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Frequently Asked Questions
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How do I schedule an appointment? The easiest and fastest way to schedule an appointment is by calling our office 314-775-0183.  Our patient care coordinator will promptly answer your call to schedule your visit. Or you can contact us by email and we will reply within one business day. If you email us, provide us with several time slots that you are available and we will reply with a preferred time to determine if it is acceptable to you. Your first visit will be expedited if you provide us with your insurance insurance information prior to your first visit. You can also download our intake paperwork under the tab “Paperwork” and have that filled our upon arrival.
How does a manual therapist differ from a physical therapist? Treatment from a traditional physical therapist consists of exercises and stretches, with minimal to no hands on therapy.  A manual therapist is a physical therapist who has undergone residency training in manual therapy, much as a physician would go through a residency to become a specialist. This training focuses on utilizing a hands on approach in order to identify joint and muscle dysfunctions.  This allows for a more specific treatment through soft tissue mobilization, joint articulation or manipulation, and scientific therapeutic exercise progressions. These skills are in addition to the tools that a physical therapist possesses.
How does the billing process work? Billing for physical therapy services is similar to what happens at your doctor's office. When you are seen for treatment the following occurs:  The physical therapist bills the third-party payer (your insurance provider, worker's compensation, or other agreed payer), or if a third-party payer is unavailable, charges you based on CPT (Common Procedure Terminology) codes. Those codes are transferred to a billing form that is either mailed or electronically communicated to the payer. The payer (insurance, etc.) processes this information and makes payments according to an agreed upon fee schedule. An EOB (Explanation of Benefits) is generated and sent to the patient and to the physical therapy clinic with a check for payment and a balance due by the patient. The patient is expected to make payment on the balance, if any. It is important to understand that there are many small steps (beyond the outline provided above) within the process, which provide opportunities for delay in the billing process. While it is common for the payment process to be completed in 60 days or less, it is not uncommon for the physical therapy clinic to receive payment from a third-party payer as long as 6 months after the treatment date, at which point you may receive a bill for any remaining balance. We offer you the option to pay as the EOBs are received or wait and pay once all your EOBs are received. Similar to most doctor office we require the copays and deducible payments upfront. Exceptions are common to the above example as well. It is important to remember that verification of benefits from a third-party payer does not guarantee payment. Third-party payers review claims individually and reserve the right to refuse payment.
How long will each treatment last? Each treatment will be scheduled for 60 minutes, however we understand that you may need more or less time based on your diagnosis and specific needs. Our goal is to provide you with the time and attention that best suits your needs to facilitate your progress.
How many visits will I need? This is highly variable. You may need just one visit or you may need months of care. It depends on your diagnosis, the severity of your impairments, your past medical history, etc. You will be re-evaluated on a monthly basis and before any follow-up appointments with your doctor. At this point, we will take new objective and subjective measures, provide you with our recommendation, and collaborate with you and your physician, to determine your best course of continued care.
How should I dress? You should wear loose fitting clothing so you can expose the area that we will be evaluating and treating. For example, if you have a knee problem, it is best to wear shorts. For a shoulder problem, tank tops is a good choice, and for low back problems, wear a loose fitting shirt and pants, so we can perform a thorough examination.
Is physical therapy painful? In some cases, physical therapy techniques can be painful. For example, recovering knee range of motion after total knee replacement or shoulder range of motion after shoulder surgery may be painful. Your physical therapist will utilize a variety of techniques to help maximize your progress toward your treatment goals while minimizing your pain. It is important that you communicate the intensity, frequency, and duration of pain to your therapist. Without this information, it is difficult for the therapist to adjust your treatment plan. At Omni we focus on symptomatic treatment to provide you with the best possible experience and improve your quality of life.
Is there a difference between therapists? All of our therapists are licensed by the state and are highly qualified to provide you with care. We pride ourselves on exceeding the minimum amount of continuing education required by the state.  Although each therapist has his/her own approach, unique personality, and different level of experience for treating various diagnosis, the same principles of manual therapy and patient focused care are shared by our therapists and present in developing your treatment program.
Will I work with the same therapist each time? For the sake of consistency, you will primarily work with the same therapist each time that you come in. We do work as a team here at Omni, so you always have the option to work with another therapist at the clinic if you would like to try a new approach or if there is more availability to schedule during a time that is convenient for you. Each therapist is highly qualified and dedicated to your care. Also, we may consult with one another and/or assist each other with your care.
What do physical therapists do? You have probably heard of the profession of physical therapy. Maybe you have had a conversation with a friend about how physical therapy helped get rid of his or her back pain, or you might know someone who needed physical therapy after an injury. You might even have been treated by a physical therapist yourself. But have you ever wondered about physical therapists--who they are and what do they do? Many people are familiar with physical therapists' work helping patients with orthopedic problems, such as low back pain or knee surgeries, to reduce pain and regain function. Others may be aware of the treatment that physical therapists provide to assist patients recovering from a stroke (e.g., assisting them with recovering use of their limbs and walking again). The ability to maintain an upright posture and to move your arms and legs to perform all sorts of tasks and activities is an important component of your health. Most of us can learn to live with the various medical conditions that we may develop, but only if we are able to continue at our jobs, take care of our families, and enjoy important occasions with family and friends. All of these activities require the ability to move without difficulty or pain.  Because physical therapists are experts in movement and function, they do not confine their talents to treating people who are ill. A large part of a physical therapist's program is directed at preventing injury, loss of movement, and even surgery. Physical therapists work as consultants in industrial settings to improve the design of the workplace and reduce the risk of workers overusing certain muscles or developing low back pain. They also provide services to athletes at all levels to screen for potential problems and institute preventive exercise programs. With the boom in the golf and fitness industries, a number of physical therapists are engaged in consulting with recreational golfers and fitness clubs to develop workouts that are safe and effective, especially for people who already know that they have a problem with their joints or their backs. The cornerstones of physical therapy treatment are therapeutic exercise and functional training. In addition to "hands-on" care, physical therapists also educate patients to take care of themselves and to perform certain exercises on their own. Depending on the particular needs of a patient, physical therapists may also "mobilize" a joint (that is, perform certain types of movements at the end of your range of motion) or massage a muscle to promote proper movement and function. Physical therapists also use methods such as ultrasound (which uses high frequency waves to produce heat), hot packs, and ice. Although other kinds of practitioners will offer some of these treatments as "physical therapy," it's important for you to know that physical therapy can only be provided by qualified physical therapists or by physical therapist assistants, who must complete a 2-year education program and who work only under the direction and supervision of physical therapists. Most forms of physical therapy treatment are covered by your insurance, but the coverage will vary with each plan. Most states do not legally require patients to see their physicians before seeing a physical therapist. Most of the time all you have to do is ask your doctor if physical therapy is right for you. Reference: APTA
What should I expect during my first visit? During your first visit you can expect the following: Arrive at your appointment with your paperwork completed (you can download it from our website - here Paperwork) or arrive 15 minutes early to fill out this paperwork. You will provide us with your prescription for physical therapy from your physician. We will make a copy of your photo ID and insurance card. You will be seen for the initial evaluation by the therapist. The therapist will discuss the following: 1.  Your medical history. 2.  Your current problems/complaints. 3.  Pain intensity, what aggravates and eases the problem. 4.  How this is impacting your daily activities or your functional limitations. 5.  Your goals with physical therapy. 6.  Medications, tests, and procedures related to your health. The therapist will then perform the objective evaluation which may include some of the following: 1.  Palpation - touching around the area of the pain/problem. This is done to check for the presence of tenderness, swelling, soft tissue integrity, tissue temperature, inflammation, etc. 2.  Range of Motion (ROM) - the therapist will move the joint(s) to check for the quality of movement and any restrictions. 3.  Muscle Testing - the therapist is checking for strength and the quality of the muscle contraction. Pain and weakness may be noted. Often the muscle strength is graded. This is also part of a neurological screening. 4.  Neurological Screening - the therapist may check to see how the nerves are communicating with the muscles, sensing touch, pain, vibration, or temperature. Reflexes may be assessed as well. 5.  Special Tests - the therapist may perform special tests to confirm/rule out the presence of additional problems. 6.  Posture Assessment - the positions of joints relative to ideal and each other may be assessed. The therapist will then formulate a list of problems you are having, and how to treat those problems. A plan is subsequently developed with the patient's input. This includes how many times you should see the therapist per week, how many weeks you will need therapy, home programs, patient education, short-term/long-term goals, and what is expected after discharge from therapy. This plan is created from input from you, your therapist, and your doctor.
What happens if my problem or pain returns? Flare-ups are not uncommon. If you have a flare up (exacerbation), give us a call. We may suggest you come back to see us, return to your doctor, or simply modify your daily activities or exercise routine.
What is your privacy policy? See our privacy policy under the tab “Paperwork”. We will have you sign this document saying you have read and understand our privacy policy.
What should I bring with me? Make sure you bring your physical therapy referral (provided to you by your doctor), a photographic ID, and your payment information. If your insurance is covering the cost of physical therapy, bring your insurance card.  If you are covered by Workers' Compensation, bring your claim number and your case manager's contact information. If you are covered by auto insurance or an attorney lien, make sure you bring this information. You can also print out the required intake paperwork and fill it out at your leisure before arriving for your appointment.
Will the therapist communicate with my doctor? Yes. Your initial evaluation is faxed to your doctor’s office within 24-48 hours, and any re-evaluation is sent with you or faxed to your doctor before the end of business hours. Re-evaluations will be performed about once a month and before any follow-up appointments with your doctor. If you have a follow-up visit planned with your doctor, then please let your therapist know the date so that a re-evaluation visit can be scheduled prior to your return.
What types of treatment will I receive? Each person’s treatment plan is customized to meet your individual needs. This will be discussed with you each step of the way as your treatment progresses to ensure that you are completely satisfied with your care.
Who pays for treatment? In most cases, health insurance will cover your treatment. Click on our Insurance link to for a summary of insurances we accept and make sure you talk to our receptionist so we can help you clarify your insurance coverage. If insurance does not cover your treatment or does not cover your treatment in full than you will be billed for your remaining balance. Many insurances require a copay or deductible. In most cases these are collected at the beginning of your visit, prior to care.
Why are people referred to PT? You and others may be referred to physical therapy because of a movement dysfunction associated with pain. Your difficulty with moving part(s) of your body (like bending at the low back or difficulty sleeping on your shoulder, etc.) very likely results in limitations with your daily activities (e.g. difficulty getting out of a chair, an inability to play sports, or trouble with walking, etc.). Physical therapists treat these movement dysfunctions and their associated pains and restore your body's ability to move in a normal manner.
Why is physical therapy right for me? More than half of all Americans are suffering from pain. Whether it is a recent episode or chronic, an ABC News/Stanford study revealed that pain in America is a serious problem. However, many do not even know that physical therapists are well equipped to not only treat pain but also its source. Physical therapists are experts at treating movement and neuro-musculoskeletal disorders. Pain often accompanies a movement disorder, and physical therapists can help correct the disorder and relieve the pain.
Can I go to any physical therapy practice? Once a prescription for physical therapy is written by your physician, you can bring the prescription to any physical therapy practice to receive your care. You should do your own research and find the clinic that is right for you.
Can my physical therapist provide me with a diagnosis? Your medical diagnosis is typically provided by your physician. Your physical therapist is a member of your health care team and can provide your physician with vital information that may assist him or her with making a diagnosis. Your physical therapist will also work with your physician to determine and carry out the best plan of care for you.
Will I get massage at physical therapy? Massage may be part of your treatment. Rehabilitation specialists are trained in a variety of techniques that may help with your recovery. Deep tissue techniques may be part of the rehabilitative process. Massage is used to facilitate venous return from a swollen area, to relax a tight muscle, to increase blood flow to tissues, and/or to relieve pain.
What do I do after physical therapy? Some patients will need to continue with home exercises. Some may choose to continue with a gym exercise program or a personal fitness program. Others will complete their rehabilitation and return to normal daily activities. It is important that you communicate your goals to your therapist, so he/she can develop a custom program for you.