1) Do I need a prescription from a physician to go to physical therapy? The answer depends on the state, but typically the insurance company does not care and the vast majority of the states in the US do not require a patient have a prescription to attend physical therapy. Your physical therapist is a highly skilled medical professional that knows when/how to refer you out when they see symptoms that are beyond their scope of practice.
2) How much time will your therapist spend with just you? There are many physical therapy clinics that see four patients per hour, which means all four people are being seen by one therapist, at the same time. Another name for this type of scheduling is double/triple/quadruple booking. You deserve to have individual time with your therapist, which should at a minimum be half of the hour.
3) What can you do in a one on one vs a group setting? When a physical therapist has the opportunity to work with one patient at a time, the patient will be able to receive cueing to ensure exercises are being done correctly, manual therapy to help to the muscles, joints and ligaments, more in depth assessment of the cause of pain/dysfunction and a personal understanding of patient goals and needs.
4) Does your therapist have knowledge/expertise in your area of concern? It is ok to ask if a therapist regularly treats a particular area, so to make sure you are receiving the best care. Look for physical therapists that do extra continuing education beyond state licensure requirements. There certainly is a difference in a professional who pursues a career by continually educating her/himself and one that simply works at her/his job.
5) What kind of equipment or approach does your PT practice use? There is no right or wrong answer to this, but be in the know! Some clinics might specialize in using weight lifting equipment, others Pilates, and others special neurologic gait equipment. Know what you are looking for so you can find the best fit.
6) What is your physical therapy coverage for your insurance and/or is it more cost effective to go “out of pocket?” All health insurance plans cover physical therapy, but many have high deductibles, limits, restrictions, copays and requirements. You can call your health insurance company to find out how this works for you. Although we live in a strange healthcare world where estimating the cost of care is next to impossible due to repricing of services only being determined after billing, you may consider simply paying for your services without going through insurance. With high deductible insurance plans this may save you money if you do not reach those deductibles.
Kinesphere Physical Therapy, 10875 Grandview Drive, Suite 2250, Overland Park, KS 66210
(816) 379- 6988