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?