Insurance Coverage for Physical Therapy
The best way to take care of your health is to take an active role in your own health care. To do this, you need to know about your options and your rights as a patient. Patients are becoming better educated and demanding more and better options from their health insurance companies. The right to physical therapist services is an important option, and it is your right as a patient. Federally qualified HMOs are required to have physical therapy in their benefits packages.
Why Physical Therapy?
Physical therapists are experts in how the musculoskeletal and neuromuscular systems function. Physical therapist services are cost-effective. Early physical therapy intervention prevents more costly treatment later, can result in a faster recovery, and reduces costs associated with lost time from work.
Patients pay less when they have direct access to physical therapy services. A study conducted to determine whether direct access to physical therapy services was cost-effective found that patients who went directly to a physical therapist had fewer episodes of care, and services were ultimately less costly.
What Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists help restore function, improve mobility, relieve pain, and prevent or limit permanent physical disabilities of patients with injuries or disease. They also restore, maintain, and promote overall fitness and health.
Physical therapists are professional health care providers who are licensed by the state in which they practice. You can check with the Department of Health to make sure that your physical therapist is licensed and in good standing.
Many physical therapists specialize in treating specific areas of the body, such as the back, neck, knee, hand, or shoulder, or they may concentrate their practice on pre- and postnatal care, sports injuries, stroke rehabilitation, or one of many other areas or physical therapy. Physical therapists may also be certified by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties (ABPTS) in seven specialty areas of physical therapy: orthopedics, sports, geriatrics, pediatrics, cardiopulmonary, neurology, and clinical electrophysiology.
To learn more about how Private Insurance Works, visit the Kaiser Family Foundation site and get a basic overview of private insurance for health care.