If you've recently had joint surgery or another procedure that has left you temporarily incapacitated, you may benefit from guided physical therapy that will help you recover the use of your limb and regain full function. However, if you're already having trouble leaving the house and are unable to drive, obtaining transportation to and from a physical therapist's office can seem like an insurmountable obstacle.
What is a home-based physical therapist?
As the name implies, a home-based physical therapist will come to your home to help assist you in regaining the use of (or strengthening) a certain part of your body following an injury or operation.
Home-based physical therapy can be somewhat limited in the services provided, as the therapist will not have access to some of the larger or more complex machines used in traditional physical therapy. However, much progress can be achieved simply by using your own body weight as resistance and taking advantage of portable devices like exercise bands and balls.
Your therapist will be able to work with you to design a customized program that will help you meet your specific needs and goals in a time frame that makes both you and your doctor happy.
Will your health insurance cover this service?
To the extent your primary health coverage will pay for physical therapy associated with your recent surgery or procedure, you may be able to receive coverage for a certain number of in-home physical therapy visits as well. Often, by the time you've maxed out your therapy coverage, you've sufficiently recuperated to be able to transport yourself to and from outside therapy appointments.
You will likely need to obtain documentation from your physician that indicates why you need home-based physical therapy (rather than traditional physical therapy) and any other limitations that may be in place.
How can you find a home-based physical therapist in your area?
In most situations, it's best to use your health insurance company's provider list to locate a physical therapist that is in-network (and therefore cheaper for both you and your insurance company).
However, if your insurance company has no in-network providers in your area, you may also be able to get a good recommendation from your doctor or surgeon. Your doctor is in the best position to know the type of physical therapy that will most benefit you, and can make his or her recommendation to a clinic like Advanced Physical Therapy accordingly.