Monday, March 24, 2014

Does Insurance Pay For That?

With the cost of health care rising and the number of approved physical therapy visits decreasing, patients often have to be discharged prior to full resolution of symptoms. To be honest, insurance companies don't care if you can't run in that 5k or go ballroom dancing anymore. In their eyes, if you can dress yourself, feed yourself, and walk a few blocks then you don't need physical therapy. To that end, patients can either sit around and complain how unfair insurance is (though writing in to your insurance company/local officials is a good idea) or they can take their health into their own hands, dig a little deeper into their pockets, and get back to EVERY activity that they want to perform.

As previously stated, for most patients, insurance coverage will only take them so far. Insurance will not cover maintenance therapy or sessions to help make you a faster runner. Insurance companies want to see that you can function at a very basic level and could care less about that upcoming golf trip you have planned. The good news is, Duffy & Bracken offers wellness programs that bridge the gap, fill in the holes, and address those issues that insurance companies deem superfluous. Want to PR in your next race? Try our new running program. Consider yourself a runner but don't know what PR means? Even more reason to check out our running program. Want to improve your tennis game? Consider signing up for a sports performance analysis. Want your feet to stop hurting? Definitely invest in our Happy Feet program.

A few months ago, while perched atop my soapbox I wrote an article about what we as physical therapists have to offer. Our unique skill set enables us to create specialized programs that directly address the needs of patients regarding nearly any physical activity. However, this extensive knowledge base only benefits patients when patients realize the value of the service being offered and choose to invest in their well-being. I always find it interesting how willing people are to pay personal trainers hundreds of dollars, yet balk at the idea of having to pay a $25 copay for a physical therapy visit. No judgement, no guilt trip, but the services that good physical therapists offer are worth it. 

The therapists at Duffy & Bracken hold doctoral degrees, personal training certifications, and manual therapy certifications. This advanced training allows us to not only optimize the gains made during the allocated physical therapy visits, but to implement after-care programs that get patients back to 100% functionality. Would it be great if insurance covered visits to make us run faster, jump higher, and drive that golfball farther? Of course. Is that going to happen anytime soon? Absolutely not. That in mind, patients need to invest in themselves and check out the after-care programs that Duffy & Bracken has to offer. We're worth it. Your health is worth it.

C. Shante Cofield, PT, DPT, CSCS