November 16, 2011

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Is your question not listed here? Contact us.

How is Black Diamond Physical Therapy different than other physical therapy clinics?

Black Diamond Physical Therapy is a group of autonomous providers recognized as leaders in the fields of sports injury management, orthopedic rehabilitation, clinical education, and research.

Our team places the patient at the center of care, focusing on accurate evaluation, comprehensive patient education, open interdisciplinary communication, and targeted research-based interventions. This helps to assure the most complete and rapid recovery possible while making the patient in charge of their own care.

 

But I’m not an athlete. How would I benefit from seeing a sports specialist?

In physical therapy, the differences in “sports” specialists and “orthopedic” specialists is often misunderstood.  Although sports physical therapists can and do work with athletes, it is somewhat of a misnomer. To become certified as a sports specialist a PT must demonstrate proficiency in the extremity joints such as the shoulder, knee, and hip. They must also demonstrate a good understanding of exercise science and working with higher level athletes. Sports specialists tend to focus more on exercise based rehabilitation, particularly when dealing with the spine. Unless you are totally sedentary, you are an athlete in our eyes!

 

I have been to physical therapy before and spent most of my session on a table. I’m not getting as much of that kind of care at Black Diamond PT – Am I missing something important?

Research has shown that the most important part of rehabilitation is the exercise component. Many of the “table activities” are best used to get you ready for the exercises, not as the sole treatment of a physical therapy visit. Those treatments often will feel great temporarily, however, they rarely address the true underlying problem. Our focus is on long term results and that ultimately comes from strengthening and coordination activities.

We will often use these treatments in the early phases of rehab. If you find that they are especially helpful to you, we will be happy to continue them as a supplement to your program.

 

How do I become a patient?

Becoming a patient is easy! Contact us via email and request an appointment. If you will be using your health insurance to pay for sessions you should check to see what coverage you have for physical therapy and whether or not they require a physician’s referral.

 

How will I know how to do my exercises at home?

We provide detailed handouts with custom produced photographs and descriptions. If you lose it, just send us an email and we will send you the scanned copy that we keep in our records.

 

What if I have a question for my physical therapist after I have left your office?

We embrace all form of technology that help facilitate communication. If you have filled out our email confidentiality agreement (check the Forms page) you can just send us an email and we will usually respond the same day. Not fond of using email? Just give us a call and your therapist will get back to you as soon as possible.

 

Can I communicate via email with my physical therapist?

Of course! If you have filled out our email confidentiality agreement (check the Forms page) you can just send us an email and we will usually respond the same day.

 

Is Black Diamond Physical Therapy more expensive than other clinics?

No. Our rates are about 20% below the regional average. If we are a participating provider with your insurance plan, your insurance company actually dictates those rates. Sometimes a high volume PT clinic that sees four or more patients in an hour will only bill 30 minutes for a visit whereas we usually bill for 45-60 minutes, but even then, the difference is minimal if any.

 

 

Will my health insurance pay for this?

Physical therapy is almost always included under your medical coverage. There are rare exceptions. You need to double check with your insurance company to see what your exact coverage is and whether or not you will be responsible for some of the cost. A deductible and/or some kind of co-insurance usually, but not always, applies.

Get more information on insurance coverage.

 

Is Black Diamond Physical Therapy an in-network provider for my insurance?

Black Diamond Physical Therapy contracts with every and any insurance company that we can, but there are several companies with closed or exclusionary panels. Other companies have contracted reimbursement rates below the cost of providing the service.  We continue to try to break those barriers to contracting, but, unfortunately, there remain many patients left with out of network (non-preferred) coverage at Black Diamond PT. Even out of network, we may still cost you less out of pocket.

Get a list of insurance companies with which we are contracted.

 

Do I need a referral from my physician?

Maybe. Oregon state law permits you to work with a physical therapist without seeing a physician first. However, if you are having your health insurance pay for the service, they may require a physician’s referral. Double check with them. Even if you don’t need a referral for a specialist, they may still require a referral for physical therapy.

 

I don’t have health insurance. Can I still be seen?

We will always welcome patients who would like to take charge of their own care.  For patients paying directly for services at the time of their visit, we offer a same day flat rate discount. As with every patient, we do everything we can to keep the cost down and still get maximal results. We also have special programs for people who are unable to pay for their medical services. Contact us for more information.

 

My physician wrote an order for physical therapy two times a week for six weeks. I don’t have time for that many visits. Do I have to come in that often?

No.  Most of the time that referral simply authorizes up to that many visits.  After you are evaluated we will educate you on what is going on and then, with your input, develop a treatment plan that is right for you and your goals.  We will then send a report to your physician with our recommendations for your doctor’s approval if required by your insurance.

 

What are your thoughts on alternative and complimentary medicine such as chiropractic, acupuncture, massage, etc?

We understand that different things work for different people. If you have found that these services have been helpful to you in the past, they will likely be helpful again today. Although we do not provide alternative or complimentary medicine at Black Diamond Physical Therapy, we completely support those who would like to use these services with other providers while rehabilitating here.

 

I received a bill for my portion of the charges but I can’t afford the payment by the end of the month. What should I do?

Just get in touch and let us know the situation. We will work with you on delayed payment, reduced fees, payment plans, etc. All that we ask is that you stay in touch on a monthly basis. If we do not hear from you, your bill will end up in our “Past Due” file and enter the collection process.

 

I received what looks like a bill from my insurance company saying that I owe money. Do I send them a payment?

Usually the answer is no. Your insurance company will send you a statement or explanation of benefits (EOB) to show what they have paid to the clinic and what you may still owe. They often do not reflect any payments that you may have already made to Black Diamond PT. Wait until you receive a bill from us before you send us any additional money. Questions? Just ask!

 

I received a check from my insurance company. Is this free money for me?!?!

No! Some insurance companies like to send the payment directly to the patient who must then pay the clinic. If you receive one of these, notify us immediately so that we can check it against our records. You may have to cash that check and then pay us from those funds.

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