Put in some sweat equity, choose the right therapist, and you’ll get big benefits for little coin.
Put In Your “Sweat Equity”
If you’ve ever watched home improvement or remodeling shows, you understand that there are some jobs that can and should only be performed by the contractor, but there are also lots of other tasks that a homeowner can complete with some expert instruction and extra work. Generally speaking, most of your recovery will be moved along by things you do outside of the clinic. Make sure you get home program instructions, and follow them, and you’ll find that the amount of time you’ll spend running back and forth for appointments will drop considerably. Fewer appointments = Fewer Copays!
Work with a Board Certified Specialist – EVERY VISIT
There are numerous weekend courses that award a certificate, extra credential initials, and some marketing clout. However, a specialist board certification by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties is awarded based on an 8-hour examination of knowledge of current rehabilitation science, and documented years of experience. Multiple studies demonstrate that board certified therapists get your problem solved in significantly less time. Of course, that only applies if you’re actually seeing your therapist each visit, rather than having to get acquainted and adjusted to a new plan of attack every visit or two.
Understanding Your Progress, and Know When Therapy Should End
Too many clinics keep patients in therapy, week after week, doing the same things, until insurance benefit limits have been met, and without any signficant improvement. What happens if you don’t respond to treatment in 1-2 visits? What about 4-6 visits? Do you need 1, 2, or 3 visits this week? What about next week? What determines how many visits you attend?
Ask About How Much You Will Spend
Focus on the total cost of therapy rather than the visit rate. If one therapist costs $80 per visit and requires 10 visits, while another costs $100 per visit but only requires 6 visits, you can save $200 by picking the more expensive per-visit therapist.
Make Your Needs Known Up Front
Patients have different preferences and goals for therapy. If your goal is to conserve your healthcare dollars, plan around a work travel schedule, or play in a sports tournament soon, let your therapist know that during your first visit. Your therapy plan of care can be customized to meet your needs, so that your time (and money) is not wasted.
Remember – TIME IS MONEY! Use your time in therapy wisely, and you’ll reap physical and financial rewards for the hard work you put in.