One of the most frequently asked questions since announcing my clinic concept has been: why don’t you accept insurance? Deciding not to accept insurance came with a lot of thought. It was not meant to be a political statement or to make life easier on our staff.
I frequently reflect on my time spent as a physical therapy tech before entering physical therapy school. The therapist I worked under could have up to 5 patients at a time which meant I was carrying out exercises and performing modalities such as ultrasound. While fully qualified to help set up for appointments, clean, and assist the therapist with transfers; I was not qualified to be assisting with patient care in the manner asked of me. I did not know any better and assumed this was normal, and for many places dependent on insurance it was and still is the standard practice of care.
The amount of “a-ha moments” I had throughout my physical therapy training concerning my previous performance as a tech was astounding (not in a good way). Yes, the patients were performing the exercises dictated by the therapist, but not always correctly. In school we are trained to analyze every detail of movement, and without the formal physical therapy training I just wasn’t qualified to supervise exercise or perform any modality. This was a disservice to our patients.
How can we get better if we continue to perform the same impaired movement patterns with exercises? Even the best therapists will miss improper form or underlying impairments when treating multiple patients at a time because we only have one set of eyes. When a therapist is booked 2-3 patients at a time; they have no choice but to allow patients to perform unsupervised exercise or use techs outside of their intended scope of practice. This is why we will never double book a time slot and all treatment will be 1 on 1.
With constant supervision and increased time for individualized manual therapy, chances are you will recover with fewer visits. You may even spend less money once co-pays are taken into account! Most co-pays are 30-50 dollars (and I have seen as high as 70 dollars). At your typical outpatient orthopedic clinic you will be told to come 2-3 times/week. You can pay your co-pay 3x/week or for just a little bit more see me 1x/week receiving highly individualized care.
I believe strongly in providing the best possible treatment for a patient. Our medical care should be dictated by evidence and clinical experience, not by a third party. The length and number of appointments are determined by patient presentation and not a general rule provided by insurance. How can 20 visits a year be what every single patient needs?
I know cash pay can sound scary or be challenging. We will provide you all the documentation you need to submit for out of network insurance reimbursement. We hope you do some research before letting cash pay be a deterrent to choosing our clinic as your provider.