Physician Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Thank you for your interest in Rascal Creek Physical Therapy. Physicians who refer their patients to us do so with confidence knowing the patient will receive individual attention and state-of-the-art care. To save you time we have posted the most common questions and their answers that our referring physicians ask. If you need more information please call us immediately at (209) 722-1030.
In most cases patients are scheduled within 2 days of calling. On an emergency basis, we will see the patient that day.
Unfortunately, with today's managed care, some insurance companies don't allow this timely scheduling secondary to precertification requirements. Please call us if there is any question.
Referring a patient to Rascal Creek is easy. Simply give the patient a prescription with the diagnosis and "evaluate and treat" written on it. Specify a therapy type (PT, OT, speech) if you have a preference that may not be clear to our receptionist.
Again, with managed care, we make every effort to take care of all insurance and precertification requirements. Unfortunately, some insurance companies require the physician to get precertification. If this is the case, it must sometimes be done before the patient is allowed to start. When in doubt, call us first and we'll try to do all the work for you.
Other than a clinical diagnosis if known, the only other information we may need is:
- Weight bearing restrictions for post-surgical and post -fracture patients.
- Fracture status.
- ROM restrictions for post-surgical patients.
- Degrees of resistance allowed for post-surgical patient (e.g.: active, passive or resisted).
- Expected limits in ROM if any, for a final outcome on a post-surgical patient.
- Type of surgical procedure and/or type of internal fixation used.
- Specific requests for splints or braces.
As physical therapists, we work very closely with your patients to allow gradual stress on a surgical site. Operative reports, X-rays and/or MRI reports are always helpful, but are not absolutely necessary. Any vital information can be written directly on the referral as outlined in the previous question.
In general, most patients are seen three times weekly initially with decreasing frequency as tolerated. In most cases it is best to leave specific duration and frequency up to the physical therapist. This way the patient isn't set up with false expectations and the therapist has the leeway to:
- See a patient on a more frequent basis for an acute or severe problem.
- Decrease treatment frequency as the patient progresses.
- Spread out visits if less frequent visits are needed, either clinically and/or due to insurance authorization.
The therapist will send you a full written report on your patient within a few days of first seeing the patient. Information included will be history, objective findings, assessment, type of treatment and treatment frequency.
The patient will be periodically re-evaluated and updated reports will be sent. Frequency of reports will depend upon the chronicity and nature of the problem but are generally sent every 4 weeks. Re-evaluations and reports will also be sent prior to any follow -up visit you have scheduled with the patient. If you would like reports or updates more frequently and/or verbally, please call or write it on your referral.
In general, our reports are faxed so that they are there on a timely basis. If we are aware of the patient's follow up date with you, this will be noted on the transmission sheet of the fax referral form in order to alert your office staff that the report should be given to you.
Absolutely. Simply tell your patient you would like them to be seen by a physical therapist to see if we can be helpful. We will take a look at the patient and call you or send a report, as you prefer.
Also, feel free to call us first for general information and treatment options for an individual patient or for more general information on various diagnoses or types of problems.
Because of our experience and level of expertise, you need not make specific requests when sending a patient. You can explain to your patient that the physical therapist will evaluate them and identify any physical therapy problems such as pain, weakness, loss of motion, loss of function, gait problems, etc.
The therapist will explain all aspects of treatment to the patient and will send you a report with an outline of their plan of care. This way, the patient doesn't have a false expectation for physical therapy and the best treatment options can be utilized.
As always, any specific requests you make will be incorporated in the patient's program if appropriate.
The patient should be seen as early as possible. The earlier a patient is seen, the quicker their recovery, the shorter the overall duration of their care. Treatment will be modified according to the stage of the injury (i.e.: acute, subacute, chronic) and the patients signs and symptoms. Therefore, "too early" is generally not a problem.
Because, if you had an injury this is where you would want to be seen. Physicians, physician's families and physician office staff frequently use our services. Being a health care provider, that should speak volumes.
- You want a therapist who knows the difference between bursitis and tendonitis, a first and a third degree sprain, a discal problem and stenosis.
- You want a therapist who is up to date on the newest research and treatment approaches.
- You want a therapist who will go the extra mile to take the patient from functional to fully functional and pain free.
- You want someone to teach prevention and recurrence.
- You want someone who cares.
Since the majority of spinal problems are mechanical, related to specific activities, posture and habits in the patient's life style, a mechanical solution is required. Staffed with experts in spinal care with post-graduate training in the manual therapy, a thorough evaluation is performed to identify movements, positions, and activities that aggravate the condition as well as those that will decrease symptoms. Emphasis is on active self treatment in which the patient plays a vital role.
For our orthopedic and sports patients, we monitor patient's progress when appropriate utilizing Cybex testing, a computerized side to side comparison, allowing informed decisions with regard to return to function including work and sports activities. This test provides specific strength, power and strength to body weight ratio information.
Work Conditioning/Work Simulation
As part of our overall treatment approach, patients who need to return to work, in addition to traditional exercise, are put on work simulation programs. These programs simulate work requirements and activities with emphasis on repetitions in order to allow a functional return to the activity.
When appropriate, we will utilize the McConnell Approach, especially for patellofemoral patients. Taping starts with evaluation of the specific joint with special consideration of joint tightness muscle tightness, hyper mobility, alignment, and muscle ratios. After the evaluation is complete, the physical therapist will design a program that involves strengthening the weakened structures, stretching those that are tight, in combination with taping to temporarily realign the joint as these other more permanent factors are addressed. This can be done in combination with EMG biofeedback to correct muscle ratios, not their strength. Muscle ratio imbalances combined with all the above often lead to poor results for patients either receiving other approaches or taping alone, without the other factors being considered.