Frequently Asked Questions
The Answers You Need
Is a physician’s referral required?
In the state of Illinois, a signed prescription for physical therapy treatment is NO LONGER required as Direct Access to Physical Therapy services was passed into law in 2019. The law does require that we inform your medical provider that you are receiving physical therapy care, so we will ask you to provide the name of your medical provider. If you do not have an established provider or have any other questions about this, please call us to discuss. Many patients do come to PT with a prescription from healthcare providers such as a physician, nurse practitioner, midwife, or podiatrist. This can assist with third-party payment. The prescription may be faxed to (331) 979-9295 or brought to your first appointment.
How frequently will I need physical therapy?
Frequency and duration of physical therapy is condition dependent. At your first appointment, your physical therapist will take a thorough medical history and take objective measurements to develop a plan of care, discuss your prognosis, and anticipate an approximate frequency and duration of treatment. Most conditions will require once weekly sessions and progress to longer intervals between visits as the patient becomes more independent with their home exercise program and progresses towards discharge.
What is your cancellation/ “no show” policy?
We request patients cancel their visits with at least 24-hours notice so that we might have an opportunity to accommodate other patients. If you cancel after 12pm the business day prior to your scheduled visit or no-show to an appointment, you will be responsible for a $50 cancellation fee. Note that cancellations for Monday are required by 12pm on the Friday before your scheduled appointment.
What should I wear to my appointment?
There are no rules or restrictions to what you can wear to your appointment. We recommend
patients wear comfortable clothing that they can move around in easily.
Is there anything I need to prepare for my first appointment?
Anything you might need to bring to your first appointment will be listed in a “Getting Started” email we will send you prior to your first appointment. You may also find this intake paperwork and requirements on our website.
Can I bring my children to physical therapy appointments?
Typically, children are welcome to attend PT with our patients; however, effective June 1, 2020, only patients are allowed into the clinic during their scheduled appointments due to our precautions and procedures during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Is physical therapy covered by insurance?
Most insurance plans cover physical therapy services; however, it is the responsibility of the patient to verify their coverage. We suggest that you contact your insurance company and inquire about your benefits. Your insurance company should explain your deductible, co-pay, or co-insurance, as well as any limitations to your benefits such as possible visit limits per year. Some insurances may require precertification. If this is the case, you must alert us prior to your first appointment. Payment for physical therapy services provided is ultimately the
responsibility of the patient.
Are you in-network with my insurance company?
We are in-network with BlueCross BlueShield PPO. We will submit your claims to BCBS and then bill you for any outstanding charges due.
What about Medicare?
Currently we are not a Medicare Provider. We cannot submit claims to Medicare. Additionally, we are unable to see Medicare patients even if they wish to pay out-of-pocket for our PT services due to Medicare law.
What is my balance?
If you have a balance, you will receive a statement in the mail. At any time, you may call our
billing advisor, Jessica Cardenas, with any questions about your claims or balance at (864)
679-1600 x 333.
balance when you arrive for an appointment.
How do I pay my bill?
You can find the information for our billing portal on your statement. You can pay your bill any
time through the billing portal. Otherwise, you can pay in-clinic or over the phone with our
BILLING PORTAL LINK:
Can I pay my bill in person/at the clinic?
Yes; our administrative staff is happy to collect your payment in person.
What forms of payment do you accept?
We accept check, cash, Visa, and Mastercard.
Pelvic Physical Therapy
Can I come to pelvic physical therapy during menstruation?
Patients may often prefer to defer internal pelvic floor treatment during menstruation, notably on heavy days; however, internal pelvic PT is not contraindicated on these days. We recommend keeping scheduled appointments as treatment that day can be adjusted to patient preference and needs.
What is pelvic physical therapy?
In pelvic physical therapy, we assess and treat the muscles of your pelvic floor (and core) that are likely contributing to your symptoms. The pelvic floor muscles are like any other skeletal muscle in your body, but they are located in a harder to reach, more intimate area of our body—the space between our legs. Due to the location of these muscles, pelvic floor PT often—but not always—involves direct internal assessment and treatment of these muscles via the vagina or rectum. Only physical therapists with advanced specialty training should conduct these pelvic muscle assessments and treatment.
What should I expect during my initial pelvic physical therapy session?
During your first pelvic physical therapy session, you will discuss the reason for your visit and the goals you wish to accomplish with the help of your therapist. Your therapist will then perform a physical assessment to best determine how to treat your specific symptoms. This assessment may involve an external and internal examination of your pelvic floor muscle function using one gloved finger. No speculum or stirrups are used for this assessment. If you do not feel comfortable with this assessment, you and your therapist will discuss alternatives or wait until you feel more comfortable before conducting it. You never have to have your muscles assessed in this manner, but it is highly effective for proper assessment and treatment of many pelvic floor conditions. Your therapist will then give you exercises and/or strategies to start at home prior to your next PT session.
Your Telehealth Questions Answered
So, what is telehealth?
Telehealth, or telerehabilitation, is the delivery of rehabilitation services over telecommunication networks and the Internet.
How does telehealth physical therapy with Vitality work?
Patients will receive PT sessions through HIPAA-compliant video-conferencing. Your session will be similar to an in-clinic visit aside from the hands-on component. Your therapist will be able to resume and progress your treatment incorporating education and exercise within your telehealth session using real-time technology. Most importantly, we will have the same opportunity to discuss your symptoms and plan of care as you would in the clinic, progress your home exercise program, teach you strategies for self-management, show you new exercises, help you troubleshoot any new symptoms or changes you are experiencing, and even assess if you are doing exercises properly, just as we would during an in-person PT appointment!
How long do telehealth sessions last?
You can schedule hour-long appointments similar to in-person PT sessions but you and your therapist might determine shorter sessions at 30 or 45 minutes might be more appropriate for your needs using this platform. We are even able to do shorter appointments, particularly if finances are a concern.
Does my insurance cover telehealth physical therapy at Vitality?
On March 19, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker issued an Executive Order expanding telehealth services across the state as part of the continued effort to mitigate the COVID-19 crisis. Patients with BCBS PPO will have in-network telehealth benefits for the duration of the Gubernatorial Disaster Proclamation. If you are an out-of-network patient at Vitality, telehealth will be a self-pay option in the same fashion as before the crisis.
Is Vitality accepting new patients?
Yes, Vitality is welcoming new patients for evaluations via telehealth and in-clinic at this time. We specialize in women’s and pelvic health, however, we can treat women, men and children for all orthopedic, neurologic, and cardiopulmonary conditions requiring physical therapy services.
What if I’m still not sure if telehealth PT is for me?
Try a session! Or you can call or email your PT and discuss your concerns directly prior to scheduling an appointment to see if telehealth is right for you.
When will Vitality return to providing in-person sessions?
Vitality's temporary closure to in-person PT services continued accordance with the shelter in place order in Illinois. Beginning June 1st we will resume in-clinic physical therapy while continuing to offer telehealth sessions throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
How should I prepare for my telehealth visit?
- Make sure you’re in a private space with some room to move around--ideally where your therapist could see you performing exercises such as in a bedroom on a bed or in a room with a yoga mat.
- Make sure all browsers are up to date and you have a strong internet connection. Try to minimize usage of your internet connection for other streaming platforms (i.e. Netflix, xBox) at the time of your session, as this may slow your connection.
- Wear clothes you can move around in and that your therapist can see you in--ideally form fitting clothing that you can also move in like yoga pants and a fitted top.
- If using a phone, make sure to have something to prop it up against.
What devices will work?
You can utilize your computer via a web browser or download the Google Hangouts Meet app to complete your telehealth sessions. You can also access Hangouts similarly on smartphones. Ensure you have updated your software to the latest version.