How To Choose A Physical Therapist

Ask the Physical Therapy clinic if the PT specializes in the area of your injury or concern.

Level of experience and specialization can make a significant difference in your rehab outcome/results.

Ask the PT clinic if you will be treated by the same PT for each visit.

Continuity of care can be very important to advance and assess your progress toward your goals.

Make sure that the PT will have enough time to spend with you.

Many clinics / PTs are set up so that any one PT may be have 2 to 4 patients in the clinic at the same time. This can take away from the personalized – one on one care that you deserve.

Make sure that you receive physical therapy from a licensed physical therapist.

Physical Therapists are professional health care providers who are licensed in the State of Arizona. If you are receiving physical therapy from a Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA), be sure that he or she is supervised by a licensed physical therapist and that you were given a full evaluation by the Physical Therapist prior to be treated by the PTA.

Ask the PT clinic if you will be treated by the same PT for each visit.

Continuity of care can be very important to advance and assess your progress toward your goals.

Make sure that the PT will have enough time to spend with you.

Many clinics / PTs are set up so that any one PT may be have 2 to 4 patients in the clinic at the same time. This can take away from the personalized – one on one care that you deserve.

Ask the physical therapy clinic if they participate with your insurance company and/or will they submit claims on your behalf to your insurance company.

Some policies require co-payments for services and the co-payment will be dependent on if the physical therapist is part of the insurer's provider network. You will also have to meet your deductible.

Freedom to Choose

When seeking physical therapy services, it’s important to know that you have the right to choose your physical therapist or facility. Although a physician or other health care professional may suggest a certain facility or physical therapist based on experience or geographical location, the decision as to where you seek treatment is yours. Some physicians employ physical therapists or own physical therapy clinics, which means they have a financial incentive to refer patients to their employees or clinic. This conflict of interest can lead to excessive visits and services. Even if you are in a state that requires a physician referral, you can still choose a facility other than the one your physician recommends. In all states and facilities, physical therapy services should only be provided by a physical therapist or a physical therapist assistant under the direction and supervision of a physical therapist. You may wish to check with your insurance company to verify that the physical therapist/facility whom you have chosen participates in your network. These are some things you may consider when seeking a physical therapy clinic:
  • The therapist should be licensed in the state.
  • The first visit should include a thorough medical history and physical examination before any treatment is rendered.
  • The patient goals should be discussed in detail during the first visit.
  • Care should include a variety of techniques which might include hands-on techniques, soft tissue work, therapeutic exercises and in some cases heat, cold, electrical stimulation or ultrasound.
  • Do they have a service that can address your problem?
  • Do they take your insurance or are they willing to work with you if they are not a preferred provider?
  • They should be conveniently located. Since sitting and driving often aggravate orthopedic problems, there should be a very good reason for you to drive a long distance for rehabilitation.
  • What are the hours of operation?
  • Can they provide satisfaction survey results?
  • The therapist should provide the treatment.
  • Can you briefly interview the therapist before the first visit?
  • Ask your family and friends who they would recommend.
More than half of all Americans are suffering from pain. Whether it is a recent episode or chronic, an ABC News/Stanford study revealed that pain in America is a serious problem. However, many do not even know that physical therapists are well equipped to not only treat pain but also its source. Physical therapists are experts at treating movement and neuro-musculoskeletal disorders. Pain often accompanies a movement disorder, and physical therapists can help correct the disorder and relieve the pain. Important to note: that physical therapy can only be provided by a qualified physical therapist, or a physical therapist assistant working under the supervision of a physical therapist. When choosing a Physical Therapist, you have the freedom to choose your own physical therapist.