Insurance Reimbursement

WHAT IS DIRECT ACCESS AND WHY YOU SHOULD CARE?

By Jackie Oliver, DPT
jackie@excelptmt.com

Direct Access. It sounds like an exclusive VIP backstage pass but, in reality, it’s an all access pass for individuals to see their physical therapist without a doctor’s referral. That’s right, you don’t have to spend time and money to go see a doctor before seeking physical therapy treatment. 

A study done by GALLUP, asked individuals which profession was the safest and most effective for treating neck pain. Overwhelmingly people answered physical therapy.  Though surprisingly when asked what profession they sought treatment from first, only 6% said physical therapy.  Most went to their medical doctor first. 

A lot of people are not aware that physical therapy is a direct access profession. Direct access benefits you in many ways. It streamlines your care, by eliminating the time between a physician’s appointment and getting in to see your physical therapist. By seeing your physical therapist first, you can start to improve your function, decrease pain and restore quality of life without delay. Furthermore, you could save hundreds of dollars on care. Medical doctors may do x-rays or prescribe medications that can end up costing a lot of money but don’t really solve your problems. Physical therapy is a great alternative to dangerous opioids and is often more effective than opioids, and in some cases surgery. If you think that your injury or pain is musculoskeletal in nature, a physical therapist should be your first stop. This will promote optimal outcomes and recovery. 

Not sure if we can help? Physical therapists are highly-trained professionals that are well equipped to be able to recognize if a problem isn’t musculoskeletal in nature and, if necessary, able to refer you on to the proper health care professional to address your issue. Physical therapists are not meant to take the place the of physicians, in fact, we work very closely with them to optimize your care. Keep physical therapy in mind the next time you have an ache or a pain that just won’t go away. We can help get you back to doing what you love. 

Call us today to schedule a thorough physical therapy evaluation in our Bozeman or Manhattan office.

Excel Physical Therapists of Bozeman & Manhattan are CareCredit Providers

By Tiffany Coletta
tiffany@excelptmt.com

CareCredit_Tag_CMYK

Excel Physical Therapy of Bozeman and Manhattan, Montana are CareCredit providers. CareCredit is a personal healthcare credit card which acts like a revolving line of credit for out-of-pocket healthcare expenses. Our office offers the option of no interest for 6 months. Our patients and their families can use their CareCredit account to pay for deductible, and or co-payments over a $200 minimum balance. 

Apply for a CareCredit account online at www.carecredit.com or via 800-677-0718. Patient Responsibility charges from our office are paid at the end of each visit until our office team can verify active CareCredit account status.

Please inquire with our front office team if you have additional questions at 406-556-0562 for Bozeman or 406-284-4262 for Manhattan or via info (at) excelptmt (dot com).  Thank you for choosing Excel Physical Therapy for your physical therapy needs. We truly appreciate our patients and hope you will consider us in the future and refer us to your friends and family.

Medical Bicycle Fit Performed by Jason Lunden, DPT, SCS of Excel Physical Therapy

By Jason Lunden, DPT, SCS
jason@excelptmt.com

A Medical Bicycle Fit at Excel Physical Therapy, is aimed at injury treatment and prevention for cyclists of all abilities, from recreational to racer. If you have neck, back, or knee pain, saddle sores, or hand and/or foot numbness, your bicycle probably doesn’t fit you properly. Correct cycling position is key to decreasing pain and preventing injuries as well as improving performance.

A bike fit performed by a physical therapist includes a biomechanical evaluation to determine if your cycling posture and pedaling mechanics need improvement. You’ll receive a comprehensive muscle, joint and bicycle evaluation to improve your cycling mechanics and reduce your risk of cycling-related injuries.  The cycle fit will include both static and dynamic assessment to: correctly position the saddle, specific recommendations on stem length and angle, and a particular emphasis on the pedal-cleat interface among other adjustments. The goal is to allow you to ride farther, faster and without pain.

We also work with cyclists interested in improving cycle-specific strength, flexibility, and performance.

Jason Lunden DPT Bike Fit

Jason Lunden DPT, SCS

Medical Bicycle Fit Evaluation and Consultation

•   Examination and treatment of acute and chronic injuries that include spine-related pain, knee pain, iliotibial band friction syndrome, heel-cord inflammation and hand and/or foot numbness or tingling

•   Cycling-specific muscle imbalance evaluation, including flexibility and strength-testing.

•   Bicycle Fit assessment: a biomechanical assessment is performed of your posture on your bike, including the fit of your seat, handlebar and stem, as well as the interface of your shoe, crank and pedals. We combine that with your ergonomic and aerodynamic body positioning on the bike. Based on our assessment, we will “fit” your bike to you for a more anatomically balanced and strength-oriented ride.

•   Video analysis: a frame-by-frame analysis of head and torso positioning; trunk stability; upper body placement; hip and knee alignment and pedal cadence to detect problems in cycling form

•   Cycling-specific exercises to enhance strength, flexibility and muscle balance, in order to minimize re-injury or injury.

Bike Fit FAQ’s:

Why should I get a bike fit? A bike that is not fitted properly can cause pain, discomfort, and decreased performance while riding. By getting a bike fit from a specially trained physical therapist, you’ll ensure that you get a bike that fits you and also learn techniques to help improve your riding. A bike fit is beneficial to cyclists of all levels, whether you are an cat 2 racer or a novice rider, a bike fit will improve your overall experience cycling.

What are the benefits of a bike fit?

A physical therapy bike fit will help you learn to find a balanced place on the bike, which will reduce the amount of wasted energy and extra muscular movements. We teach pedal mechanics that will result in a smooth, circular movement that reduces strain on your muscles and joints and helps you to ride more comfortably and efficiently.

What should I bring to my bike fit?

In order to get a proper evaluation and fit you should bring your bike, cleats, and cycling attire.  If you keep a training log bring it to your fit too, as it will help the physical therapist determine if training errors are contributing to your injury.  Also if your bike has a carbon frame and/or components please bring your torque wrench to ensure proper adjustments are made to your bike.

What does a bike fit cost?

A bike fit is charged by the hour, and most fits take two hours. Your physical therapist my also recommend additional treatment sessions to properly rehabilitate your injury.  A medical cycle fit is typically covered by insurance, as part of rehabilitation from your injury.  For performance enhancement, a bike fit is a fee for service charge.

Contact: Excel Physical Therapy, Jason Lunden, DPT, Sports Clinical Specialist

406-556-0562 Bozeman

jason (at) excelptmt (dot) com

What Does Direct Access to Physical Therapy Mean?

By Tiffany Coletta
tiffany@excelptmt.com

Unlike some states where patients require a referral from a physician to be treated by a physical therapist, here in Montana you are entitled to “direct access” which means you are able visit your physical therapist directly whenever you are in pain, no prescription required.  The vast majority of major insurance companies will cover physical therapy the same way, whether or not you have seen a doctor first.  The rest of the country is beginning to follow our lead and the transition to direct access is occurring state by state as both insurance companies and health care providers realize the improved quality of care and reduced costs afforded by its implementation.   

The greatest direct access benefit for patients is the ability to get better faster.  Numerous back pain research articles consistently point to one variable as being the most important in the overall success of a patient’s physical therapy treatment:  How soon the physical therapist was able to begin initiating treatment after the injury.  If the therapist was able to start working with the patient within two weeks of the injury, results were significantly better than those patients who allowed more time to elapse before treatment.   

In an increasingly complex health care system, it is great to know that, here in Montana since 1987, we as physical therapists are able to maximize treatment results for our patients by addressing the problem immediately.

However, we as providers are still at the mercy of an insurance companies own rules despite our Montana state law. Therefore, please always check with your insurance company and their specific physical therapy outpatient benefit rules to ensure maximum reimbursement and coverage for your treatment. Our Patient Service Coordinators are happy to help you through this insurance coordination. Just call either of our offices in Bozeman or Manhattan.

"Everyone was exceptional--great place." --M.P., Bozeman client

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