Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Physical Therapist and when should I see one?
Physical Therapists are licensed health care professionals with a Master’s or Doctorate degree in Physical Therapy. They are experts in the proper function of muscles and joints of the body from head to toe. They are also movement specialists, trained to identify abnormalities that can cause dizziness, pain and dysfunction in the body.
You should seek physical therapy care if you are experiencing ongoing pain in your muscles or joints, limited range of motion or reduction in strength. You should also see a physical therapist if you have had an injury, like an ankle sprain or a pulled muscle. It is important to consult a physical therapist prior to beginning an exercise program, especially if you have had muscle or joint pain in the past.
Do I need a referral or prescription from my physician?
A referral is not always needed to see a physical therapist. Since Colorado is a Direct Access state, a patient may seek the care of a Physical Therapist without having a prescription from their physician. However, some insurance companies require a physician prescription in order for them to cover your Physical Therapy appointment. Check your insurance benefits to determine if a referral is necessary.
What is “Direct Access”?
Direct Access means that an individual may go directly to a licensed physical therapist for health care without first seeing a physician.
The advantages to Direct Access are:
Reduced Healthcare Cost (no copay at physician office)
Allows for Prompt Attention and Service
Ability to Choose Your Physical Therapy Provider
Referral Not Required
-American Physical Therapy Association
My physician referred me to another physical therapy practice. Do I have to go there?
You have the freedom to choose your own Physical Therapist. Even if a physician writes a prescription to go to another clinic, or would like you to see a Physical Therapist in his office, you are not obligated to do so. Every patient has right to pick his/her own Physical Therapist, just as you have the right to pick your primary care physician, dentist, or ophthalmologist.
Will every PT clinic charge me the same amount?
Insurance companies have different contracts with different PT clinics according to who owns them and where they are located. Brookside Physical Therapy is a private clinic so is considered a general provider by most insurance companies, this means the lowest co-payment for services. Physician owned PT clinics are considered specialist and the copay is usually $10-$20 higher. Hospital owned clinics will charge for both the facility (hospital) and the PT clinic fee.
What should I bring to my first appointment?
Please bring your ID, insurance card, and physician prescription (if you have one). Also remember to wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothing for your appointment. Keep in mind, you may want to bring shorts if we are seeing you for your foot or knee. Arrive 15-20 minutes early to fill out any necessary paperwork, or you may download, print and complete the paperwork to bring with you.
What should I expect from my first physical therapy visit?
The first visit to a Physical Therapist is the evaluation. This is when the therapist will ask questions about your condition or injury and inquire about your medical history. They will also do a thorough physical examination which will include evaluation of muscle strength, range of motion, movements, posture, and flexibility in order to develop a personalized plan of care to meet your goals. At the end of the examination, they will explain what they found, the anatomy of the area, educate you on the plan of care, and typically teach you 2-4 exercises to begin at home.
What are my payment options?
If you choose to use your insurance, we will bill your insurance company. Our front desk will check your insurance benefits and explain them on your first visit. Payment is required at the time of service and we will accept cash, check, MasterCard and Visa. If you do not have insurance or if you have a high co-pay or deductible, we have an affordable private pay option as well. Please call us if you would like to learn about the details of our private pay option.