Earlier this week, I’ve had several conversations with people about the Physical Therapy offered by Fit and Toned and how it’s different from other Physical Therapy clinics. Having these conversations and having people ask these great questions made me realize that most people probably do not know how it’s different. I want to explain what Fit and Toned offers and explain my decision behind the current structure so that more people have a better understanding of this.
Since graduating from Physical Therapy school, I have worked in several different settings including outpatient, pediatrics, home health and skilled nursing. Although it has given me great experience and made me more well-rounded, it has also shown me how things are run in different settings. Generally speaking, I have found that in all of these settings, the demand on Physical Therapists has grown. With the reimbursement dwindling, practices have to make up for that loss with increased volume. The Physical Therapists have had to learn how to juggle multiple patients at a time, jam-packed schedules and somehow manage to find time to do mountains of paperwork. In addition, many clinics now rely on assistants and/or aides so patients may work with the PT for 15 minutes and then work with an aide for the remainder of the time. Granted, this is not every clinic, but seems to be more of the trend and is definitely something I have encountered at places of past employment.
Feeling like I was being pulled in so many different directions at the same time and being frustrated that I could not give the best quality care to patients because of that gave me the idea for Fit and Toned. I wanted to be able to treat patients one-on-one and provide the best quality because I have seen patients get better at a faster rate when you are able to provide hands-on, manual therapy. In order to provide this type of care, I have chosen to be an out-of-network provider so that the Physical Therapy that I provide is not dictated by the insurance companies (as it is so often in clinics).
Most people that hear this think, “Why should I pay for Physical Therapy when I’m already paying for my insurance?” And I can completely understand that thought process! Unfortunately, it seems that health insurance is changing with deductibles and co-pays increasing. So unless your deductible has already been met for the year, you would end up paying out of pocket for those services. And then, people may end up paying more money than if it was out of pocket initially. For example, a man was telling me how he had gone to Physical Therapy, had it billed through the insurance, and insurance did not cover it. The bill he received included a $400 evaluation and $270 subsequent visits, over the course of 8 weeks. That really adds up quick! Unfortunately I have seen and heard a similar situation from several people. At Fit and Toned, we accept payment at each visit using cash, check, credit or flex spending accounts, then provide the patient with a receipt that includes all billing codes and diagnosis codes. The patients are then able to submit these receipts to insurance for reimbursement and will either receive reimbursement or have it applied to their deductible if it has not been met yet for the year.
Brenda Heinecke, PT, DPT, CSCS
Owner of Fit and Toned
This may seem like an unconventional way of Physical Therapy but ultimately it allows me to provide the best quality care to patients and may even save patients money for their care. It makes me extremely happy to be able to help patients get better, quicker, and return to what they enjoy doing. That is the main reason I entered this profession to begin with and now I feel like I am able to practice at the highest level of care.