Here are answers to some of Nassau Physical Therapy’s frequently asked questions. Please contact us at 904-277-4449 in Fernandina Beach, 904-879-1223 in Callahan or at firstname.lastname@example.org if you don’t find what you are looking for. These questions and more, are also answered in the video below. Turn up your speakers.
What happens at my first appointment?
Arrive at your appointment with your paperwork completed (you can download it from our website – see the paperwork.)
You will provide us with your prescription or orders for physical therapy from your doctor’s office.
We will copy your insurance card.
You will be seen for the initial evaluation by the therapist.
The therapist will discuss the following:
Your medical history.
Your current problems/complaints.
Pain intensity, what aggravates and eases the problem.
How this is impacting your daily activities or your functional limitations.
Your goals with physical therapy.
Medications, tests, and procedures related to your health.
The therapist will then perform the objective evaluation and will then formulate your problems and the best approach to treat those problems. A plan is then 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 with input from you, your therapist, and if referred, your doctor. Initially a higher frequency of visits and completion of your home exercise program and keeping your appointments improves your outcomes.
What information do I bring with me?
If you were referred, make sure you bring your physical therapy prescription or orders (provided to you by your doctor), 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 covered by auto insurance make sure you bring this information also.
What kind of clothing do I wear to my PT visits?
You should wear loose fitting clothing so you can expose the area that we will be evaluating and treating. For example, if you have a knee problem, it is best to wear shorts, for a shoulder problem, a tank top is a good choice, and for low back problems, wear a loose fitting shirt and pants, so we can perform a thorough examination. You should also wear comfortable shoes.
How long will my initial and subsequent visits take?
Our first visit will last up to 1 hour.
Appointment times vary from patient to patient but generally 45 minutes to an hour.
What insurances do you take?
Nassau Physical Therapy is a participating provider of many insurance plans and companies.
How many visits will I need?
This can be variable. You may need one visit or may need months of care. It depends on your diagnosis, the severity of your impairments, your past medical history, etc. We do know that your outcomes will be best if we see you more frequently initially like 3 times a week gradually decreasing that frequency until your maximum potential is obtained.
You will be re-evaluated on a daily basis. When you have a follow up doctors’ visit a progress report will include your current status and our recommendations.
Why is physical therapy a good choice?
An ABC News/Stanford study revealed that pain in America is a serious problem and more than half of all Americans are suffering from pain that is either a recent acute episode or chronic. However, many do not even know that physical therapists are well equipped to not only treat pain but also its source.
Physical therapists are experts at treating movement and neuro-musculoskeletal disorders. Pain often accompanies a movement disorder, and physical therapists can help correct the disorder and relieve the pain.
Who will see me?
On your initial visit you will be evaluated by one of our licensed and highly skilled physical therapists (PT). During subsequent visits your PT will guide ,manage and supervise your care with other team members, consisting of PT, PTAs and when appropriate trained support staff. We are aware of the many different therapist and patient variables that may interfere with this process, such as schedules, appointment times, cancellations, reschedules, vacations and illness, but we feel it is very important to develop a relationship with you to maintain continuity of care for effective, productive and efficient outcomes.
Is PT Painful?
In some cases, physical therapy techniques can be painful. For example, recovering knee range of motion after total knee replacement or shoulder range of motion after shoulder surgery may be painful. It is important that you communicate the intensity, frequency, and duration of pain to your therapist. Without this information, it is difficult for the therapist to adjust your treatment plan.
For many patients, pain relief is frequently accomplished with hands-on techniques, movement/postural education, individualized therapeutic exercises and modalities such as heat or cold therapy and electrical stimulation.
What happens if my problem or pain returns?
Flare-ups are not uncommon. If you have a flare up (exacerbation), give us a call. We may suggest you come back to see us, return to your doctor, or simply modify your daily activities or exercise routine.
Can I go to any physical therapy clinic?
In most cases, you have the right to choose any physical therapy clinic. Our practice is a provider for primarily care physical therapy. Please refer to NPT services. NPT is a provider for many different insurance plans; please refer to our current NPT provider list. If you don’t see your provider listed please give us a call as these change frequently.
Can I be seen by a Physical Therapist (PT) without a physician referral?
Yes, you can be seen without a referral. In accordance with the state of FL. Physical Therapy can be a direct point of access (see individuals without first seeing a medical doctor). If the condition is found to be outside the scope of practice, the PT may consult with or refer you to the appropriate healthcare provider- your physician or other medical professional. A PT can see you for 21 days, if you were not previously seen for the same condition, otherwise there are no time constraints, other than your insurance. Self pay patients previously seen for same condition have no time constraints. If physical therapy is required beyond 21 days for a condition not previously assessed by a practitioner of record (medical doctor, dentist, etc), the physical therapist shall obtain a practitioner of record who will review and sign the plan of care. If after 21 days further therapy is needed you will need to be assessed by a practitioner of records in order to continue PT.
Can therapist provide DX?
Physical therapists are important members of your medical team. At this point in time, physicians provide you with a medical diagnosis. Physical therapists can provide a Physical Therapy diagnosis related to particular movement impairment, i.e. Lumbar Extension Syndrome, Shoulder Superior Glide Syndrome.
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:
The physical therapist bills your insurance company with charges based on Common Procedure Terminology (CPT) codes that are generated by your therapist for each therapy session.
A claim form for each date of service (therapy session) is either mailed or electronically communicated to the payer.
The payer processes this information and makes payments according to a contracted fee schedule with each insurance plan.
An Explanation of Benefits (EOB) is generated and sent to the patient and to Nassau Physical Therapy with a check for payment. The EOB reflects any amount that is the patient’s responsibility due to deductibles, co-pays, co-insurance and/or codes that are not covered by insurance.
The patient is expected to pay any deductible, co-pays, co-insurance at the time of service an pay any balance after all dates of service are processed by their insurance company.
It is important to understand that there are many small steps (beyond the outline provided above) within the process. It is also important to understand that verification of benefits that are given to NPT by the insurance company is only an estimation, not a guarantee of payment. Exceptions are common to the above example as well. At any time along the way, information may be missing 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 six months after the treatment date.
What will I have to do after physical therapy?
Most patients will need to continue with a home program consisting of self-care management-body mechanics, ergonomics, postural/movement awareness principles and appropriate exercises. Some may choose to continue with or transition to a gym exercise / fitness program. Others will complete their rehabilitation and return to normal daily activities. It is important that you communicate your goals to your therapist, so he/she can develop a custom program for you.
Is my therapist licensed?
Physical therapists (PT’s) and physical therapist assistants (PTAs) are licensed by their respective states. And they are all members of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA).
What are your hours?
Monday- Friday 7:30 am – 7:00pm
Before and after hours and Saturday hours are by request.