Physicians FAQ

 Thank you for your interest in our services. To save you time we posted the most common questions and their answers that our referring physicians ask. If you need more information please call us immediately.

How long after I refer a patient must my patient wait to be seen in physical therapy?

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.  

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How do I refer a patient to physical therapy?

Referring a patient to physical therapy is easy. Simply give the patient a prescription with the diagnosis and “evaluate and treat for physical therapy” written on it.  Some insurances require the primary care doctor to complete an insurance specific referral.  

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What other information would be helpful to the physical therapist on the prescription?

Other than a clinical diagnosis if known, the only other information we 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.   

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Do you need operative, MRI, or X-ray reports?

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.   

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How do I know what frequency and duration to refer my patient for?

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 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.   

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How will I know how my patient is progressing?

The therapist will send you a full written report on your patient within two weeks 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.   

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If I am not sure that you can help my patient, can I refer for a consultation?

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.   

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How do I know what kind of treatment I should suggest?

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 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.   

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How early after a diagnosis is made should I send a patient for physical therapy?

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.

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Questions answered on this page


  • What should I expect on my first visit?
  • What types of treatment may I receive?
  • How is my progress measured?
  • How will you communicate with my physician?
  • Will I need a follow up or maintenance care?
  • Is it ok to ask my doctor about physical therapy?
  • When is the best time to start physical therapy?
  • Will my insurance cover physical therapy?
  • How do I arrange an appointment?
  • What should I wear?
  • What should I bring with me?
  • What if I have an increase in symptoms?
  • Who chooses which physical therapist I go to?
  • Why should I choose physical therapy?
  • What office policies should I be aware of?
  • What is my responsibilities in physical therapy?
  • Why choose us?

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