Physical therapists are “specialists” according to many Georgia insurance policies.
And while physical therapists undergo extensive education and training and are considered the most effective in treating movement disorders, the “specialist” label forces Georgians to hand over higher copays to receive the care they need.
Specialist copays are set by your insurance company and may be more than double what you would pay to see your regular doctor.
Physical therapy, however, is not like other specialties. Patients might require several visits over the course of weeks or months, which could mean hundreds or even thousands of dollars in copays.
Some Georgians’ only option is to limit their physical therapy visits or stop going completely, which can lead to costly consequences down the road.
Physical therapy can help patients avoid expensive tests and procedures such as MRIs, injections or even surgery.
It’s time this issue is addressed and Georgians no longer be left to decide which bills go unpaid each month to make sure their families receive the medical treatment they require.
Legislation in other states requires insurance companies to make physical therapy copays equal to that of primary care physician visits, which significantly eases the financial burden on patients who need physical therapy as part of a recovery plan.
Contact our Middle Georgia legislators and ask them to take the lead and ensure patients are not deterred by excessive copays that fail to account for the multiple visits of physical therapy care.
Lola Rosenbaum, P.T., D.P.T., represents Cantrell Center for Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine in Warner Robins.