Are you a new patient? Here’s how to prepare for your first visit with us. The following information will help guide you through your first visit and help you start the process to recovery. Please complete, print and bring with you on your first appointment
As a new patient, you may have some questions regarding your physical therapy visit. We have listed the answers to the most commonly asked questions. If you have any other questions, please contact us at 215-747-7383 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What do I need to bring?
1. Photo identification* (valid state ID, school ID card, valid driver’s license, or valid passport)
2. Insurance card or claim information if Worker’s Compensation or Auto Accident
3. Prescription/doctor referral
4. Any additional documents pertaining to your care (i.e. surgical report, MRI or X-Ray results) or equipment (i.e. crutches, cane, boot, sling/splint)
What happens during my first visit?
When you first arrive, we will make a copy of your ID and insurance card to verify your identity. You will then fill out paperwork regarding your care. We suggest arriving 15 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment to complete all paperwork or you can print out the forms and complete ahead of time. You will then meet your licensed physical therapist who will perform a comprehensive initial evaluation.
What happens during my initial evaluation?
Your physical therapist will discuss your medical history, diagnostic tests/reports, complaints, pain level, current limitations with your daily activities, and any applicable information that relate to your condition. They will perform measurements and special tests to assess your vital signs, range of motion, flexibility, posture, strength, balance, and endurance ability. Based on your measurements, your physical therapist will explain their findings and develop a plan with you to address your problems. This will include how many times per week and how long you will need therapy, home exercises that you will work on, specific goals, and expectations during therapy. You will be an active participant in your recovery!
What should I wear?
Please wear comfortable clothing to your appointments, such as athletic wear. It is important that you are comfortable as your sessions may include manual therapy techniques, stretches and exercise. Suggested clothing includes:
1. Tank tops or loose T-shirt to be able to expose shoulder or neck
2. Shorts or loose sweatpants that can be pulled up over the knee
3. Appropriate footwear such as sneakers
4. Please do not wear heavy perfumes/cologne
How long is each visit?
Your first visit for your initial evaluation will last approximately one hour. The follow up treatment visits typically last between 30 to 60 minutes each visit.
What is a physical therapist?
A physical therapist is a licensed health care professional who is an expert at restoring movement and function, reducing pain, and preventing disability. Physical therapists are highly skilled and educated and are required to hold at least a master’s or doctorate degree.
Do I have to pay anything for therapy?
Depending on your insurance coverage, you may have a financial responsibility of a copay, coinsurance, or deductible.
Copay- a fixed amount a patient must pay each visit as determined by their insurance plan.
Coinsurance- a percentage of the cost that the patient shares with their insurance. For example, if you have a 20% coinsurance- you are responsible for 20% of the total bill and your insurance will cover the remaining 80% of the total bill.
Deductible- the total amount a patient must pay out of pocket before their insurance will begin paying for your therapy. After your deductible is met, a patient may still have a copay or coinsurance responsibility.
If you have any difficulty making payments, we can work with you and set up a payment plan.
Will physical therapy be painful?
It is important to understand the difference between pain and soreness. There can be some muscle soreness associated with exercise which is normal. After a session, muscle soreness may happen about 24-72 hours after exercise which a result of delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). There are certain cases where therapy may cause pain which is usually after a surgical procedure like joint replacements.
How do I make an appointment?
For your convenience, there are several ways to schedule a visit with us. You can click here to request an appointment, call the office directly at 215-747-7383, or email us at email@example.com.
Do I have to be referred by a doctor?
Vital Step’s providers are certified direct access physical therapists, which means you can be evaluated and treated for 30 days without a prescription from your doctor. If you require treatment for longer that 30 days, we will contact your physician to provide a prescription to continue with treatment.
There are a few insurances that still require you to have a prescription from your doctor, but most insurances allow you to come directly to a physical therapist for treatment of musculoskeletal injuries. Our front desk will verify this when you schedule your appointment.