You have options when it comes to selecting a physical therapist (PT). With all states now enabling direct access to physical therapy services in some form—meaning you don’t need to see a doctor first—the ball is truly in your court.
But having a choice is both a blessing and a curse—after all, how do you know which PT will give you the best, most effective care? While there is no Magic 8-Ball that will reveal the ideal physical therapist who accepts Blue Cross, there are a few variables that may assist you in reducing the selection. So, before you begin therapy, be sure that your PT:
Makes you feel comfortable.
Physical therapy is a process, and you will be spending a significant amount of time with your PT. To have a good encounter, make sure you and your therapist are on the same page both professionally and emotionally. They should be someone you can trust—someone who not only welcomes your questions and concerns but also gives meaningful responses in an easy-to-understand manner. They should also have excellent listening skills and should treat you as a complete person, not simply as a condition or ailment. Above all, your physical therapist should be wholly involved in your treatment; he or she should want to heal you as much as you do.
Call the clinic’s office and ask to speak with the physical therapist before scheduling an appointment. During your chat, inquire whether the therapist has encountered situations similar to yours and whether treatment was successful in such circumstances. Get a feel of their knowledge and passion. If you have a pleasant mood after treatment, chances are you will have a positive therapy experience as well.
Emphasizes one-on-one treatment and continuity of treatment
PTs can conduct therapy in a group environment rather than one-on-one. There is no evidence to suggest that group therapy is harmful, and it can be helpful in some cases. If you want customized care, be sure you and your PT are on the same page.
Furthermore, suppose you seek treatment at a physical therapy facility that employs more than one PT. In that case, you should evaluate whether you will be treated by the same therapist each time you visit. Switching from one physical therapist who accepts Aetna to another may result in inefficiencies or redundancies, impeding your development.
Have the proper credentials.
All physical therapists should be licensed in their state of practice, and any clinic worth its salt will only treat patients with valid, up-to-date credentials. Even still, it never hurts to double-check a PT’s credentials. On that point, keep in mind that the educational level needed of physical therapists has evolved throughout time. Nowadays, all PT-school graduates obtain doctoral degrees or bachelor’s degrees; however, these degrees do not imply that the PT is less informed about physical therapy practice.
Several PTs earn postgraduate qualifications in specific skills, such as sports, orthopedics, pediatrics, geriatrics, pelvic health, or manual therapy, in addition to academic degrees and state licensing. Board-certified clinical experts have passed complex tests in their fields of expertise and have invested many hours treating specific patient problems and demographics.
Specializes in your particular area of need
Regarding specialist qualifications, some physical therapists accept Aetna that specializes in certain areas of treatment. It may be helpful to seek therapy from a PT who specializes in the sort of treatment you require. After all, they have likely encountered several people with problems comparable to yours. If you are looking for therapy for an athletic injury, for example, you should look for a therapist that specializes in sports. However, some physical therapists specialize in certain parts of the body, such as the back, neck, knee, hand, or shoulder.
Accepts your insurance
Check to verify whether the clinic accepts your insurance before scheduling your first visit. That way, there will be no unpleasant surprises, like large out-of-pocket expenditures, down the line. It’s also a good idea to find out how much of your plan covers treatment. Find out if you have to pay a copay and, if so, how much it is for each appointment. Furthermore, many plans limit the number of covered physical therapy visits—or the total amount they would reimburse—for each benefit period. These are the specifics you should be aware of before starting therapy.