Finding the Best Physical Therapist can be challenging!
The landscape of our healthcare system is constantly changing with literally 1000’s of different plan and provider options at your fingertips. Imagine going to the grocery store and being given 1000’s of different options for each food that you wanted to buy. Most of us would spend about 2-3 minutes trying to inform ourselves on the differences before just grabbing the closest one.
The same thing has happened in physical therapy for decades. People have traditionally gone to the clinic that’s closest to their home or work to minimize time lost from their day to day life. This wouldn’t be a problem if all physical therapy clinics were equal, but they’re not. It’s kind of like selecting a surgeon, except with a lot less risk. If you select an unskilled surgeon you may have catastrophic consequences.
The consequences of selecting an unskilled physical therapist may simply be that you don’t get better. You must then take into account that an unsuccessful round of physical therapy may then lead to unnecessary surgery.
Why do we have this problem with a Physical Therapist?
The answer to this question, while rooted in complex political and corporate policy, is quite simple.
For a long time, PT clinics competed for insurance contracts by bidding lower than the other PT clinics. $2 dollar treatment!
PT clinics relied solely on insurance companies and MD’s for referrals.
Since they had to bid so low for the contracts they started increasing patient volume.
PT’s now see 3+ patients per hour, even new graduates, leaving them no time to improve their skills and thought processes.
Since PT clinics do not rely on patient satisfaction as long as they are getting referred by insurance companies and MD’s there is very little penalty for having poor outcomes. They simply move onto the next patient.
PT’s burn out and frequently job hop.
Even if you find the best physical therapist for you, they may not be at that clinic for long.
So what are we to do?
Grab our pitchforks and torches?! Not likely, but here’s a fun fact. The CEO over at United Healthcare got compensated $66+million last year. Oh that’s where all the higher premiums went!
So finding the best physical therapist may not be easy, but that does not mean it cannot be done!
How to find the best physical therapist?
Friends and family are a great source of information the best physical therapist in Scottsdale. If they went to a PT and were unimpressed they will certainly tell you.
Many physical therapy clinics have an online reputation. Read Google reviews and look for a clinic with authentic reviews. If a clinic has thirty 5-star reviews but half of them say “great clinic!” and lack substance, chances are they are soliciting every patient for a review and just trying to get their rating up.
Many clinics now have an online presence. They will have pages where they regularly post content to engage with their prospective and current patients. Watch the content and see if it makes you feel comfortable with that PT.
- Can you explain to me exactly how each exercise will help me get better?
- This will help you avoid a clinic that gives a laundry list of exercises to each patient and uses a “shotgun” approach.
- What if we try something and it doesn’t work?
- It’s alright to try a select treatment or exercise a couple of times but if you find yourself in a situation where you haven’t gotten results after 2-3 visits and there’s no plan to change course, run for the hills. You know the saying about trying the same thing over and over and expecting different results?
- What are the goals for treatment?
- Asking your PT to summarize your goals for you can help to give you both clarity on the game-plan and what to expect. Your PT should help you set realistic goals and timeframes for treatment.
Taking the steps outlined above should help you narrow down a great physical therapist. Just because someone sees 3 patients an hour does not mean you won’t get better, but you have a better chance with someone who spends one on one time with you. The problem illustrated in the first part of this page is exactly why The Doctors of Physical Therapy does not work directly with any insurance companies. We prefer to have control over how we treat our patients and get the privilege of spending 1 hour with each patient every session. This allows us to get people better with over a 90% success rate and to be able to do so in less visits than at your typical clinic. The best part is we need to be the best in order for our clinic to stay in business! If you find yourself ready to finally get better after struggling to find the best physical therapist, give us a call, we would love to show you the difference!