san francisco physical therapy

Q: Why Physical Therapy?

A: Physical therapists are experts in movement, qualified to examine patients and develop treatment plans to improve mobility, reduce pain, restore function, and prevent injury. Treatment may include manual therapy techniques, various exercise strategies and patient education.

We’re lifelong learners. As part of requirements for licensure, we are required to earn continuing education credits by taking additional physical therapy coursework annually, throughout their career.

Q: Do I need a prescription for physical therapy?

A: California allows direct access to physical therapy services or “self-referral”. This allows you to be evaluated and treated by a licensed physical therapist without first seeing a physician for a prescription. Direct access saves you time and money, expediting your treatment, relief, and recovery. As of January 1, 2015 all 50 states have a version of “direct access”. If you need care beyond 12 visits (or 45 days, whichever comes first), then you will need a prescription. We have a vast network of medical practitioners and are happy to provide guidance should this occur.

Q: Do you take health insurance?

A: We accept any major plan with out-of-network benefits (Aetna, United, Cigna). We are in-network with Blue Shield of California, some Blue Cross/Blue Shield out-of-state plans and Medicare. But don’t worry! Keep reading to understand what this means and why we’ve chosen to be out-of-network.

Q: What’s my co-pay going to be? How much is the treatment going to cost?

A: Because coverage under each plan varies significantly, we will contact your insurance company to determine the benefits that your plan offers before your first session at TherapydiaSF. We will then estimate your payment responsibility to the best of our ability* to ensure total transparency.

*Your insurance company usually refers to this kind of payment as “co-insurance” — your share of the costs of a covered out-of-network service, generally given as a percentage of the amount paid to the provider. For example, they might cover 70% and you’ll have to pay the remaining 30%. Keep in mind, your payment is also affected by whether you’ve met your annual deductible as well as the amount your insurance company “allows” for the services we bill. Which leads us to…

Q: Why is TherapydiaSF an out-of-network provider? Won’t it be cheaper for me to see someone in my network?

A: That’s a fantastic question that we are happy to answer.

TherapydiaSF believes in quality over quantity. We are proud to offer high levels of care customized to your goals and needs. We know that quality care delivered in a thoughtful manner will get you better faster. As an out-of-network provider, we are choosing to see one patient at a time, in a longer session, to provide an extremely high level of patient care and ensure successful outcomes.

Insurance companies don’t look at patient care the same way we do. They put providers like us through a tedious application process to become “in-network.” If chosen, we agree to receive significantly less reimbursement for treatments (as low as $40 for an hour treatment, inclusive of your copay), to give us exposure to a larger pool of patients. However, the only way to offset our operational costs is to see more people in a day. That leads to a “patient mill” style of physical therapy that really upsets us, undermines our treatment philosophy and ultimately prohibits us from doing our job effectively. We just can’t, and won’t, participate in that.

At TherapydiaSF you will work one-on-one with an experienced, highly-skilled, licensed physical therapist who cares about you and what you’re there to accomplish. You will have your therapist’s undivided attention for at least 45 minutes in a comfortable setting, focused on you and only you!

At an in-network clinic, you may share time while your therapist directs multiple patients at once. Or, you may spend some time with your therapist before being handed off to a physical therapy aide, who lacks the expertise of an educated and licensed physical therapist. Ultrasound/heat/electric stim/ice may be used as substitutes for individual care and treatment, but those things are just filling your appointment. If you’re only being treated for a few minutes individually, it’s really tough to get better. Your therapist should take the time needed to diagnose the underlying cause of your problem, correct it and make sure you are empowered to address your issue when you are not in treatment. That takes expertise and individual attention. That’s why we are out-of-network.

Q: But I don’t have any out-of-network benefits at all. Can I still see you?

A: Of course! We want you to get better, so we’ll work with you. We offer fantastic rates for patients who choose to invest in their health and well-being by paying for their treatment sessions out-of-pocket.

Q: What should I expect on my first visit?

A: During your first visit, also called an initial evaluation, a physical therapist will conduct a whole-body movement assessment that will include tests of strength, flexibility, and an observation of movements that you complete on a daily basis. Based on the findings and keeping your goals in mind, the therapist will identify the source of your dysfunction or pain and design an individualized plan of care for symptom relief and to address the origin of your concerns. While the majority of your initial evaluation will be spent collecting information and assessing your current physical presentation, your therapist will provide information and one to two exercises to get you started on your path to wellness.

What to bring to your initial evaluation:
• Patient Intake Forms can be completed prior to your appointment (or come 15 minutes early to your appointment)
• Insurance referral (if needed per your insurance policy) – please call your primary care physician to have an insurance referral faxed to our facility.
• Photo ID, Health Insurance Card, and Co-Payment (if applicable)
• Comfortable clothes and athletic shoes (and any inserts if applicable)