Understanding Insurance vs Wellness for Physical Therapy

In our quest for a healthier and empowered lifestyle, understanding the differences between insurance-based physical therapy visits and cash pay wellness visits is crucial. Often as we are making significant life changing improvements in physical therapy, we hear the words, “It’s time for discharge. Your insurance will no longer pay for physical therapy.” This can be upsetting, but don’t worry.


Now…Parish Physical Therapy CAN HELP YOU!

Continue reading below to learn more about how Parish Physical Therapy can help you maintain your health goals.

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Parish Physical Therapy in Scott, LA

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Insurance or Wellness? Which is the Right Choice?

In our quest for a healthier and empowered lifestyle, understanding the differences between insurance-based physical therapy visits and cash pay wellness visits is crucial. These two services may seem similar on the surface, but they cater to different aspects of our well-being.

Often as we are making significant life changing improvements in physical therapy, we hear the words, “It’s time for discharge. Your insurance will no longer pay for physical therapy.” This can be upsetting to hear when you have made so much progress and you would like to continue your journey to better health. 

Parish Physical Therapy now has a solution for YOU!

As of April 1st, 2024, Parish Physical Therapy will now be offering wellness services, “Wellness by Parish.” Wellness visits are not bound by the constraints of insurance companies and physician referrals.

Together, let’s educate ourselves to understand the difference between insurance based and wellness based physical therapy services, and empower ourselves to make informed decisions about our health.

**1. The Foundation: Skilled Physical Therapy**


When we talk about insurance-based physical therapy, we’re focused on rehabilitation and recovery. Imagine it as a personalized roadmap to healing, often guided by a licensed physical therapist. These sessions are typically prescribed by medical professionals to address specific injuries, surgeries, or conditions.

During an insurance-based physical therapy visit, you’ll find yourself engaging in targeted exercises, stretches, and various treatment techniques custom tailored to your unique therapy goals. The therapist acts as the navigator, helping you regain strength, mobility, and function. Whether you’re recovering from an injury, rehabilitating after surgery, or trying to stay independent, the plan for insurance based physical therapy is to achieve your goals within a specific timeframe or number of visits. This timeframe or number of therapy visits is often controlled by insurance companies!

With insurance based physical therapy, the insurance company must determine that your treatment is “medically necessary.” How many times has an insurance company denied you an MRI or refused to pay for specific medical testing because they didn’t think it was necessary even though your doctor ordered the test?

The benefits of insurance based physical therapy is that the insurance company may pay a portion or all of your treatment as long as it falls within their short timeline, limited number of visits, and their definition of medically necessary. Insurance companies nowadays are businesses and every medical visit they pay for you is a loss to them. They are constantly looking for ways to cut costs or deny payment for medical visits.

Image of Sciatic Nerve Passing Through the Posterior Hip

**2. The Spectrum of Wellness: Cash Pay Wellness Visits**


Image of a Herniated Disc

On the other side of the spectrum, Cash Pay Wellness visits are more like proactive check-ins for your health. Think of them as preventive maintenance for your body similar to an oil change on your car, focusing on overall well-being rather than rehabilitation or recovery from an injury.

Unlike insurance-based therapy, wellness visits are often not prescribed by a doctor and are more accessible for anyone looking to invest in their health. Wellness visits give you increased flexibility in regards to how and when you would like to receive services.

Wellness visits can encompass a variety of services, from “Empowerment” sessions to Dry Needling, Soft Tissue Techniques, FlexLAB, and much more. These sessions are not only about recognizing what may be abnormal or dysfunctional but also about optimizing what’s already working well.

Using a Wellness physical therapy visit, we are able to help prepare athletes for sporting events even when they are not injured.

  • An example would be an athlete receiving treatment in preparation for a sporting event even when not injured.
  • Being stretched to improve mobility because you have been feeling tight and want to prevent your low back pain from returning.
  • Wanting to review exercises, update, or progress a home exercise program after being discharge from physical therapy.

It’s a holistic approach, encouraging individuals to take charge of their health and make lifestyle choices that contribute to longevity and vitality.

With Wellness visits, you are responsible for payment; however, your HSA or Health Savings Account can pay for Wellness visits.


**3. The Timeline: Short-Term Goals vs. Long-Term Lifestyle**


Insurance-based physical therapy often follows a structured timeline, addressing immediate concerns and working towards short and long term goals. The sessions are finite, with the intention of reaching physical therapy specific goals in a short period of time. These timelines are controlled by insurance companies in what the insurance company deems, “medically necessary.” To many of us seeking physical therapy treatment, our goals for ourselves often surpass the timeline and conditions of “medically necessary.” 

In contrast, cash pay wellness visits embrace a more flexible timeline. You are able to schedule once a week, twice a week, four times a month, monthly for a year; the possibilities are endless. The emphasis is on creating healthy habits and practices that become a part of your daily life. It’s not a sprint but a marathon—a commitment to long-term lifestyle changes that contribute to sustained health and wellness. Wellness by Parish is the perfect way to ensure long lasting wellness and continue being seen for physical therapy when your insurance plan may not deem it to be “medically necessary.” 

Image of a Man with a Lumbar Muscle Strain

**4. Tipping the Scale In Your Favor: Finding the Right Balance**


It’s essential to recognize that BOTH insurance based and cash pay wellness based physical therapy play pivotal roles on our journeys toward optimal health. Insurance-based therapy offers targeted solutions for rehabilitation and recovery from injury over a short period of time, while wellness visits provide the preventative maintenance our bodies need to continue maintaining optimized health upon completion of insurance based physical therapy services.


Ultimately, finding the right balance between these approaches depends on YOUR unique needs and goals. Whether you’re on a recovery path or striving for a proactive and healthy lifestyle, understanding the differences empowers you to make informed decisions on your journey to well-being. Parish Physical Therapy is here to have an open discussion with all of you on the benefits of insurance based and wellness based physical therapy services.  Together, we can ultimately select which option will work best to EMPOWER you to live your best life! So, let’s embark on this adventure, embracing the best of both worlds for a healthier, happier, and empowered you.

Wellness by Parish Menu of Services Offered

What Should I Do Next?

Parish Physical Therapy in Scott, LA uses an customized, hands on treatment approach to treat our patients and clients. Through a combination of patient specific physical therapy treatment techniques and patient education, physical therapy empowers and addresses the underlying causes, reduces pain, promotes healing, improves strength, improves balance, and restores function.

Remember, early intervention and proper management can greatly improve your quality of life and help you to return to the activities you love!

Let us EMPOWER you and help you return FAST to the activities you LOVE!

If you or somebody you know would benefit from physical therapy, DON’T WAIT!

Call or message us on Facebook NOW!

Jessica & Chad Jimenez, PT, Doctors of Physical Therapy

Owners of Parish Physical Therapy

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