Choosing a Rehabilitation Provider or Physical Therapist

laser workshops, physiatrists, Diaphragmatic Breathing, daflon 500, coumarin powder, nordic walking, lymphocyte injection, essential oils, massagers, ball massage, heat, Lymphomyosot, Self Massage Therapy, Elastin Ampules, Lymphobiology, leg drainage, naturopathy, ace bandages, Craniosacral Therapy, lymph node transplants, Lymphatic-venous anastomosis, vein grafting, lymph vessel transplantation, surgery scrotal lymphedema, shoes

Moderators: Birdwatcher, jenjay, patoco, Senior Moderators

Choosing a Rehabilitation Provider or Physical Therapist

Postby patoco » Fri Jul 06, 2007 3:13 pm

How to Choose a Rehabilitation Provider

When you are choosing a provider for rehabiliation or other services, you may have many questions. Below are some suggestions for questions to help you make an informed choice.

Do the services match your needs?

When you are choosing a provider, you might ask:

What services do you offer?

Where are you located and are you close to public transportation?

What are your hours?

Will the staff use language that I understand?

Will there be bilingual staff or sign language interpreters if I need them?

How can your services help me?

Am I eligible for services?

Will my services be covered by insurance, government funding (such as Medicare or Medicaid), or other resources?

What will be my out-of-pocket expenses?

Can I talk to other people who have used your services?

How do you feel when you walk in?

Your impressions are important when you visit a provider. Even if you do not need help in making decisions about your services, it is wise to ask a trusted friend or family member to go with you for another opinion. Here are some things to look for:

How do the staff members respond to the people receiving services?
Are people treated with dignity?

Do the staff members appear to respect cultural differences?

Do the premises appear to be well maintained, clean and safe?

Is the building accessible? Are there features like handrails, elevators, automatic doors and ramps for people who need them?

What do staff members tell you about the services?

When you talk with staff members, you may have lots of questions.

What services can I get?

How long does it take to begin services?

How often will I receive services and how long will they last?

How will the services be individualized to meet my needs?

How will reasonable accommodations be provided if I need them?

How will I be involved in planning my services?

What are the opportunities for my family or others to participate?

What benefits can I expect from the services I receive?

What can I do if I am unhappy about the way I am treated or the services I receive?

How will my privacy be protected?

If I need transportation, how can you help?

If I need other assistance, such as help with feeding or toileting, is it available?

What about quality?

You will feel better about a provider that is concerned about quality and the satisfaction of the people receiving services. Here are some questions you might want to ask:

What have been the results for people like me who have used your services?

Are people you serve involved in planning for the future of your organization?

Is the organization involved in community advocacy effort?

What advocacy and community groups are involved with your organization?

Are your staff members licensed, certified or credentialed for the work they do?

Are your services accredited by an internationally recognized organization?

Where can you find an assurance of quality?

Look for CARF accreditation. It shows that the provider is committed to meeting international standards of quality.

This information is from The Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). ... 97,00.html


When choosiing a lymphedema therapist or treatment clinic:

Today, there appears to be a tendency for therapists to NOT do manual lymph drainage/manual lymph drainage. Instead they focus on teaching the patient self MLD and do only wrapping and/or exercises.

Before you start the treatment program, make sure (in writing) that CDT/MLD is a part of the treatment you will receive. If not, I would go elsewhere.

Finally, the Circle of Hope Lymphedema Foundation also has a page on
questions you should ask when looking for a therapist:

1. Where did you get your training?

2. What approach do you use? Vodder, Foeldi, Casley-Smith etc.

3. How many hours of training have you had? (120 to 160 hrs. or more

4. Are you an OT., PT., MT. ? Where did you get your degree?

5. How long have you been doing CDT/MLD ?

6. What certification do you have?

7. How many times a week will I have treatment and for what length
of time?

8. How long will my consultation be?

9. Will there be a therapist on call at all times?

10. Is there a doctor, APRN, or nurse connected with the facility?

11. How oftenwill I be seen by them?

Circle of Hope Therapist Page

National Lymphedema Network Therapist Position Paper


Choosing a Physical Therapist

Information You Need When Selecting a Physical Therapist
You are the most important member of your own health care team and are entitled to choose the most appropriate health care professional to meet your goals. The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) has provided the following three guidelines for choosing a physical therapist for your care.

1. Freedom of Choice

You have the freedom to choose your own physical therapist. Most states allow you to go directly to a physical therapist without a physician's referral first. Click here to see if your state allows you to see a physical therapist directly.

Keep in mind that your insurance policy may require a visit to the primary care physician first or limit your access to only preferred providers.

Your physician may refer you for physical therapy that is to be provided in his or her office or to a facility in which he or she has a financial interest. If either situation is the case, insist that your physical therapy be provided by a licensed physical therapist.

Physical therapists who are members of APTA are bound by the Association's Code of Ethics and are especially committed to providing competent and compassionate care.

2. How To Choose A Physical Therapist

Make sure that you receive physical therapy from a licensed physical therapist. Physical therapists are professional health care providers who are licensed by the state in which they practice. If you are receiving physical therapy from a physical therapist assistant, be sure that he or she is supervised by a licensed physical therapist.

Ask the physical therapy clinic if they participate with your insurance company and/or will they submit claims on your behalf to your insurance company. Some policies require co-payments for services and the co-payment will be dependent on if the physical therapist is part of the insurer's provider network. You will also have to meet your deductible.

Find a PT. Click here to find a physical therapist in your area.

3. Your Appointment

Your first visit should include an evaluation by the physical therapist. Your physical therapist will perform an examination to identify current and potential problems. Based on the results of the examination, and considering your specific goals, your physical therapist will design a plan of care to include specific interventions and will propose a timetable to achieve these goals and optimize your function. Your physical therapist will likely provide you with instructions to perform exercises at home to facilitate your recovery.

You should feel comfortable asking your physical therapist any questions regarding your course of care, including specifics regarding interventions and expectations.

* This information is from the website of the American Physical Therapist Association APTA

Visit the website:


From John Hopkins University:

Finding a Physical Therapist

The best way to find a good professional is to ask your friends and doctors for recommendations. Otherwise, you can go the “phone book” route.

Here are questions to help you select a good physical therapist:

Is the therapist a licensed physical therapist?
What credentials does he have? Has he treated this type of problem before? (Physical therapists have different specialties.)

Who owns the physical therapy facility: the physical therapist herself, an outside company, doctors or a hospital? It’s best to have independent treatment, and you need to know if a doctor will profit by referring you to a facility in which she has a financial interest.

Do I need to pay when I visit? Am I billed or does my insurance company pay?

What does the initial consultation involve?

What are office hours?

Where would I park?

Are there individual treatment rooms?

What type of therapy equipment is available? (Your treatment might require a specific piece of equipment.) This can include ultrasound, hydrotherapy and exercise equipment.

Will you report on my progress and your evaluation regularly to my other health care providers?

May I meet with someone on the staff or visit the facility? A physical therapist should be willing to meet with you and answer questions.

Will I get to discuss my treatment goals with a therapist? Will that person be responsible for my treatment?

What will my evaluation include? ... apist.html


Types of Physical Therapy

From Laura Inverarity, P.T.,
Your Guide to Physical Therapy.

There are many specialty areas in the field of physical therapy. Although this is well known throughout the profession, it is often overlooked by the general public. Below is a brief description of the five most common specialty areas in physical therapy. Read on to find out what specialty area is most appropriate for you or your family member.

Orthopedic- Orthopedic physical therapists diagnose, manage, and treat disorders and injuries of the musculoskeletal system as well as rehabilitate patients post orthopedic surgery. This specialty of physical therapy is most often found in the out-patient clinical setting. Orthopedic therapists are trained in the treatment of post operative joints, acute sports injuries, arthritis, and amputations just to name a few.

Joint mobilizations, strength training, hot/cold packs, and electrical stimulation are modalities often used to expedite recovery in the orthopedic setting. Those who have suffered injury or disease affecting the muscles, bones, ligaments, or tendons of the body will benefit from assessment by a physical therapist specialized in orthopedics.

Geriatric - Geriatric physical therapy covers a wide area of issues concerning people as they go through normal adult aging, but is usually focused on the older adult. There are many conditions that affect many people as they grow older and include but are not limited to: arthritis, osteoporosis, cancer, alzheimer's disease, hip and joint replacement, balance disorders, incontinence and more.

Geriatric physical therapy helps those affected by such problems in developing a specialized program to help restore mobility, reduce pain, increase fitness levels and more.

Neurological - Neurological physical therapy is a discipline focused on working with individuals who have a neurological disorder or disease. These include Alzheimer's disease, ALS, brain injury, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, spinal cord injury, and stroke. Common problems of patients with neurological disorders include paralysis, vision impairment, poor balance, inability to ambulate, and loss of functional independence. Therapists work with patients to improve these areas of dysfunction.

Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation - Cardiovascular and pulmonary rehabilitation physical therapists treat a wide variety of patients with cardiopulmonary disorders or those who have had cardiac or pulmonary surgery. Primary goals of this specialty include increasing patient endurance and functional independence.

Manual therapy is utilized in this field to assist in clearing lung secretions experienced in patients with cystic fibrosis. Patients with disorders including heart attacks, post coronary bypass surgery, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and pulmonary fibrosis are only a few examples of those who would benefit from cardiovascular and pulmonary specialized physical therapists.

Pediatric- Pediatric physical therapy assists in early detection of health problems and uses a wide variety of modalities to treat disorders in the pediatric population. These therapists are specialized in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of infants, children, and adolescents with a variety of congenital, developmental, neuromuscular, skeletal, or acquired disorders/diseases. Treatments focus on improving gross and fine motor skills, balance and coordination, strength and endurance as well as cognitive and sensory processing/integration.

Children with developmental delays, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, and torticollis are a few of the patients treated by pediatric physical therapists. ... esofpt.htm


Pat O'Connor
Lymphedema People
User avatar
Site Admin
Posts: 2175
Joined: Thu Jun 08, 2006 9:07 pm

Return to Treatment for Lymphedema

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests