Regardless of Cost, Health Care is Important
By physical therapist Stephanie Lenards, PT, Avera Therapy Watertown
Health care is expensive. In fact, health care spending is projected to rise by 5.3 percent in 2018 and continue to grow at that annual rate through 2026, according to estimates from the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
Yet health care is a necessary part of your overall well-being, and physical therapy can be an important aspect in your care. Physical therapy helps prevent injuries, or it can help you recover after you have had one. It also helps with post-surgery recovery, and it can serve to lessen pain while it makes you functional abilities get better faster.
These facts are true, but many patients worry about the costs of physical therapy. That’s natural.
But these actions can help relieve that concern:
- Communicate your financial concerns with your physical therapist. We can often adjust your care plan to meet your needs and your budget. We can devise a home exercise program as well as at-home treatment techniques you can complete independently. This allows you and your therapist to customize the in number of therapy sessions that work best for you and your bottom line.
- Clearly explain your goals. You therapist can optimize your treatment frequency if you are straightforward about your expectations. We can put the emphasis on your personal priorities when you clearly explain what you seek; we can aim to do just what you need during each appointment.
- Physical therapy may be your least expensive option. People facing pain often turn to the easiest option – we all understand wanting relief quickly. But with a therapist’s help you can learn exercises and treatments that you’ll keep for good, and that you can use to “fix yourself” in the future. So an investment in physical therapy can actually save you money, because you have that knowledge for self-help, and you’re also avoiding problems that might come up if you wait too long to correct an issue.
- Ask questions about service costs. Medicare coverage is a baseline that often is used to set the costs of many medical services and treatments, but it does not mean the cost of services is all the same. As the patient, you have a right to know the cost associated with your care. Be proactive, plan ahead and get the answers you need to make the best possible decisions.
Knowledge is power and communication is the switch that puts that power into play. When you have questions, turn to the health care professionals who offer the services for insight and information. In many cases, what seemed overwhelming may be a "win-win" situation for you or a loved one.