1.) Will I be seeing a manual therapist or an exercise therapist?
– Some therapists specialize in manual therapy while others specialize in exercise therapy. If you are expecting to have a physical therapist treat your condition with massage, gentle range of motion, and palliative modalities, then do not schedule your first appointment with someone who has a reputation for teaching fitness bootcamps, and making clients run the Army 10- miler. On the other hand, if you are a CrossFit athlete or weekend warrior waiting to get back to setting new PR's and finishing WODs, then do not get scheduled with a physical therapist that will spend 20-minutes clearing your chakras and cleansing your aura.
2.) What will each treatment cost?
– Health savings accounts, high deductible plans, and all of the new government changes to health insurance make knowing your healthcare coverage tricky. Once you have chosen your ideal physical therapist, ask for a list of the CPT Billing Codes that will most likely be charged during each treatment. The physical therapist may not know exactly what will be charged until the evaluation, but you should at least be able to get the most likely common codes. You should also ask for the physical therapist's National Provider Number, and the physical therapy clinic's National Provider Number. With this information you can call your insurance provider and ask for the “Allowed Amount” for each unit of each CPT Code.
3.) Will I be seeing the same physical therapist?
– Some clinics offer clients the ability to see the same physical therapist for each treatment. There are pros and cons to seeing the same therapist or different therapist, but if you are the kind of person who would like to see the same therapist every time, you should definitely ask for that.
4.) How long will each treatment session last?
– Traditionally, most physical therapy treatment sessions will last 60-minutes, however with the rise of health savings accounts and high deductible plans you may want to reduce the cost of each treatment by asking for a 30-minute or 15-minute treatment. Most physical therapists should be willing to provide you with an abbreviated treatment to manage your costs to fit within your budget.
5.) Is there a satisfaction guarantee?
– This might be one of the most controversial questions in health care these days, but let's face it, if you went to a nice restaurant for dinner and hated the food, you would never be expected to pay for it. If you go to see a physical therapist and do not receive the level of service you were expecting or promised, then you should have the right to request a full refund.
6.) Are there any online videos or articles that can show you what a typical treatment might look like?
– YouTube, Facebook, and other websites have changed the way clients are choosing physical therapist providers. Videos and blog posts give you a sneak peek behind the scenes of your prospective physical therapy treatment. If I were choosing a physical therapist, I would want to see a sample of what I will be doing before I started.
7.) Are there any patient reviews or stories from other patients that have rehabilitated the same condition that I have?
– Patient experiences or reviews can help you see the challenges other people have faced with similar conditions to you. Ask any prospective clin if they can share any recent patient experiences with you from other patients that received care for the same or similar condition to you.