How do I begin physical therapy treatment? Do you require a referral and/or a prescription?
• California law allows licensed physical therapists to treat you without obtaining a referral from your doctor.
• Please keep in mind – after 12 visits or 45 days (whichever comes first), a doctor must sign off on any further treatment.
• NOTE: While we can see you without a prescription or referral, your insurance network may still require a referral to cover the costs of your visits. Please contact your insurance provider prior to your first visit to determine whether your health plan requires a referral to ensure coverage.
• Contact our clinic to make an appointment for an evaluation.
• See our Getting Started page
• A referral is NOT required for independent exercise programs.
What if my referral is to a different therapist/ clinic?
We can accept any prescription for physical therapy. We recommend communicating with your doctor regarding your preference for Emerald Bay Physical Therapy.
What do I wear?
• We suggest that you wear loose fitting clothing like something you might wear to the gym and something that makes the area we are treating easily accessible.
• Comfortable shoes are suggested, like jogging or walking shoes. High heels, slip-ons, and boots are not recommended.
• Pool patients should bring a swimsuit or a t-shirt and shorts to change into before beginning aquatic therapy.
• Changing area available.
What should I bring to my first visit?
Please bring the following to your 1st appointment:
• Original prescription/referral from your physician (if required)
• Insurance card or other insurance information
• Office co-pay (if applicable)
• New patient intake paperwork (this can also be downloaded from our website here).
What should I expect during my first visit?
During your first appointment you will meet your physical therapist and speak with them regarding your symptoms, functional limitations, and your goals. Your physical therapist will perform tests and measures including range of motion and muscle strength in order to set up your treatment. You can also expect to receive treatment during your first appointment which will typically include manual therapy and instruction on exercise.
What might my treatment involve?
Your treatment will typically involve hands-on manual therapy, exercise, and modalities. Exercises can include stretching, strengthening, core stabilization, and postural reeducation. Your exercise program will be individually tailored to address your functional limitations and goals. Modalities may include ultrasound, electrical stimulation, iontophoresis, moist heat, ice, paraffin bath, and traction. If you are scheduled for aquatic therapy, you will perform a series of stretching and strengthening exercises in the pool, possibly using the current, handheld paddles, water weights, or other tools.
What can I do to speed up my recovery time? Will I be given a home exercise program?
Patients are typically given a home exercise program on one of their first visits. It is important to follow your program on the days that you do not come to therapy unless otherwise instructed by the therapist.
How frequently will I be going? How long will my appointments take?
Your doctor and your therapist determine the frequency of your therapy. It is common for patients to come 2 or 3 times per week for 4 to 6 weeks to start out with.
A typical appointment can last anywhere between 45 minutes to 1.5 hours. This varies per patient and per injury. This can be determined after your evaluation. Most evaluations will last up to 1.5 hours.
What does aquatic therapy consist of?
Click here for information regarding aquatic therapy.
What is a Physical Therapist/PTA/PT Tech or Aide?
Please see our Physical Therapy page.
Is my insurance accepted?
We accept most PPO insurance plans, Medicare, and most Medicare Secondary Insurance plans. We DO NOT accept Medi-Cal or most HMO insurance plans. Please contact your insurance provider directly to confirm your coverage for physical therapy treatment.
What will my insurance cover?
This will vary per insurance plan. Three common terms you will hear in relation to your insurance coverage are deductibles, co-pays, and co-insurance. A deductible is a sum which the insurance company requires you to pay out of pocket before they will begin coverage. A co-pay is a set amount you pay for each visit. A co-insurance payment is a percentage of the charges for which you are responsible after the insurance company has paid their portion. One or two of these terms will probably apply to your insurance. Insurance will not cover independent programs offered at EBPT such as the water exercise programs, swim lessons, personal training, and non-prescribed massage therapy.
How do I use my work compensation insurance?
Your adjuster and/ or nurse case manager will coordinate with us and with you to determine your physical therapy treatment. We will contact the insurance company for authorization to begin and continue your therapy.
How do I make payments? Will you accept payment plans? Is a payment required at each visit?
This depends on your insurance coverage. If you have a deductible that has not yet been satisfied, we will request you to pay up to the amount of the deductible as the charges are accrued. For co-insurance payments, you will receive a bill after your insurance has paid its portion. These can be paid through the mail, over the phone, or by coming in to the office. If your insurance plan requires a co-pay, we ask that you pay those on each visit.
What are your hours?
Monday thru Friday: 8:00 am – 6:00 pm
Sat / Sun : Closed
If you still have questions, please contact us via phone or email.