How to Begin Physical Therapy

October 5th, 2016
How to Begin Physical Therapy

Starting physical therapy can be a scary and stressful process. When your physician recommends beginning PT, many people are unsure what to do next. Hopefully this will help answer some common questions about how to set-up therapy and what to expect from PT. Today we’ll cover the initial phone call—Patient Activation.

  1. Physician’s Referral:

Most insurances (medicare, motor vehicle, workers compensation, to name a few) require a signed prescription from a licensed physician (MD, DO) within the past 30 days to begin PT, which you will need to bring to the initial evaluation. Some insurance companies allow Direct Access (DA) where you can get evaluated directly by a DA licensed PT without a script. If you do not have a script, it is best to call your personal insurance and see if you qualify for direct access.

  1. Insurance Coverage:

All insurance plans are very different and we always encourage our patients to call the Member Services number on the back of your insurance card to find out what your PT benefits are prior to beginning PT. Being in physical pain and needing PT can be stressful enough, we always want to be direct with our patients concerning their benefits to remove as much of the financial ambiguity as possible. If you’re confused by your insurance benefits, still give us a call and we can try to assist you as best we can.

  1. Scheduling your Initial Evaluation:

Now that you’ve got a valid prescription and understand your insurance, give us a call to set up a time for your initial evaluation with one of our Physical Therapists. We block off 45-60 minutes of one-on-one time to meet you and listen to your story. We will also take some objective measures to establish a plan of care specific to your individual goals. We always try to offer multiple time slots to find a time-slot that works best with your busy schedule as well as our therapists’ busy schedules. We value our one-on-one time with you and strive to provide the best environment to get you better.

  1. Miscellaneous:

Wearing loose fitting clothing, bringing your insurance information and script, and arriving a few minutes early to fill out additional paper-work are some key points we emphasis for all of our initial evaluations. We offer all intake paper-work online at our website that you can freely print and fill-out prior to your appointment.

Hopefully this clears up any confusion about beginning physical therapy. Feel free to give us a call at 610-544-8500 to answer any questions! We look forward to advancing your health

Cole Racich, PT, DPT, OCS