Getting Physical Therapy Care: Where to Begin?
By: Dr. Jason Meagrow, DPT
Robinet Physical Therapy, Rockford
October is National Physical Therapy Month. This month, we want to educate people about how to get started toward feeling better through physical therapy. Patients frequently have difficulty going through the steps of getting into a physical therapist, which delays their healing. Understanding insurance, waiting to see your doctor and getting a prescription referral are some of the things that can delay the start of your physical therapy care. Oftentimes, the longer it takes to see a physical therapist, the more care and time it takes to get better. Patients who receive PT treatment closer to when their problem either started or started getting worse, typically, need fewer visits. Fewer visits mean their total costs for treatment are lower. Knowing how to get care can speed up the process.
Don’t Let Insurance Stop You From Getting Help
As a follower of Robinet Physical Therapy, you can be seen for a free consultation. A consultation will allow you to meet with a physical therapist to discuss your issue and be examined. Your therapist will ask questions about your condition as well as take time to “hear your story”. You will also go through a physical examination with the therapist to understand the underlying cause of your condition. After the examination, the therapist will take the time to explain the problem and how therapy would help. They are often able to give you a prognosis for your condition and an estimation of how many treatments you would need. The PT can also help answer questions about other treatments that may have been suggested, such as injections or surgical procedures. At the end of the consultation, you will have a better understanding of your condition and how physical therapy treatment would help. To get scheduled for a consultation, you can either call our office or submit a request under the “Contact Us” tab on our website. Just mention this article when asked how you heard about the Free Consultation.
In Michigan, a patient is allowed to come directly to a physical therapist for treatment, without seeing a medical doctor, but for only a period of time. So why don’t you just come straight to our clinic? Most insurances still require a prescription for the insurance to pay for treatment. In addition, Michigan law requires the physical therapist to obtain approval from an appropriate health care provider if treatment goes longer than 21 days or 10 treatments. Most of the time, one way or another, you will need a prescription. If you are interested in being seen under direct access, call your insurance to find out if they cover treatment without a prescription.
If you choose to not have your treatment processed through insurance you may be seen without a prescription. However, as stated above, Michigan law will still require us to obtain approval from an appropriate health care provider after 21 days or 10 visits. If you are interested in the cash pay option, you can call our office for more details on how to schedule.
You Have a Prescription
If you have already spoken with your doctor and have been referred to physical therapy, you’ve already done the hard part. Simply call our office and we will get your appointment scheduled. Just like choosing what pharmacy you use, you have a choice of where you would like to be seen with a physical therapy prescription. You can request our clinic if your doctor’s office is suggesting a different clinic.
Getting in to see a physical therapist can often be confusing due to differences in insurance regulations, misinformation, and assumptions about what is needed to be seen by a physical therapist. If you ever have questions, please call our office and we will be happy to help guide you through it. The longer you delay the longer it may take until you achieve the relief you’re looking for. I hope this article will help you to get the care you need as quickly as possible.