FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q: Do I need a prescription for physical therapy?

A: Nope. No referral needed: Florida is a Direct Access State meaning that you can seek medical treatment directly from the Physical Therapist of your choosing. This places Physical Therapy as a first line provider for your sport related injuries.  By coming to me first you will save in copayments and unnecessary services. 

 

Q: do you take health insurance?

A: Yes, We accept any major insurance with ( Aetna, Cigna, United, Humana, BCBS) but we are not IN-NETWORK with any plans.  If you have a Flexible Spending Account or Health Saving Account you can use it to pay for these services. If you have medical insurance with OUT OF NETWORK benefits  we can provide you with a detail bill with all the information you will need to submit to your insurance for reimbursement based on your out of network benefits ( usually varies from 10-50 % reimbursement rate ). Contact you insurance for further details about this.

 

Q: What’s my co-pay going to be ?

A: No easy answer here; It depends on your health plan. If you are not sure what your out-of-network benefits entail, send us your plan info and birth date, and we’ll look into it. We can estimate your payment responsibility before your first visit – we’re not a fan of surprises either. When you come in, please be prepared to pay in cash, check or by credit card

 

Q: Why did you choose to be an out-of-network provider? It’ll be cheaper for me to see someone in my network.
A: Glad you asked.

It boils down to quality over quantity.

We care very much about the quality of care you receive. Quality is what will get you better. As an out-of-network provider, we are choosing to see fewer patients in a day in order to ensure an extremely high level of patient care.

Insurance companies don’t look at patient care the same way we do. They put providers like us through the ringer with an application process to become “in-network.” If we’re chosen, we agree to receive significantly less reimbursement for treatments (as low as $40 for an hour treatment, inclusive of your co pay…say whaaaat?!) because we’ll be exposed to a bigger pool of patients. But the only way to offset our operational costs is to see more people in a day. That leads to a “patient mill” style of physical therapy that really bums us out, and undermines how we want to treat patients. We just can’t, and won’t, participate in that.

At my clinic  you will work one-on-one with a skilled, licensed physical therapist who cares about you and what you’re there to accomplish. You will have your therapist’s undivided attention for at least 45 minutes in a private treatment room.

At an in-network clinic, you’ll likely be lined up on a table in an open gym with a bunch of other people while one therapist directs all of you at once. Ultrasound/heat/electric stim/ice may be used as substitutes for individual care and treatment, but those things are just filling your appointment. If you’re only being treated for 5-7 minutes individually, it’s really tough to get better. Your therapist should take the time needed to diagnose the underlying cause of your problem, correct it and make sure you understand how to be your own advocate when you’re not in treatment. That takes expertise and individual attention. That’s why we are out-of-network.

 

Q: You say by seeing you first I will save money in the long run ?

A: Great question. Let’s analyze an example: let’s say someone gets injured playing soccer, a mild to moderate knee or ankle sprain or a pulled muscle. Usually patient will go to see in-network primary doctor first (let’s say $ 30 copay) who knows very little about sports injuries, this doctor will refer patient for an X-ray ($75-100) and see patient back in 7 days. At that point he will order patient to see an orthopedic doctor (copay $ 75-100), another 10-15 days until patient gets an appointment. Finally the orthopedic will recommend Physical therapy at the Orthopedist’s office 3 times a week for 4 weeks ($30 copay x 12 visits= $ 360). Total: aprox $ 590  and about  7  weeks from the injury.  If this same patient came to my clinic instead, I can see the patient the next day following the injure, and then 3-4 more times once or twice a week. Cost: $ 300-400 with recovery in about 3-4 weeks.

 

Q: How do I prepare for my first visit?

A:Make a list of any questions that you have, to make the best use of your time with your physical therapist.

Write down any symptoms you've been having and for how long. If you have more than one symptom, begin with the one that is the most bothersome to you. For example, is your pain or symptom:

  • Better or worse with certain activities or movements or with certain positions, such as sitting or standing?

  • More noticeable at certain times of day?

  • Relieved or made worse by resting?

 

Write down key information about your medical history, even if it seems unrelated to the condition for which you are seeing the physical therapist. For example:

  • Make a list of all prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements that you are taking.

  • Make a note of any important personal information, including any recent stressful events, injuries, incidents, or environmental factors that you believe might have contributed to your condition.

  • Make a list of any medical conditions of your parents or siblings.

  • Consider taking a family member or trusted friend along to help you remember details from your own health history and to take notes about what is discussed during your visit. Make sure you can see and hear as well as possible. If you wear glasses, take them with you. If you use a hearing aid, make certain that it is working well, and wear it. Tell your physical therapist and clinic staff if you have a hard time seeing or hearing. If available, bring any lab, diagnostic, or medical reports from other health care professionals that may be related to your medical history or who have treated you for your current condition.

  • Bring a list of the names of your physician and other health care professionals that you would like your physical therapist to contact regarding your evaluation and your progress.

 

Q: What to expect at your first appointment?

A: Arrive to your first visit on time and even a few minutes earlier. Late arrival may affect not only your 1-on-1 time with the therapist, but that of other patients in the clinic.. You’ll need to be in comfortable clothes that you can move around. Workout gear is perfect. Shorts are necessary for any ankle / knee / or hip injury. Be ready to fill in some forms at the beginning of the visit. Bring any X-ray, MRI or CTScan reports related to your current injury. If you have a prescription for physical therapy bring it with you as well.

 

Your physical therapist will begin by asking you lots of questions about your health and about the specific condition for which you are seeing the physical therapist. Detailed information about you and your condition will help the physical therapist determine whether you are likely to benefit from physical therapy and which treatments are most likely to help you.

Your physical therapist will perform a detailed examination. Depending on your symptoms and condition, the physical therapist might evaluate your strength, flexibility, balance, coordination, posture, blood pressure, and heart and respiration rates. Your physical therapist might use his or her hands to examine or "palpate" the affected area or to perform a detailed examination of the mobility of your joints, muscles, and other tissues.

 

Your physical therapist also might evaluate:

  • How you walk (your "gait")

  • How you get up from a lying position or get in and out of a chair ("functional activities")

  • How you use your body for certain activities, such as bending and lifting ("body mechanics")

Your physical therapist might ask you specific questions about your home or work environment, your health habits and activity level, and your leisure and recreational interests so that the therapist can help you become as active and independent as possible.

Your physical therapist will work with you to determine your goals for physical therapy and will begin to develop a plan for your treatment. In many cases, the physical therapist will make a diagnosis and begin treatment almost immediately.

 

One of the main goals of treatment is almost always to improve or maintain your ability to do your daily tasks and activities. To reach this goal, the physical therapist may need to focus on pain, swelling, weakness, or limited motion. Your physical therapist will constantly assess your response to each treatment and will make adjustments as needed.

In most cases, an important aspect of your physical therapy treatment will be education. Your physical therapist might teach you special exercises to do at home. You might learn new and different ways to perform your activities at work and home. These new techniques can help minimize pain, lessen strain, avoid reinjury, and speed your recovery.

You will get out of therapy what you put into it. Sufficient effort, as agreed between you and the physical therapist, is necessary to maximize benefit from each treatment session.

Observe all precautions as instructed by your physical therapist. This may include modifying an activity, reducing weight on 1 limb while walking, avoiding certain movements, or restricting use of a specific body part. Lack of compliance with treatment precautions may cause injury and result in delayed recovery.

If special devices such as splints, walkers, canes, or braces are provided for home use, follow the physical therapist’s exact instructions. Be sure to ask questions if you are unclear, as incorrect use may be harmful.

The therapist may advise physical modifications in your home such as removing throw rugs, rearranging furniture, and installing safety rails. For your safety, it's essential to comply with these recommendations.

Follow the home program as instructed by the physical therapist. Your ongoing performance and commitment to the home program is essential to your recovery.

If the instructions are unclear, ask for clarification. Only perform exercises at the therapist-specified repetition, frequency, and resistance (such as weight or resistance band color). More is not always better and may cause injury!

After your physical therapy care is completed, continue to follow the after-care instructions provided by the physical therapist.

 

Your physical therapist will evaluate your need for special equipment, such as special footwear, splints, or crutches. If the evaluation indicates that you are at risk for falling, your physical therapist might recommend simple equipment to help make your home a safer place for you. The therapist will know what equipment you need and can either get it for you or tell you where you can find it. If you do need special equipment, your physical therapist can show you how to use it properly.

Your physical therapist will communicate the important information from your examination to your physician and to other health care professionals at your request.

Your physical therapist will continually recheck your progress and work with you to plan for your discharge from physical therapy when you are ready. Make sure you talk with your physical therapist about what you should do after discharge if you have questions, or if your symptoms or condition worsen.

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