Physical Therapist’s Review on Working for Luna – Part 2 of this 2-Part series to learn why working for Luna may be your next best side hustle opportunity.
Have you worked for Luna? Do you have any additional information to share after reading Part 1 of this 2-Part series? Any questions on aspects that may not have been covered? Before moving on, please help make the Money Mobilizer a supportive and welcoming community for our current and future colleagues by leaving a question or sharing your knowledge below!