The fact of the matter is that in Physical Therapy if the Physical Therapist is not able to improve how you are feeling even slightly in one session, the Physical Therapist should give you that session for FREE.
Because if you spend your time and put your trust in someone who says that they can help you and they don’t, how does it seem at all ethical to then be charged? They have already taken and wasted your time, why should they also take your hard earned money?
Seems like common sense, right?
Think of any other profession where you hire someone to do a job. You tell them what you want them to do, explain the situation and then ask them if they can help you.
If they say they can help you but don’t do the job, you don’t pay. The job of helping you fix your body should be no different.
Unfortunately, the scary truth is that this is not the way that healthcare, and in particular Physical Therapy is going. The age of national chain Physical Therapy clinics is upon us…and it is a dark time. Read More Here
The system is designed to protect mediocre and bad healthcare professionals. It does not reward exceptional clinicians who get clients better quicker, it instead gives them a hard time for having a shorter average number of visits per client (I know because I was written up for this before I went out on my own).
The motto of most Physical Therapy clinics these days is to get a new patient in, book them for 2-3 visits per week and 6-10 weeks out as quick as possible. This is the standard pattern in most clinics these days, unfortunately.
From a business perspective, this makes a hell of a lot of sense though. Reimbursement for services from insurance is going down so the clinics are a product of their environment. They have to see more visits in order to keep the lights on. So as a fellow business owner, I can understand their motives of why they operate the way they do.
However, as someone who has worked in that environment and who now works outside of it, I have serious ethical issues with their motives and ultimately the quality of care that it elicits.
It is not uncommon in those settings for a therapist to see 15+ patients per day in an 8 hour day.
The average time per visit that a client actually spends 1 on 1 with the Licensed Physical Therapist is 15 minutes.
The average number of visits prior to discharge from care is upwards of 16.
Let those numbers marinate for a minute.
It isn’t shocking that it will take more visits to see measurable results with the limited time they have each session. Unfortunately, the time and money that is wasted is unnecessary.
When the client has 60 minutes 1 on 1 with the Licensed Physical Therapist and doesn’t have to do things they do at home during their session or work with an unskilled aide their average number of visits drops 75% and they almost always leave visit #1 feeling better!
So the before you go to your next Physical Therapy appointment or if you are just starting, ask them to make you the promise that they will help you feel better in one session or give it to you for free.
Hold them accountable for their results.
The insurance world is big on talking about measurable outcomes and proving that objectively people are improving. I believe that it is time health care professionals start putting their money where their mouths are and make you the same promise we make to our clients.
You will leave after the first visit feeling better or it is on us as an apology for wasting your time.