Did you know you can self-refer to therapy?
For many years, our patients had to navigate too many loopholes to get a referral for our services. This included everything from physical or occupational therapy to speech therapy or sports rehab.
A few years ago, that all changed, and our patients are more empowered than ever to choose their orthopedic and rehabilitative provider.
Some insurance plans still require you to receive a doctor’s referral, but state law does not. Even if your doctor gives you the name of a rehabilitation provider they prefer, it is still ultimately your choice on who you see.
Our practice is patient-focused, so anything that makes life better for you is important to us.
How referrals used to happen
First, let’s talk about how the referral process used to work. Often what we would see happen is that patients would be injured or have pain from another cause and see their primary care doctor first. The patient’s primary care physician would then either refer them to a physical or occupational therapist, or to an orthopedic specialist who would ultimately provide the therapy referral.
The referral is usually who the doctor prefers based on who is in their practice or network, not on what’s necessarily easier for the patient. Doctors were still referring patients from smaller Northeast Oklahoma communities to rehabilitation and orthopedic service providers in Tulsa or Joplin. This entire process created an undue strain on the patient in a variety of ways.
With patients being able to not only choose who they see for therapeutic services but do so without a referral in most cases, it improves their lives in several ways:
Unnecessary doctor appointments create extra expenses, especially if you have to pay a higher co-pay to see a specialist. Also, being able to choose a rehabilitation provider closer to home saves gas money and, in the case of driving on I-44, the cost of tolls.
We do not know about you, but the idea of trying to schedule time away from work and family for unnecessary doctor visits just to be told to go somewhere is a waste. There is also the lag time between when you can eventually get in to see a doctor to consider plus the time it takes to make the appointments. Being able to refer yourself saves time throughout the entire process.
The entire process of trying to navigate multiple appointments is stressful and, being able to make a single appointment makes life easier.
Less lag in recovery time
If you are in pain or not experiencing optimal function, the faster you can get treatment, the better. By being able to refer yourself to our offices without all the loopholes, the more quickly we can assess your needs and start a treatment plan.
What do you need to do?
If you believe you need one of our services, first find out if we are an in-network provider with your insurance and if your insurance requires a referral. Our office can help you figure out that information! If the answer to the first question is yes and the answer to the second question is no, give us a call. We will work you in for an evaluation. We are allowed to see you for 30 days before we are required to sign off on a treatment plan for insurance.
We want to serve our community and help each of you live healthier safer lives. Give us a call to discuss your needs today!