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Common Misconceptions and Myths about Physical Therapy


Freedom of Choice: Although your physician is a highly trained and skilled professional, and he or she is looking out for your health, you are not obligated to go to any particular physical therapist. Just like anyone else, physicians may suggest someone simply because they know them socially or professionally, and that person may just be the first to come to mind. However, many options are available and, ultimately, it is up to you to decide which physical therapist to choose.

While we do our best to make St. Louis area physicians aware of RPI Physical Therapy, it is impossible to educate every doctor about our advanced techniques and areas of specialization. This makes it incumbent upon individuals to find out as much as they can in order to take a collaborative approach to their well-being.

By understanding your condition and options regarding treatment, you can work with your doctor to determine what works best for you. If you have concluded that RPI is the best choice for you – and in most cases it will be – it is not only your right, but your obligation to your health to ask your physician to refer you to RPI for physical therapy.

It’s Your Money: These days, many physicians work for hospitals, or hospital owned groups and practices. While these doctors are still knowledgeable health professionals, they may not have the freedom to discuss alternative rehabilitation programs.This is because some organizations require that their practitioners refer patients to in-house facilities. This makes a lot of sense for a business as it keeps the money within the organization, boosting profits. Additionally, hospitals often times have higher rates, or have negotiated higher rates with insurance companies. They can do this because of their size and power they wield with insurance companies.

At RPI we pride ourselves not only on our best in class physical therapy, but also on our competitive rates and the many insurance plans we accept. We’ve put a great deal of effort into making our rates competitive and affordable. We realize that if people cannot afford treatment, they won’t go and they won’t heal properly. We want to make certain that our patients get the treatment and care they need at a fair price.

Thinking Outside of the Box, and the Network: Do you ever wonder why some healthcare providers are in-network with your insurance provider while others aren’t? The answer typically boils down to finances. In order to be in network, a healthcare organization must agree to accept lower fees, often times substantially lower fees. From a healthcare provider’s perspective, this creates a larger marketplace and increased revenue streams. The problem is that they now have to find ways to lower their expenses and cut costs so that they can maintain profitability in the face of reduced income. In a way this makes them high volume, low margin businesses. This is not an easy task.

RPI makes every effort to be an in-network provider for most health insurance companies. While we try to be flexible in order to be accessible to the majority of those needing high quality physical therapy, there are some compromises we are unwilling to make. As insurance companies seek to enhance their profits by raising premiums while reducing pay outs, the costs of adhering to the highest standards in therapy and healthcare are continually rising. We simply will not compromise on the quality and thoroughness of treating our patients. Ever. This means that occasionally we are forced to decline, to begin or to continue a relationship with some health insurance companies. We sincerely regret any inconvenience this causes, and do our best to work with our patients to make our services affordable.

Check with your insurance provider. Chances are that RPI will be among their in-network physical therapists and, if not, your insurance may still provide coverage, but with a different co-pay or deductible structure. Please contact us and we will be happy to help you determine your coverage.

All Physical Therapist Are Not Created Equal: Do you really want to trust your health, recovery, and wellness to just anyone? At RPI we are certified physical therapists and occupational therapists who all have degrees in our areas of specialization. We adhere to strict standards of care and make sure that we are up to date with advancements and techniques through a rigorous schedule of continuing education.

Just because someone offers physical therapy, doesn’t mean that they are a physical therapist, nor does it mean that they have expertise in a particular area of diagnoses or treatment. Receiving treatment from someone who is not qualified, or is lacking expertise in your particular condition, can be detrimental, making your condition worse, rather than better. Proper recovery may require a particular course of treatment that must be performed at specific points within the healing process. Your personal trainer, masseuse, or whomever, might mean well, but ask yourself if this person is really qualified to help you heal.

Please make sure that you understand your injury and discuss with your doctor the course of treatment required for your recovery. Be selective when choosing a physical therapist or occupational therapist. Feel free to ask questions before deciding where to entrust your health. At RPI – St. Louis, we are delighted to answer your questions as we feel this helps you to make an informed choice and fosters the critical relationship required between us to help you get better. As you make your selection, ask questions such as: What types of patients and injuries do you treat? How long have you been practicing? In what areas do you specialize? Do you have experience and expertise in treating my particular symptoms, condition, injury, surgery, etc.?

Half Empty or Half Full: It is imperative that you maintain an ongoing dialog with your therapist regarding your treatment and progress. While many conditions have a standard course of treatment with a prescribed number of visits based on experience and shared knowledge, you may be the exception. Many insurance companies set limits on how many visits you are allowed based on your diagnosis. By working together, we closely monitor your recovery and treatment plan, making adjustments as needed. Always ask questions, and let us know how well you’re improving.

Call RPI at our Richmond Heights location (314) 916-8751, or in Creve Coeur at (314) 648-3003 today to determine that we are the most qualified physical therapists to speed you through your recovery, and to schedule an appointment.