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Questions we frequently 

hear from patients 

 

Do I need a referral to receive therapy?
What will happen during a visit to Shoreline Physical Therapy?

Will it hurt?

Is there anything I should bring with me?

How are physical therapists educated?

How are physical therapist assistants educated?

What is occupational therapy?

Who can benefit from occupational therapy?

How does occupational therapy work?

Will my insurance cover my physical or occupational therapy?

Do you accept my insurance?

 

Do I need a physician referral to receive therapy?
Not necessarily.  Connecticut allows direct access for physical therapy, meaning that a physician referral is not necessary for you to be evaluated and treated by a licensed physical therapist.  However, not all insurance companies acknowledge direct access, therefore we recommend that you contact your insurance provider to determine whether they require a referral prior to scheduling your appointment.  Unfortunately, treatment by an occupational therapist always requires a physician's referral.

What will happen during a visit to Shoreline Physical Therapy?

Your first visit will last about one hour. You will fill out the paperwork, and verify insurance information with the receptionist. Your therapist will then sit down  with you to learn about your recent injury and your past medical history. She'll ask about your work, hobbies, sports, and help you to set goals to return to full activity. She'll then examine the injured body part, and develop a plan of care. It is typical to work first on relieving pain and/or swelling then on gaining flexibility and strength, and finally on facilitating a return to full activity. We try to determine the underlying cause of the problem, so that we can prevent recurrence of the injury. Toward this purpose, we discuss activities of daily living and body mechanics as well as specific techniques of sport or work. Each treatment plan is individualized. If it is appropriate, you will learn an exercise program to continue at home between visits. While the initial evaluation will take up to one hour, your follow-up visits will last approximately 30 minutes.

Will it hurt?

 Our rule of thumb is that you should not experience an increase in your painful symptoms for more than 2 hours after therapy. It is typical when starting any new activity to develop a  little soreness. While this is to be expected, we make every effort to keep you as  comfortable as possible. We will develop the treatment plan together. Your therapist will explain the rationale for each aspect of your care, and will be able to advise you of how much soreness to expect. It is your responsibility to report  your reaction to each visit so that the intervention can be modified appropriately.

Is there anything I should bring with me?

  • Loose, comfortable clothing is preferred.  If the reason for you visit involves your knee or hip, we ask that you wear or bring shorts, ideally with an elastic waistband.  If you are being seen for your shoulder or neck, a tank-top or sleeveless shirt is preferred. 

  • Information regarding your insurance.

  • A list of any medications you are taking

How are physical therapists educated?

The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) accredits colleges and universities with physical therapy programs. Ninety seven percent of physical therapy schools in the United States are now at the doctoral level.  This means that students are enrolled in a three-year post-graduate program and graduate with a clinical doctoral in physical therapy (DPT).  The curriculum includes courses in anatomy and physiology, pathology, kinesiology, psychology, child development, sports, geriatrics, therapeutic exercise, modalities, research and statistics, biology, pharmacy, chemistry, and physics. Student physical therapists treat patients for 6-10 months under supervision before graduating and taking the licensure exam. 

How are physical therapist assistants educated?

Physical therapist assistants earn an associates degree after attending an APTA accredited 2-year program. The education focuses on anatomy & physiology, pathology, psychology, pediatrics, geriatrics, sports, modalities, and therapeutic exercise. They also complete clinical internships before taking their state licensure exams.  Physical therapist assistants cannot evaluate, diagnose or re-assess patients.  Instead, they work under a licensed physical therapist to deliver the  services that have been deemed appropriate by the physical therapist.  We do not currently employ any physical therapist assistants at Shoreline Physical Therapy.

What is Occupational Therapy?

Occupational therapy is skilled treatment that helps individuals achieve independence in all facets of their lives. Occupational Therapy gives people the "Skills for the Job of Living" they need to live satisfying lives. Services typically include:

  • Customized treatment programs aimed at improving abilities to carry out the activities of daily living
  • Comprehensive evaluation of home and job environments and recommendations on necessary adaptation
  • Assessments and treatment for performance skills
  • Recommendations and training in the use of adaptive equipment to replace lost function
  • Guidance to family members and attendants in safe and effective methods of caring for individuals.

Occupational therapy practitioners are skilled professionals whose education includes the study of human growth and development with specific emphasis on the social, emotional, and physiological effects of illness and injury. The occupational therapist enters the field with a bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degree. The occupational therapy assistant generally earns an associate's degree. Practitioners must complete supervised clinical internships in a variety of health care settings, and pass a national examination. Most states also regulate occupational therapy practice.

Who Benefits from Occupational Therapy?

A wide variety of people can benefit from occupational therapy, including those with

  • work related injuries such as low back problems or repetitive stress injuries
  • limitations following a stroke or heart attack
  • arthritis, multiple sclerosis, or other serious chronic conditions
  • birth injuries, learning problems, or developmental disabilities
  • mental health or behavioral problems including Alzheimer's, schizophrenia, and post-traumatic stress
  • substance abuse problems or eating disorders
  • burns, spinal cord injuries, or amputations
  • broken bones or other injuries from falls, sports injuries, or accidents
  • vision or cognitive problems that threaten their ability to drive

How OT Works

Every day, countless people of all ages experience problems that significantly affect their ability to manage their daily lives. With the help of occupational therapy, many of these individuals can achieve or regain a high level of independence. From the infant with a birth defect or injury to the person affected by aging, occupational therapy helps people make the most of their abilities When skill and strength cannot be developed or improved, occupational therapy offers creative solutions and resources for carrying out the person's daily activities.

Will my insurance cover my physical or occupational therapy?

We can help you find out.  Not every insurance company provides guaranteed coverage for physical and occupational therapy.  In addition, co-payments may be different than what you pay to visit a physician, and a limit on the number of visits per year may be imposed.  We can help with your responsibility as a patient to get a straight answer from your insurance company about the extent of your coverage.  We recommend doing this before you begin your therapy.

Do you accept my insurance?

We accept many insurance policies, including:

AARP
Aetna US Healthcare
Bankers life and Casualty
Blue Care State Preferred
Blue Cross Medigap

Blue Cross National Accounts (Blue Card)
Blue Cross Century Preferred
Blue Cross Federal Employee Program
Cigna Healthcare of Connecticut
Connecticare**
Connecticut Pipe Trades
Fireman's Fund
Golden Rule
 
I.B.E.W. Local #90
Iron Workers Locals #15 and #424
I.U.O.E. Local Union #478
Mashantucket Pequot Tribe Health
Medicare
PHN / Local 777 Health Fund
PHN / Local 478 Health Fund
Stirling and Stirling Inc.
Tricare Prime
Tricare Standard
United Healthcare
USAA Insurance

** As of November 1, 2012, we are accepting Connecticare

 


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