Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation FAQs

How Do I Get to See a Therapist?

You need a referral to therapy from your physician, physician's assistant, nurse practitioner, or podiatrist. Your referring practitioner must generate an order for therapy.

Some insurances also require that therapy be authorized prior to covering visits to therapy:

  • Tricare
  • GEHA
  • Right Care
  • Superior
  • Workers’ Comp


What's the Difference Between Physical Therapy (PT) and Occupational Therapy (OT)?

Physical therapists and occupational therapists are members of the rehabilitation team. At times, these services work with the same patient, addressing different needs.

For example, if you have a stroke, PT may address:

  • Balance
  • Walking
  • Moving from one place to another


OT may address activities of daily living (ADLs):

  • Grooming
  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Feeding
  • Cognition


You may need only one of the services.

At Scott & White Healthcare in Temple, hand injury or surgery patients requiring rehab will go to OT.

If you have a leg injury or surgery and you need rehab, you’ll go to PT.

How Long Is the First Therapy Visit?

Your first visit to therapy will usually last 45 to 60 minutes. During this visit, your therapist will evaluate your functionality:

  • Review of pertinent medical history
  • Questions regarding:
    • Any prior therapy
    • Nature of your injury
    • How your current problem impacts your function
  • Physical assessment, which may include:
    • Range of motion
    • Strength
    • Postural assessment
    • Sensation
    • Functional level
    • Questionnaires regarding function
    • Special tests
  • Discussion about the identified problems
  • Discussion about goals and potential benefits of therapy
  • Education on:
    • Your dysfunction
    • Your therapy
  • Instructions on activities to be performed at home
  • Treatment planning
    • Types of treatment
    • How many visits may be needed
  • Specific treatments may be started, for example:
    • Orthotic devices
    • Exercise instruction
    • Therapeutic modalities


How Long Is a Follow-Up Visit to Therapy?

Sessions are typically between 30 and 60 minutes. The length of the session varies on your needs and the activities to be performed.

Is Physical Therapy Covered by My Insurance?

Each insurance carrier and patient policy must verify coverage for therapy. At times, therapy may require authorization.

Therapy may have a limited coverage amount, for example, a certain dollar amount or number of covered visits.

Does Scott & White Offer Massage Therapy?


There is a licensed massage therapist on staff. Massage therapy is currently primarily a self-pay service.

What Determines When I Am Discharged from Therapy?

You may be discharged from therapy when you:

  • Have achieved your goals
  • Have reached a plateau in progress
  • Can self-manage
  • No longer need skilled therapy services
  • Are having compliance or attendance issues

Who Works with Patients in Therapy?

You’ll be working with either a:

  • Physical therapist
  • Occupational therapist
  • Therapist assistant (physical assistant or certified occupational therapist assistant) who works under the supervision and direction of a therapist


During a therapy visit, there may also be assistance provided by a Rehabilitation Aide who is instructed in what to do by a therapist or assistant.


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