Physical Therapists are movement and function experts. They know and understand how the body works, and can help you to move in different, better, and more efficient ways…with less pain and with improved strength and balance. BUT, and it’s a big but, with the insurance model of health delivery, the insurance company dictates your visits, how many you will receive or be approved for, and even who you should see. This occurs regardless of your diagnosis, other health and physical issues you might have that can impact on the speed that your body changes, and whether the PT is experienced working with your diagnosis. AND, because they dictate the amount that they will pay (again, whether for “good”, or “just OK”) PT services and treatment, your PT often will be indirectly directed by the insurance company and the PTs will be treating and working with many people at once in order to make their bottom line. Physical Therapy has often received a bad reputation for these reasons, and people think that it’s just doing a bunch of exercise that are all the same or getting passive modalities. It’s not the PT’s fault…it’s the way the health care industry is currently set up.
I once had a patient who told me she had been to another PT. She was doing her exercises as directed, looked around the room and realized that many people were doing the same exercises that she was. “I did not think that they were the same as me or had the same problems, but we were doing the same things. That didn’t seem right.”
If you want to see results more quickly, get off of the doctor to doctor to medication to the PT owned by your insurance company assembly line, and not spend a lot of money on co-payments for the same exercises others are doing or the same ones you are doing at home….the answer is to go outside of your insurance system and to pay out of pocket.
“Ummmm….You want me to PAY for my Physical Therapy???”
Yes, we do. And if you make that choice, you will be in a group of people who want to make changes in how their musculoskeletal concerns are being addressed and cared for. You will be amongst a group of people who want to address problems before they interfere with their day to day activities, who want to sleep with less pain, to be able to lift their children and grandchildren, to cough/sneeze/jump without urinary leakage or fear of pressure. You will be in a group of people who recognize that they don’t have to accept “fine” or “good enough” and want to live and age with wellness and with good function. The people who make the choice to work with Embody can save money (fewer visits and co-pays, with fewer visits/week) and they save time!
Physical therapists who don’t contract with insurance companies are able to spend more time with you (most spend an entire hour with just you) and create a truly customized plan of care to meet your goals. For example, when we work with clients, we often see them once per week for about 6 sessions, and then we start seeing each other less often. Many times, a client will see us over 6-8 months, but it will consist of only 10-12 in-person sessions and the rest of the time we are checking in over email to make sure everything is going the way it should be. It depends on the person and their needs and goals. Many of our clients and patients also come to some of our therapeutic yoga and movement classes to continue to make gains (and have fun!). In most insurance-based physical therapy clinics, you use 12 sessions in as little as 4-6 weeks. It usually takes longer than 6-weeks to fix a chronic problem that has been nagging at you for several months (or a post op program of rehab). Another insurance fun fact: insurances do not pay for prevention. Isn’t the goal to stay as healthy as possible and to prevent long term problems?? That 6 weeks of treatment might get you feeling better, but it’s usually not enough time to make sure that problem won’t come back. That’s the point, isn’t it? Making sure that you stay well, moving and living life and feeling good. While it may seem cheaper in the short-term to do it the insurance way, it ends up costing you a lot more in the long run, especially when that problem comes back. You feel can feel frustrated and give up, resort to medications, or stop doing the things you love.
Our clients appreciate that we spread the care out according to their needs, and their lives. They appreciate that we get to know THEM, that the goal is helping them reach their goals, and often to go beyond what they thought was possible. We also coordinate care with their other providers (like personal trainers and chiropractors, dieticians and counselors). And the best part – many times our sessions will be paid for by your insurance company (you submit the itemized and coded receipt that we give you), a flexible spending account, or a health saving account! But even for those who don’t submit, we hear that the care they receive with us and the ability to make choices is worth every penny .
If you are curious about whether Embody Physiotherapy is right for you, give us a call! We know that Embody is not for everyone (and if we think that we are not the best PT choice for you, we will tell you…honestly!), but more and more people are finding that it is, whether individualized PT or our movement and yoga classes, with a PT as instructor. If you are in Western PA, you can come to our office and talk to one of our specialists for FREE (or by phone)– just to make sure that going out of network for specialist physical therapy care is the right decision for you. If you aren’t in this area, we have contacts to many other therapists around the country. Your health is worth at least a conversation! We’d love to hear from you!
(Thanks to many of our colleagues around the country, including CJ Physical Therapy &Pilates in Portsmouth NH, and to PT in Motion Publication for sharing some of the above thoughts and statements so eloquently!)
One thought on “Why People Are Making the Choice to Pay for Their Physical Therapy”
Thanks for telling me that physical therapists can help me move my body in better and more efficient ways. I noticed that I’m having a hard time sitting upright and it is also sometimes painful to stand up for long periods of time. It might be better to inquire in the nearest Genesys hospital if they offer physical therapy services.