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Ask The Therapist

Not sure if physical therapy can help your problem?  Not sure what the problem is?  Not sure of where to go and who to see?  Have you tried therapy in the past with negative results?  Email your questions or concerns and a therapist will answer you back with advice on your particular issues.

Who are Physical Therapists?

Physical Therapists are trained experts in human movement and function.  They must graduate form a nationally accredited physical therapy school, pass a board examination, and receive a license to practice from the state they reside in.  Currently, most physical therapy programs are offered at the doctoral level, with graduates receiving a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree.

 

What do physical therapists do?

Physical therapists treat movement and neuro-musculokeletal disorders.  They also help people recover from a wide variety of surgeries, work injuries, sports injuries, and strokes.  They screen people for potential problems with posture, strength, flexibility, and they can analyze work place hazards.  Physical therapists work with people who have metabolic disorders to increase their fitness and improve their health.  Physical therapists can also treat the pain associated with injuries, and help people return to a pain-free, active lifestyle.

How do I arrange to see a physical therapist?

Most states have direct access laws, which allow people to go directly to a physical therapist if they are injured and need therapy services.  However, most insurance companies will require a person to have a physician’s prescription prior to seeing a therapist for them to reimburse for services.  If you have a question about making an appointment to see us, just contact our office and we can determine what needs to be done before you come in.

How does the insurance and billing process work?

We are providers for nearly all of the health insurance companies.  However, each plan is different and, therefore, each individual’s benefits can be different.  In general, we bill the insurance company or Worker’s Compensation Company using CPT (Common Procedure Terminology) codes, which are sent electronically to the company.  If your insurance plan requires a co-pay, payment is expected at the time of each visit. The paying company processes the claim, and determines what will be paid for, after the patient responsibility has been met, based on the individual plan.  This process can become complicated, and may take between 30-90 days to complete. We try very hard to have our billing process be as efficient as possible, and we are happy to assist our patients in answering insurance and billing questions.

Why should I choose a private practice physical therapist?

Who is better to see, a physical therapist that works for a physician or a physical therapist that owns a private practice?  We leave it up to you to draw your own conclusions but here are some facts.  The studies indicate there were more treatments (visits per patient were 39% to 45% higher in physician owned clinics) and the cost was greater for those patients that attended a physician owned physical therapy practice (both gross and net revenue per patient were 30% to 40% higher).1

Another study indicated that licensed and non-licensed therapy providers spent less time with each patient in physician owned clinics and physical therapy assistants were substituted for physical therapists.2

Another older study concluded that “Therapist who had treated patients through direct access were significantly more likely to believe that direct access had benefited them professionally and benefited their patients than were therapists who had not practiced through direct access”.3

We believe that we can provide you with the highest quality of care available and do it in a cost-effective manner.4   You will work closely with your physical therapist and in most instance, your case will be managed by the same physical therapist form the beginning to the end of your experience with us.

1.    Mitchell, J., Scott, E., Physician Ownership of Physical Therapy Services: Effects on Charges, Utilization, Profits, and Service Characteristics, Journal of the American Medical Association, 1992.
2.    “Joint Ventures Among Health Care Providers in Florida”, State of Florida Health Care Cost Containment Board, 1991.
3.    Domholdt E, Durchholz AG, Direct access use by experienced therapists in states with direct access, Phys. Ther. 1992 Aug:72(8):569-74.
4.    Federal Office of the Inspector General May 1, 2006- This report calls into question billing processes done by non-physical therapist owned practices.

 

Is physical therapy painful?

For many patients, one of the primary objectives is pain relief.  This is frequently accomplished with hands-on techniques, modalities such as ultrasound, electrical stimulation, and /or heat or cold therapy.  Movement often provides pain relief as well.  Your physical therapist will provide you with the appropriate exercises not only for pain relief but to recover range of motion, strength, and endurance.

In some cases, physical therapy techniques can be painful.  For example, recovering knee range of motion after a total knee replacement or shoulder range of motion after should surgery may be painful.  Your physical therapist will utilize a variety of techniques to help maximize your treatment goals.  It is important that you communicate the intensity, frequency, and duration of pain to your therapist.  Without this information, it is difficult for the therapist to adjust your treatment plan.