FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
If you have any questions before, during, or after your treatment, please call or send an email.
The patient portal has a secure messaging center, but if you have questions prior to scheduling, We are happy to answer them.
For specific treatment questions that cannot be fully answered by our staff, we offer a free 20 min phone consultation with a therapist.
Here are answers to a few common questions. If you do not see yours, give us a call.
Do you treat _____?
Yes: You may know exactly what your diagnosis or complaint entails, or you may feel alone. Either way, we are here for you. After intern training with the world’s best, Valerie has continued to treat exclusively pelvic health conditions all day, every day, for 10 years. You are certainly in understanding and knowledgeable hands.
There is treatment for this? Physical Therapy for my…?
Physical Therapists treat muscles, ligaments, nerves, soft tissue, scar, coordination, balance, proprioception, strength, and optimize performance. You get sent to PT for other trauma, injury, or surgery, so why not for this? When you think of the pelvic floor and surrounding structures, it is physiologically the same as any other area of the body, we just don’t talk about it as often (yet).
What can I expect from PT/my first visit?
We take great care to make you feel comfortable. You can fill out intake forms online, and ask any questions before your appointment, visit the “Patient Portal” portion of this website.
Your first visit depends highly on your needs and where you are in your journey. Your story and history are the most valuable part of how to determine treatment. The exam that follows allows your therapist to check the areas that are important based on listening to what you are feeling and what you may have already tried.
You can expect an internal exam, but that may not always be the case. Your therapist will check the pelvic floor internally because that is the only way to get the most accurate knowledge of structure and function. Not all patients need or are ready for this, so we may use external techniques first. Please communicate your comfort level so we can provide the best care. It is extremely important that nothing is forced, or rushed by anyone involved in your care. You will never be asked to do something you are not comfortable with. Not every appointment requires internal work unless that is part of your program. You will be given additional information that is important to do at home. We will never simply watch you do exercises that you could do at home. In watching you do your exercises, we are checking for accuracy/form/pain/intensity, but then allow you to continue on your own until ready to modify and progress.
I’m having my period, should I cancel my appointment?
Short answer, no. We would hate to cancel 1/4 of all our female patient’s appointments; however, if you are uncomfortable, we can make adjustments. If you are having increased pain, or difficulty relaxing, we can work in different ways. Take note that it may be valuable to see what your organ function is doing if your complaints involve painful menstruation. Have you ever made a doctor appointment only to say “well, I don’t hurt now.”?
I’ve tried everything. How can this be different?
In Pelvic PT, we often act as a case manager for your body. Your history is very important to know what has and hasn’t helped, and to find what hasn’t yet been considered. Sometimes combining treatments is effective, when treating one alone is not. Your therapist will evaluate all body systems and how they relate, including digestion, hormones, stress, behaviors, habits, past medical issues, trauma, and everything you may or may not have thought of being related. If after thorough evaluation, pelvic PT is not a good fit, you will be referred to the most appropriate provider. It is common refer to appropriate providers during your treatment as well. We have a list of experienced and understanding providers that help in overall care.
Do you take my insurance?
This is a complicated question, please read this section in its entirety.
We have chosen to be an out-of-network provider. That means that after careful consideration, we have chosen not to contract with insurance companies . This allows your therapist to work for YOU, without having to consider what the insurance company will (or will not) pay for based on that contract. At each visit, we can provide you with a “superbill” (a receipt of your appointment that healthcare providers use to bill insurance companies), so you can submit this on your own and get reimbursed directly. You may even be able to use HSA or related benefits. We cannot guarantee their approval, but many patients do get reimbursed the amount that would normally be paid to the provider. In the patient portal, there is a checklist you can use to call your insurance and check your benefits. This is highly dependent on your company, plan, and deductible.
This is important: Everyone is out-of-network until your deductible is met! Why not get the best care possible if you will be paying out-of-pocket regardless of where you go until this is met? It happens often that complete treatment before the deductible is met. This is especially true for high-deductible plans. Other clinics may be charging increased prices to your insurance company knowing they will get cut during their contracted-price negotiations (ever notice the difference between your EOB and your actual bill?). For example, other providers may be charging your insurance $250 (or more) for an evaluation, knowing they may get $150 after the contractual cuts, but if you have not met your deductible, guess who gets the whole $250 bill? Yep, you, and you may not know that until you’ve been treated for months. No fun. We don’t agree with “surprise” bills. It can effect your relationship with the clinic and your therapist. We are clear and up front about cost because we are confident in the value of our services.
It is very important that you get value-based care. We work for you, not an insurance company. It will be you and your therapist that decide what happens each visit, how many visits you need/get, and are not limited on services based on what the insurance company will pay for. Here, your therapist do not have to change my care based on what gets paid. If you are willing to pay for massage, acupuncture, gym membership, (which are all valuable), why not for skilled, one-on-one, doctoral level care? What is your quality of life worth? What would you pay to be out of pain, or be “normal”? We agree and want to offer a safe, private, one-on-one experience that gets you back to those things and continue on your own with life-long skills.
We understand that there are many financial situations, and do not want this to deter you from the care you need. All costs will be discussed up front. No surprises.
Do you take Medicare?
This is even more complicated. The short answer is no. As much as I want to care for as many people as possible, it’s not you, it’s them. Without a strict contract with Medicare, our clinic is not allowed to offer any self-reimbursement/cash-based services that are covered by Medicare. (I’ll spare you the details here, but if you want to hear my soapbox on taking away your right to choose your health care services, call me!)
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It can be difficult to uncover what's going on in your body on your own. That's my job. Contact me to today to start getting answers and begin the healing process.