How to Choose the Best Physical Therapy Clinic
How to choose the best physical therapy clinic
A similar blog had been written on this topic a while ago, but with the ever changing landscape of healthcare, patients are often faced with the difficult decision of choosing the best physical therapy practice to meet their needs. When faced with this dilemma, the following marketing quote embraces our philosophy at The Sports Rehabilitation Center: “AN EDUCATED CONSUMER IS OUR BEST CUSTOMER”. This statement implies that the patient has actually done some research to learn the difference between physical therapy clinics because not all clinics are created equal. This blog will review the important factors to consider when making this decision.
A. Remember, it’s your CHOICE and in many cases you can see a PT directly!
- Patients often do not realize that they have a choice where they go for PT. If your physician owns a PT practice, you may be referred to that clinic. However, you can choose an alternative clinic.
- Depending on where you live and the type of insurance plan, you can usually see a PT directly without the added cost of seeing a physician first. It is the role of a skilled PT to determine if an MD visit is indicated.
B. QUALITY OF CARE
Many variables can affect the quality of care provided by a physical therapy clinic and here are some questions that should be asked PRIOR to scheduling an appointment:
- WHO is treating you
- Is it a physical therapist (PT) or a physical therapy assistant (PTA)?
- Will your care be delivered by the same PT for each visit on a consistent basis? For continuity of care, it is best to be seen by the same PT.
- Does your PT have a great deal of experience treating the type of condition you have? For example, if you have an ACL reconstruction, you want to schedule with a PT that sees more than just a few each year.
- PATIENT VOLUME
- How many patients does each PT schedule per hour? If a clinic schedules more than 1-2 patients per hour, it is a high volume model and will reduce the amount of time you will spend with the PT. You should consider finding an alternative.
- CLINIC ENVIRONMENT
- Does the clinic have the equipment you need to meet your goals? If you walk into a small clinic with a few tables and patients are only using cuff weights and resistance tubing, you may want to reconsider.
While cost is an important consideration, it should not be the driving factor.
- Make sure the clinic verifies your insurance PRIOR to coming in. The clinic should let you know:
- If you are in or out of network: Don’t get discouraged if you are out of network as some out of network plans are not that much more then in network. In addition, sometimes going out of network can be less expensive in the long run if a quality clinic can get you better in half the time.
- If you have a deductible and how much has been met: These days, many individuals are opting for higher deductible insurance plans because they are less expensive. A high deductible means you will be paying out of pocket until the deductible is met. In these cases, find out the approximate cost per visit.
- What is your co-pay? As is the case with deductibles, co-pays have increased so it is important for the clinic to let you know your financial responsibility.
- What may appear more costly upfront can be less expensive when considering the total treatment program performed in a quality clinic. For example, paying more per visit for a great clinic who gets you better in less visits can end up costing you less.
- Considering that a PT program is usually 2-3 times per week, the clinic location is important. However, make sure you do not sacrifice quality for convenience.
- In addition, inquire about the clinic parking.
- Is there a parking deck that requires a long walk?
- Is there a valet service and is it covered by the clinic?
- Is there parking directly in front of the clinic?
E. ASK around and use the internet
- Former patients are the best sources for determining the best PT clinics, particularly if they have been to different clinics
- Do an internet search
- Look at the website: look at the staff bios, the equipment, the services offered, and the types of patients they see.
- Read reviews of the clinic
If you have any additional questions, visit our website at WWW.SPORTSREHABCENTER.COM