One of the complexities of the physical therapy profession is that there are many options available when you get hurt. The amount of choices for various physical therapy biases, especially for acute and chronic spine pain, are almost too numerous to mention.
For the purpose of this blog today, I will focus specifically on treatment time and examination time, and how these variables relate to the cost of the services and the how these variables relate to the quality of the care that you receive from your physical therapy provider.
If you call around, you will find many practices that will do 60 minute exams and 45 minutes treatment sessions. On face value, I can see how the client thinks that are getting more bang for the buck.
However, if you have a high deductible plan that has not been met for the year, you may receive a large bill in the mail for all that treatment time (surprise!).
If you are a Medicare patient, this “extra time” means you will burn through your Medicare cap much sooner.
And for some conditions and injuries, more treatment time and more services may actually be a determinate to you. Often, the acute whiplash patient cannot tolerate an hour in a PT clinic. The chronic spine patient with a history of Fibromyalgia may be really hurting after a 45 minute treatment session. The 3 week post-op spinal fusion patient may have their sensitive and swollen nerves become irritated after an extended treatment session.
Our model of care is simple; elegant treatment with reasonable, transparent billing. At Metropolitan Physical Therapy, we perform 30 minute exams and 30 minutes sessions. In the hands of a well-trained provider, this is plenty of time to do what needs to be done. I have practiced this way for 15 years. I think this is the best balance between solid, professional, and elegant physical therapy with the considerations of reasonable medical billing and the tolerance of individual patients to care.
However, if my clients’ need more time, I can accommodate those clients with their individual needs. Get what our clients need to become successful in physical therapy is our main concern, because all models of care are not all things to all people.