Frequently Asked Questions

How to make an appointment? What do I bring with me?

Initial appointments can be arranged by phone by the patient or by the referral source.

If a physician has referred you to us, please bring your doctor’s prescription. If your doctor did not give you a written prescription, please contact us to make arrangements to obtain your doctor’s referral by fax before you come.

California Law does not require a written referral to be evaluated by a physical therapist but most insurance companies require it for payment of services. Please bring your insurance card with you or fax to our office ahead of time. In order for a physical therapist to deliver treatment, an established diagnosis must be obtained from your physician. If you do not have a doctor, call us and we will refer you to one. We work with some of the best in town.

After receiving your insurance information, we will attempt to verify your benefits. This is done before your visit in order to inform you of your coverage for physical therapy. We will let you know the number of visits you are allowed or the monetary amount we can charge, if applicable, on your insurance policy.

If your insurance is covering the cost of physical therapy, bring your insurance card. If you are covered by Workers' Compensation, we will need your claim number and the case manager’s contact information. Authorization for physical therapy visits will be needed prior to treatment. If you are being covered by auto insurance, make sure you bring your auto insurance policy and adjuster’s contact information.

We do not take attorney, third party, or personal injury liens.

If you had x-rays or MRI’s taken, please bring copies of the report. If you had surgery, please bring a copy of the doctor’s report of your operation. Bring lists of current medications.

You will also need to bring payment for deductibles and co-pays. We take cash and credit cards (Visa and MasterCard only).

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What to expect on your first visit?

On your first visit, be sure to come at least 30 minutes early to fill out registration forms. Fill out the forms online, then email or bring it over.

You should allow yourself 60-75 minutes on your initial visit. This time will include filling out patient registration forms. You can download paperwork and complete them before coming to the clinic.

We will make copies of your insurance card and prescription for physical therapy.

Some HMO’s require the first session to be an evaluation only session before authorization is given for further treatments.

You will be seen by a licensed physical therapist who will begin an evaluation of your physical condition, discuss treatment goals and plan of care.

Average treatment time is 45-60 minutes, but it also depends on your case. We maximize our time based on your individual needs.

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How should I dress?

Wear comfortable loose-fitting or stretchy work-out clothing that is easy to move around in, or so you can easily expose the area that we will be evaluating and treating. If you have a shoulder problem, a tank top is a good choice. If you are being treated for a lower extremity injury, we prefer short pants or pants that can be moved up to expose the area without having to disrobe. If you have a knee problem, wear or bring shorts. If you have a back problem, wear a loose fitting shirt and pants.

Non-skid shoes with rubber soles are preferred. Bring or wear your running shoes. Enclosed shoes with rubber sole are ideal unless you are being treated for a foot problem.

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How many visits will I need?

This will be variable depending on your diagnosis, the severity of your impairments, and other complicating factors. Your progress will be monitored. When you see your doctor, we will provide a report with recommendations. Your insurance coverage and authorizations for physical therapy treatments also dictate how many covered visits you are allowed and may not always be what your physician prescribes.

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How does the billing process work?

Billing for physical therapy is similar to what happens at your doctor’s office. The physical therapist bills your insurance company based on CPT (Common Procedure Terminology) codes. Those codes are transferred to a billing form that is either mailed or electronically communicated to the payor. The payor processes this information and makes payments according to an agreed fee schedule or contract rate. 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. The patient is expected to make the payment on the balance, if any. It is important to understand that there are many small steps within the process, and the payment process is usually slow and delayed.

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Can I go to any physical therapy clinic?

You have the right to choose any physical therapy clinic. If our clinic is not a provider of your insurance plan, you can still come to us but you will have to pay out-of-pocket for the treatments. Give us a call so we can verify your insurance coverage.

Things to keep in mind when choosing a physical therapy provider:
• Known in the community as a reliable place to go for physical therapy?
• Recommended by your physician, family or friends?
• Can they address your problem?
• Do they accept your insurance or are they willing to work
   with you even if you do not go to a preferred provider?
• Convenient location and lots of free parking?
• Extended Hours of operation?
• Can they speak your language?
• Provide satisfaction survey results?
• A relaxed, non-intimidating environment that is results-oriented?
• Lots of happy customers.

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Can I go directly to my physical therapist?

Most states have some form of direct access. In the state of California, however, a patient requires a diagnosis from a doctor before he/she can be seen by a physical therapist. In most cases, if you are not making significant improvement within 30 days, the physical therapist will refer you back to your physician.

Can my therapist provide me with a diagnosis?

In most states, physical therapists cannot make a medical diagnosis. This is something that your medical doctor will provide for you.

Physical therapists are important members of your medical team. Physicians, however, are typically the health care providers who will provide you with a medical diagnosis.

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Why should I choose a private practice physical therapist?

Here are the facts:

Studies have indicated that there were more treatments (visits per patient were 39% to 45% higher in physician-owned clinics). Similarly, the cost was greater for patients who go to a physician-owned physical therapy practice (both gross and net revenue per patients were 30% to 40% higher).

Another study indicated that licensed and non-licensed therapy providers spent less time with each patient in physician-owned clinics.

Clinics owned by corporations are more likely to generate unnecessary visits to increase revenues and spend less time with patients.

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