Choice. It’s a good thing, and we certainly enjoy that freedom. In some situations your choice is being taken away – namely your choice of physical therapy provider, is being denied to you. The scenario goes something like this – you see the doctor, maybe a specialist, and you are told you should have physical therapy to treat your particular problem. You return to the front desk, and are given a slip for your PT appointment. You are being told where you will receive physical therapy, rather than being asked where you would like to receive physical therapy. You could have made a choice, but your doctor took that away from you.
Think about it this way instead. You see the doctor, receive a prescription for medication, and then they tell you that it can only be filled at Acme Pharmacy, even though you do all your business elsewhere. A doctor cannot do that for your medicine prescription. They can however, direct you to a physical therapy provider (and some other medical providers) without offering a choice.
Is it really a big deal? Simply put, yes it is. Some physical therapists are better at treating certain problems than others, and you want the best to treat your problem. Some PT’s attend frequent continuing education courses, stay current with the research published in physical therapy journals and are treating their patients with the latest and best techniques. Some PT’s live and breathe their profession, some just collect a paycheck. You want the best, and certainly deserve the best. You want your pain to decrease, your problem to improve, and you want it to happen quickly. If you have high co-pays or a high deductible, you really want it to happen quickly.
Certainly we would like to see you here at Alden Physical Therapy, and we would like you to choose us. We live and breathe physical therapy. We stay current and are using cutting edge techniques to treat your problem. It’s not fancy equipment, or pools or the space the office is in. It’s the therapist treating you that makes the difference.
What if you don’t know who to choose? Here are some ideas:
-Ask your friends, family members, doctor or anyone else that might help you make a good decision. -Call the physical therapy office and ask questions.
-Go to apta.org or mckenziemdt.org and use their physical therapist search tools to see what is available in your area.
-Stop by the office and take a look. We don’t mind if you do, and I don’t know why any other office would have a problem.
-Ask them if they have experience treating your particular problem.
-Ask them if you will see the same therapist every time. For continuity of care, and to avoid confusion in your treatment, you should see the same therapist every time (unless your therapist is ill or on vacation – there are a couple exceptions, and only on a limited, temporary basis).
-Last, but certainly not least, ask if they participate in your particular insurance. There’s nothing worse than getting to the office, showing them your insurance card, and being told they don’t accept your insurance.
Don’t let fancy equipment or a flashy office fool you. It is the skill of the physical therapist that is going to help you recover, and you want to try to determine how skilled they are. It’s your health – put a little thought into your choice.
So there you have it. You are free to choose your physical therapy provider, and you should make a careful choice. It might make the difference between high quality, effective care that provides a solution to your problem, and mediocre care that consumes your money and your insurance benefits but does little to help you.