FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Cardinal Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation is accepting new patients and has access to the care you need within 12 hours. We accept most major insurance plans including BWC, Medicare, and Medicaid. Pain is stressful, but seeking treatment doesn't have to be. As a new patient, Cardinal Physical Therapy will be there to help you throughout the process. Below are some common questions many new patients have.
What happens during my first physical therapy visit?
Pain intensity, what aggravates and eases the problem
How this is impacting your daily activities or your functional limitations
Physical therapy goals
Medications, tests, and procedures related to your health.
Palpation - The therapist will touch 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.
Range of Motion (ROM) - The therapist will move the joint(s) to check for the quality of movement and any restrictions.
Muscle Testing - The therapist may check 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.
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.
Special Tests - The therapist may perform special tests to confirm/rule out the presence of additional problems.
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 with input from you, your therapist, and your doctor.
What do I need to bring to my physical therapy appointment?
For all patients we will need the following:
Physical therapy referral (provided to you by your doctor)
Also, you will need to bring one of the four based on your particular case.
Insurance card (if your insurance company is covering the cost of physical therapy
Workers Compensation claim number and case manager's contact information.
Auto Insurance Information
Attorney Lien Information
How should I dress at my physical therapy appointment?
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, a tank top is a good choice, and for low back problems, wear a loose fitting shirt and pants, again so we can perform a thorough examination.
How long will each physical therapy appointment last?
Treatment sessions typically last 60 minutes per visit.
How many physical therapy visits will I need?
This is highly variable. It depends on your diagnosis, the severity of your impairments, your past medical history, etc. You will be re-evaluated on a monthly basis.
Who will see me at my physical therapy appointment?
You will be evaluated by one of our licensed and highly trained physical therapists and he/she will also treat you during subsequent visits. Unlike some clinics, where you see someone different each visit, we feel it is very important to develop a one-on-one relationship with you to maintain continuity of care.
Since only one physical therapist knows your problems best, he/she is the one that will be working closely with you to speed your recovery.
Can I access physical therapy care directly or do I need a referral from my physician?
Ohio is considered a direct access state. As of January 1, 2015, all 50 states allow patients to seek treatment from a licensed physical therapist without a prescription from a physician.
However, some insurance plans in Ohio do require a prescription from a physician. Please contact our office with specific questions.
How does the billing process work at Cardinal Physical Therapy?
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 your insurance company, Workers' Comp, or charges you based on Common Procedure Terminology (CPT) codes.
- Those codes are transferred to a billing form that is either mailed or electronically communicated to the payer.
- The payer processes this information and makes payments according to an agreed upon fee schedule.
- An Explanation of Benefits (EOB) is generated and sent to the patient and the physical therapy clinic with a check for payment and a balance due by the patient.
- The patient is expected to make the 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. Exceptions are common to the above example as well. At any time along the way, information may be missing, miscommunicated, or misunderstood. This can delay the payment 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 as long as six months after the treatment date.
Is my physical therapist licensed?
Physical therapists (PTs) and physical therapist assistants (PTAs) are licensed by their respective states.