What To Expect:
We know that this may be your first time attending physical therapy and that you may have questions concerning what to expect. To make your experience as comfortable as possible we have compiled a number of frequently asked questions with our responses. We hope that our explanations adequately prepare you for your initial visit. Please do not hesitate to call with any other questions that you may have.
1. "What should I wear for my first appointment?
"Most patients choose to wear loose, comfortable shorts and a t-shirt or tank top for comfort and ease of movement. The therapist will perform a thorough and thoughtful evaluation that often includes an assessment of your total body alignment and body mechanics. This often includes the physical therapist getting all the way down to the skin. If you are attending PT for a back, neck, or shoulder problem we may ask you to wear a hospital top that opens in the back (females) or to remove your shirt (males). We also have a variety of sizes in athletic shorts for you to wear should you choose to wear your work or professional clothes to the clinic. We want you to be comfortable at all times at CPTC. If you are not comfortable or feel exposed, please let your therapist know immediately.
2. "How long will my appointment last?
"Initial evaluations are scheduled for one hour. You should plan on arriving 30 min prior to your appointment to complete the required paper work so that your appointment can start on time. Return appointments are scheduled for 30 minutes, but may last up to 45-60 minutes depending on your individual plan of care. All patients with Medicare as their primary insurance are scheduled for 60 minutes due to billing regulations.
3. "Will it hurt?
"The therapists at CPTC do not believe in the “no pain, no gain” philosophy and we will always put your comfort first. During the initial evaluation, however, we may work to reproduce your pain for diagnostic purposes and you could experience some soreness after your initial evaluation as a result. We will do our best to help alleviate this pain through specific exercises, manual work or modalities (electric stimulation, ultrasound, heat packs, cold packs). This discomfort should be temporary.
4. "Will I have to buy equipment or join a gym?
"Not necessarily. Our staff takes pride in "helping you help yourself" which means finding ways to make your treatment plan fit you and your lifestyle. Our therapists are equipped to teach you a home program that will rely on minimal equipment. We have some equipment in the clinic that you can purchase if your therapist makes that recommendation.
5. "Will I see the same therapist every time?
"Yes, that is our goal. At CPTC the physical therapist that performs your initial evaluation will serve as your primary therapist and will direct your plan of care. Should your schedule or the therapist’s schedule require that you see another therapist, our therapists will work together to ensure continuity in your care.
6. "How long and how often will I have to come to therapy?
"After your initial evaluation the physical therapist will go over a comprehensive plan of care with you including treatment duration and frequency, which may vary depending on your diagnosis and the severity of your impairments. We also try to consider your out of pocket expenses such as co-payments and travel time.
7. "Do I need a referral from my doctor to receive physical therapy?
The necessity of a referral is usually determined by the coverage requirements from your personal insurance company. All Medicare patients need to have an active referral from their referring physician within one month of the physical therapy initial visit in order to receive coverage from Medicare for the treatment. Typically most medical insurance companies do not require a referral in order to provide coverage for a physical therapy visit with us; however we do always verify this information when we verify coverage with the insurance company prior to the initial appointment. Having a referral will only aid the physical therapy process regardless of whether or not the referral is actually required. A written referral from a physician can give a solid document on background information and prospective goals for our physical therapist to reference.
8. "What insurance companies do you participate with?
"For a list of insurance companies that we are in network with, click here. If your insurance company is not listed please call us at (919) 967-5959 to inquire. If we are not certain that we are in-network with the questioned insurance provider we can verify the information for you.
9. "How does CPTC handle billing and insurance claims?
"We will file with your insurance company as a courtesy to you. However, after 60 days, if your account has not been settled, the responsibility will then shift to you. It is our impression that bills should be settled within 60 days and will therefore require that you become actively involved in settling your account. Please be aware that secondary insurance will be your responsibility to file and collect. We will file for any covered supplies allowed by your insurance carrier. There may be a difference between an out of network insurance company’s usual and customary charges and our fee schedule. The patient would be responsible for any difference not paid by insurance. This does not apply to current contracted carriers.
10. "What if I have to cancel an appointment?
"We do cancel and reschedule appointments without penalty as long as we are given notice of the appointment change at least 24 hours prior to the appointment. If something urgent arises and you are unable to give us more than 24 hour notice, then we can still cancel and reschedule your appointment. There is a $20.00 no show/cancellation charge that may be billed to a patient who does not give more than a 24 hour notice of the change. Each case is taken into account as we know emergencies arise and the charge is determined by our office manager and clinic director after the cancellation is made.
11. "How do you handle office copayments?
"It is our policy to accept copayments for each office visit after the therapy session. The payments will be based on insurance coverage and other factors such as purchasing supplies if they are applicable. We accept payments by credit/debit cards (Visa, MasterCard, and Discover), personal checks, and cash…HOWEVER it is rare that we have exact change on hand, so we prefer our patients pay with check or credit cards.
12. "Will I have to pay for supplies to aid in therapy if I get them from CPTC?
"We do stock many devices and instruments that patients may use to assist with their therapy. These items can be purchased for use by the patients. We can also make special orders for braces depending on the patient’s need and size. We do take the insurance company coverage into consideration and attempt to get as many items covered by insurance as we can. Certain insurance companies have policies that cover certain therapy items and therefore the patient is not responsible for the cost of the equipment. However, there are some insurance companies that do not cover select therapy items or may not cover any at all. Regardless, the CPTC staff will check with the insurance companies and follow steps needed according to each case to insure that the patients are responsible for as little cost as possible for equipment.
13. "My doctor recommended another place for rehabilitation, but I would like to come to CPTC. What do I do?
"Speak with your physician about his/her rational for referring you to an alternative clinic as there could be a specific reason behind such a recommendation (aquatic therapy, neurological rehabilitation, etc). As a patient you have a right to choose a physical therapy clinic that works for you and we recommend that you discuss all of your treatment options openly with your referring physician.