Comparing Apples to Apples

Often times you hear people complaining about the cost of healthcare on a personal and national level.  We understand that angst.  Across the board out of pocket expenses are increasing for people like you and me. What many don't understand is that healthcare reimbursements to providers are relatively fixed prices, with the insurance companies in control of the rates.  With this shift in healthcare costs, shouldn’t we shift our view on healthcare to a value based assessment, judging the product or service by it’s quality and return on investment?

Let’s set a few ground rules.  First, let’s assume your out of pocket cost is the same between any clinic or provider you choose.  For the most part this holds true.  Prices are usually controlled by the insurance company and not by your provider, so your costs will be close to the same between any clinic in town.  Secondly let’s focus just on Physical Therapy. Next, let’s remember that a Physical Therapy referral is good for any clinic or provider you want to see.  It is your legal choice to make, not your doctor’s.  In fact with Georgia’s Direct Access law many patients do not even need a referral.  Lastly let’s try not to view this as a patient looking for a doctor but as a buyer considering purchasing a product.  Why would you choose an inferior product or service for an equal price?  That’s like choosing a Kia for Cadillac price.

Lucky for you the “buyer” you have many options to choose from in Thomasville.  When “shopping” for your Physical Therapist what questions should you ask?

Is the provider in network with your insurance?

Who are the providers and what training do they have?

Will I have a single, dedicated Physical Therapist to build a relationship with or will I see someone different each visit?

Will any other levels of providers be involved in my care? Any PTAs?

How many other patients will be treated at the same time?

What makes this clinic special or different?

Unfortunately for you there are a lot of differences in the types of clinics, providers, and services in our area.  Physical Therapy has an identity problem where most people can’t describe what we do more than some hot or cold packs, some stretching, and maybe if your lucky, some exercise.  These may be okay as part of your home program but this type of treatment should have been left back in the 90s.  Physical Therapy today should be active and engaging, using a variety of evidence-based treatments from manual (hands-on) therapies to specific exercise dosing and loading.  You just can’t fit this type of treatment into “group” sessions or effectively provide the service while using a revolving doors of providers like some clinics in town use.  To see the value in a specific clinic you may find it difficult to wade through the clutter to see which is going to give you the most value for your hard-work and hard-earned money.  Like a knockoff Rolex or fake designer handbag, at first glance clinics may look the same, but at the end of the day you may just get ripped off.  

We tried to make this choice simple for you.  From the beginning Big Oak PT has focused on creating a higher value service for our clients.  Many of our clients have asked for us by name because they want personalized, one-on-one service directly from their PT, not through PTAs.  They want to build a relationship with one provider, not have to introduce themselves to someone new each visit. The chose us because we have the area’s only Orthopedic and Geriatric Board-Certified Specialists.  And thankfully many have chosen to spread to word about what we do.  No other clinic in Thomasville follows this service model.  They have their reasons and perhaps their style of care fits your needs better.  Wherever you may choose to start your Physical Therapy, we hope that you see the value and the results that quality care should provide.  Isn’t it time that healthcare gave you something more than you expected?




The Big Oak Difference

"A customer is the most important visitor on our premises, he is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption in our work. He is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider in our business. He is part of it. We are not doing him a favor by serving him. He is doing us a favor by giving us an opportunity to do so."
~ Mahatma Gandhi


Our clinic is built on the principle that you are our client, not our patient.  The difference may initially seem just like semantics, however I think the difference is profound.  A patient follows direction from someone in authority.  A patient has few options on where, what, or when services are provided.  Often times, patients can get lost in the shuffle.  Sometimes this can be a good thing, when tough life-and-death decisions must be made on the spot.  On the other side, patents are often left feeling that they have no voice or control.  As a client at Big Oak Physical Therapy we get to work with you to develop goals and treatment plans that meet your needs while still guiding your care toward the best possible outcome. We appreciate the trust you place in us.  Whether it was your doctor who sent you our way or perhaps you used Georgia’s Direct Access laws for self-referral, the fact of the matter is you chose us.  We aim to make you glad you did. 

So great, another business claiming to be better.  How are these more than just empty promises?  Follow along as we outline why our service is one part of the Big Oak Difference.

It has been said that you only get one chance to make a good impression.  From the minute you step inside our doors we hope you not only see, but feel the difference.  Walking in, we created a welcoming environment that feels more like your home than a sterile medical office.  Our Client Care Coordinator Ansley’s sole job is to take care of you.  Style however is nothing without substance.

When you are at Big Oak PT, you get your therapist’s undivided attention.  We are the only clinic in the region that offers one-on-one visits with a Board-Certified Orthopedic and Geriatric Specialists.  There are not multiple therapists, assistants, or techs involved in your care.  It is just you and your Physical Therapist. You are not just a number, you have our undivided attention.

So what other options do you have?  First, we offer many payment options.  Though we accept the majority of Insurances, we also offer self-payment options that give you a level of control that many insurances don't allow.  Next, we give you the chance to prevent an injury or enhance your skills with our performance and prevention programs.  Whether it be your athlete wanting to be more dynamic or your loved one wanting to prevent a fall, you can train alongside the region’s most trained staff.  Lastly, we give you the chance to remain proactive in your wellness.  Big Oak PT is committed to creating an interactive community of providers and clients through informational blogs, seminars, screening programs, special offers that keep you connected.

At Big Oak PT, we know that what we are building is drastically different than what is currently available in our region.  We also know that it might not be for everybody, occasionally we might step on some toes.  I won’t accept anything less than a clinic that I would be happy for my family to go to.  Because at the end of the day our loved ones always deserve the best.  At Big Oak PT we hope to have the chance to become your family’s PT.



A Rising Tide

"A rising tide lifts all boats"
-John F. Kennedy

It is human nature want to be different, to be unique, to be recognized and appreciated for what you bring to the table.  In business this is amplified to the extreme.  When opening a business, only the foolish wouldn’t promote the characteristics that make their company unique and hopefully better than their competitors.  We have to do this to combat the inevitability that we are creatures of habit.  For the most part, we remain comfortable with the familiar so long as we do not have a negative experience.  We go to the same barber shop, the same grocery store, the same mechanic.  Building relationships like these are important, especially in a small town, but what if we are missing out on something better?

I was fortunate to have been able to step away from Thomasville for my Physical Therapy training and see a perspective that I hadn’t noticed before.  During my training in Jacksonville at the University of North Florida and my residency at LSU, I saw Physical Therapists and Clinics willing to push the envelope on what was considered the “standard of care.”  In coming back to Thomasville I wanted to bring this mindset and model back home for a Physical Therapy practice.  The biggest obstacle however, is that Physical Therapy in Thomasville is comfortable.  Physical Therapy in Thomasville however is not all it can be.  Our profession in general has too long settled for mediocrity.  Instead of promoting ourselves as the movement specialists, we allow our clinical decision making to be made for us.  We accept insurance companies dictating how your care should be given instead of being your strongest advocate for the care you deserve.  We use treatments that in the past seemed to work for us, instead of drawing from the wealth of research we have on what actually works.  We were satisfied with treating patients only after an injury has occurred instead of heading off the problem before it occurs.  How did we get this way and what do we do get it all back on track?

My goal isn’t to downplay other Physical Therapists or clinics here in town.  Some might try to label other clinics in town as our competition, but in strong healthcare market they are just other options for you to choose from.  The fact of the matter is they are neighbors, friends, they go to the same churches as us, our kids may play ball together.  When I was injured growing up here they helped me get better.  They are great people who do good work.  That being said, the status quo isn’t good enough for me.  My experiences and training helped me realized that settling, whether it be personally or professionally, should’t be an option.  You deserve options, especially when it comes to your healthcare.  It doesn't necessarily mean that Big Oak PT is the perfect fit for you and by no means am I saying that we do everything right.  What I can say is that we have developed a clinic, that at it’s core, is grounded in continually improving the way you have access and the ability you have to take control of your own healthcare decisions.  By doing so we hope that we not only make your experience with Physical Therapy better, but use that rising tide to make the job easier for all Physical Therapists in our region, including those some might call our competition.  I hope that you will give us the chance to earn your trust in becoming your family’s PT.