Getting Value Out of Your Physical Therapy Experience
If you’ve never had physical therapy before, you may not know what to expect. Typically, after seeing a doctor for your orthopedic injury, you would receive a prescription for physical therapy, possibly have to obtain an insurance referral, and choose yourself a physical therapist or a physical therapy practice. It’s not the easiest thing to research; people don’t take pics of their surgical scar receiving friction massage with give a big thumbs up on Facebook the way they do to a sweet clam plate by the beach. Nooot quite as sexy… But it’s important! What should you expect to get out of your first appointment and subsequent appointments? How many visits will you need and what will it cost? Depends. How many appointments you need depends on a ton of factors; mainly the conditions related to your injury and the value you get out of your visits. You’re going to have to discuss plan, frequency and duration with your therapist and check your individual insurance benefit to estimate cost.
Ideally, typical visits will have you in half-hour slots and you will see your therapist or physical therapy assistant for that full half hour (possibly fifteen minutes). Hopefully, your visit will consist of hand-on care reinforced by a personalized, guided exercise plan. You should not be led to lie down with a hot pack and be ignored during your appointment slot. You should not be performing a bunch of exercises unsupervised; if you wanted that you could have Googled some exercises, flung yourself around will-nilly, and hoped for the best. Hopefully, this is not your experience but, sadly, I know it happens.
Finding the value
Value is provided when someone gives you something you can’t easily do yourself (like throw on a hot pack, do some unsupervised Google exercises, then slap on an ice pack because lord knows what you just did to yourself…). When you get your therapist’s undivided attention for a significant amount of time, along with hands-on therapy you can’t duplicate at home with your Sharper Image massager, directed exercise that you can feel is actually helping you, as well as the gift of a personalized home program, you have gotten value out of your physical therapy experience. When therapy truly works - as it often does – you know you’ve gotten value. When it not only works but the exercises, tips and tricks you received along the way keep you from coming back for that same condition, and you loved your therapists – that’s the WOW factor.
Most physical therapists are bright, skilled and caring professionals who want to give that value. However, the state of health care today is stifling the process. You’ve probably noticed your other medical providers barely looking up from their laptops because the notes need to get done, NOW. It’s not really their fault. We have all had to make that compromise so we can cram as many patients into as many slots as possible because the amount insurance pays has gotten lower and lower – meanwhile the cost to the patient has risen exponentially! (You out there with the $5,000 deductible – you hear me!) This is a recipe for poor patient care and poor patient-provider relationships.
Well Beings = value!
Well Beings has diverted from the fray. We opened Well Beings to provide better care the way we think patients deserve, by any means necessary. We are mainly for cash, but we’ve added Blue Cross Blue Shield because, in comparison, they allow therapists the most freedom. We also have decided to take Medicare because being cash-only alienated a bunch of regular patients on fixed incomes whom we love dearly. We will see how this goes but trust me! We will never be that clinic who ignores patients, leaves them lying there with passive modalities doing nothing, and lets you leave feeling the same as you did when you came in and with no more of a clue about what’s happening in your body. Our concierge package even lets you purchase a monthly membership to use as you see fit! You can address any ache or pain as it arises and we will prioritize you on the schedule, even if it’s full.
We hope that if you are considering Well Beings that you click no further. We are who you want in charge of your care. We provide excellent value and, wherever humanly possible, do not let insurance companies stand in the way. We have therapeutic modalities and technologies that insurance companies do not cover the use of. That won’t stop us from providing those services when our patients need them. And with us you should always get that WOW factor!