Frequently Asked Questions
Contact your insurance company and inquire if a physician referral is required for PT.
- If your insurance DOES require this, obtain a referral from your physician. Remember, you choose where you receive your PT.
- If your insurance DOES NOT require a physician referral, you will be a Direct Access patient. This means you can call Alton Physical Therapy and schedule your PT evaluation WITHOUT a physician referral.
What is DIRECT ACCESS? In August 2018, the State of IL passed direct access which now allows patients to access care from a physical therapist without a physician’s referral. The law permits a physical therapist to evaluate a patient and devise a treatment plan without first having to submit a diagnosis for the physician’s approval. Alton Physical Therapy will continue to verify insurance benefits to see if a physician’s referral is required for coverage.
During your first visit you can expect the following:
- Arrive at your appointment with your paperwork completed (you can download it by clicking here).
- You will provide us with your prescription for physical therapy (if required by insurance).
- We will copy your insurance card and a valid photo ID.
- You will be seen for the initial evaluation by the therapist.
The therapist will discuss the following:
1. Your medical history.
2. Your current problems/complaints.
3. Pain intensity, what aggravates and eases the problem.
4. How this is impacting your daily activities or your functional limitations.
5. Your goals with physical therapy.
6. Medications, tests, and procedures related to your health.
Make sure you bring your physical therapy referral (if required by your insurance, provided to you by your doctor) and your payment information.
If your insurance is covering the cost of physical therapy, bring your insurance card.
If you are covered by Workers’ Compensation, bring your claim number and your case manager’s contact information.
Please bring a valid photo ID and be prepared to pay any copay/coinsurance due.
You should wear loose fitting clothing so you can expose the area that we will be evaluating and treating. For example, if you have a knee problem, it is best to wear shorts. For a shoulder problem, a tank top is a good choice, and for low back problems, wear a loose fitting shirt and pants, again, so we can perform a thorough examination.
Your initial evaluation treatment session typically lasts about 1 ½ hours. Every visit after that typically lasts about 45 minutes to an hour.
In most cases, you have the right to choose any physical therapy clinic. Our practice is a provider for many different insurance plans.