FAQ

Your First Visit

Initial Visit — all about your first visit with MPT

Who will see me?

You will be evaluated by one of our licensed and highly trained physical therapists and he/she will also treat you during subsequent visits. Unlike some clinics where you see someone different each visit, we feel it is very important to develop a one-on-one relationship with you to maintain continuity of care. Since only one physical therapist knows your problems best, he/she is the one that will be working closely with you to speed your recovery.

What happens during my first visit?


During your first visit you can expect the following:

  • Arrive at your appointment with your paperwork completed (download it from our site Downloads page or we can email or fax it to you)
  • You will provide us with your prescription for physical therapy or your physician may have already provided us with this information.
  • We will copy your insurance card and government issued ID (TDL or ID card).
  • You will be seen for the initial evaluation by the therapist.

The therapist will discuss the following:

  1. Your medical history.
  2. Your current problems or complaints.
  3. Pain intensity, what aggravates and eases the problem.
  4. How this is impacting your daily activities or your functional limitations.
  5. Medications, tests, and procedures related to your health.
  6. Your goals with physical therapy.

The therapist will then perform the objective evaluation which may include some of the following:

  1. Palpation - touching around the area of the pain/problem. This is done to check for the presence of tenderness, swelling, soft tissue integrity, tissue temperature, inflammation, etc.
  2. Range of Motion (ROM) - the therapist will move the joint(s) to check for the quality of movement and any restrictions.
  3. Muscle Testing - the therapist is checking for strength and the quality of the muscle contraction. Pain and weakness may be noted. Often the muscle strength is graded. This is also part of a neurological screening.
  4. Neurological Screening - the therapist may check to see how the nerves are communicating with the muscles, sensing touch, pain, vibration, or temperature. Reflexes may be assessed as well.
  5. Special Tests - the therapist may perform special tests to confirm/rule out the presence of additional problems.
  6. Posture Assessment - the positions of joints relative to ideal and each other may be assessed.

The therapist will then formulate a list of problems you are having, and how to treat those problems. A plan is subsequently developed with the patient's input. This includes how many times you should see the therapist per week, how many weeks you will need therapy, home programs, patient education, short-term/long-term goals, and what is expected after discharge from therapy. This plan is created from input from you, your therapist, and your doctor.

What do I need to bring with me?


Make sure you bring your physical therapy prescription (provided to you by your doctor, if we do not already have it), your ID and your payment information. If your insurance is covering the cost of physical therapy, bring your insurance card. If you are covered by Workers' Compensation, bring your claim number and your case manager's contact information. If you are being covered by auto insurance or an attorney lien, make sure you bring this information. Also, if there are any deductibles, co-payment amounts or coinsurance amounts (amounts not covered by insurance), we will collect those monies at the time of service as well.

How should I dress?


You should wear loose fitting clothing so the therapist will have access to the area that we will be evaluating and treating. For example, if you have a knee problem, it is best to wear loose fitting shorts. For a shoulder problem, a tank top is a good choice, and for low back problems, wear a loose fitting shirt and pants, again so we can perform a thorough examination.

How long will each treatment last?


Treatment sessions typically last 45 to 60 minutes per visit.

How many visits will I need?


This is highly variable. You may need one visit or you may need months of care. It depends on your diagnosis, the severity of your impairments, your past medical history, etc. You will be re-evaluated on a monthly basis and when you see your doctor, we will provide you with a progress report with our recommendations.

Is my therapist licensed?


Physical therapists (PT's) and physical therapist assistants (PTA's) are licensed by their respective states

Who pays for the treatment?


In most cases, health insurance will cover your treatment. Our insurance page gives a summary of insurances we accept and make sure you talk to our receptionist so we can help you clarify your insurance coverage.

How does the billing process work?


Billing for physical therapy services is similar to what happens at your doctor's office. When you are seen for treatment the following occurs:

  1. The physical therapist bills your insurance company, Worker's Comp, or charges you based on CPT (Common Procedure Terminology) codes.
  2. Those codes are transferred to a billing form that is either mailed or electronically communicated to the payer.
  3. The payer processes this information and makes payments according to an agreed upon fee schedule.
  4. An EOB (Explanation of Benefits) is generated and sent to the patient and the physical therapy clinic with a check for payment and a balance due by the patient.
  5. The patient is expected to make the payment on the balance if any.

It is important to understand that there are many small steps (beyond the outline provided above) within the process. Exceptions are common to the above example as well. At any time along the way, information may be missing, mis-communicated, or misunderstood. This can delay the payment process. While it is common for the payment process to be completed in 60 days or less, it is not uncommon for the physical therapy clinic to receive payment as long as 6 months after the treatment date.