Physical Therapy Questions and Answers

Question:  Do I need a referral (prescription) from my doctor?


  • In the state of Oregon, you can see a physical therapist without a referral.
  • However, some insurance companies require a referral to ensure physical therapy benefits.
  • While Medicare no longer requires a referral, we will need to work with your primary physician or specialist. Our Patient Care Coordinators will discuss this more when you call to schedule your first appointment.
  • If in doubt, call us at 541-728-0974 and we will help you determine if your insurance requires a referral.

Question:  Will my insurance cover Physical Therapy?


Yes, most insurance companies cover physical therapy. Some policies require you to first meet a deductible. Most patients are responsible for a copay at the time of visit or a coinsurance (percentage of the bill) charge. Call us with your insurance information and we will help you determine your benefits before your first appointment. Unfortunately, misinformation is sometimes provided. Please contact us even if your insurance company says you do not have physical therapy benefits. No doesn't always mean no in the insurance world.

Question:  Do I need to pay anything at the time of service?


  • Co-pays are legally required at the time of service.
  • Coinsurance is not required at the time of service, but most people prefer to pay some portion to avoid receiving a large bill at the end of their care.
  • If you have an unmet deductible, Compass Physical Therapy asks that you pay a portion at time of service.

Question:  What can I expect at my first physical therapy appointment?


Your first PT appointment typically lasts about an hour. It includes a complete history in-take and evaluation with your physical therapist to assess your pain and function. Your PT will then discuss your goals and treatment plan options and, with your consent, begin treatment. We will also go over your insurance coverage, anticipated costs and any special scheduling needs.

Be sure to bring:

  • New Patient Forms, you can download and fill these out ahead of time OR arrive approximately 10 minutes early to your appointment to fill them out.
  • Health Insurance Card(s) and Photo ID/Driver’s License – we will make photocopies for you.
  • Medication list
  • Referral if your physician has given you one

Question:  What should I wear to my appointments?


Most treatments can be completed without a change of clothing, but lighter-weight clothing is preferred. Shorts are necessary to treat knees and hips. We provide shorts and privacy gowns for treatments that necessitate exposure of a body part. Please bring a pair of athletic shoes for working out. Compass Physical Therapy offers private, enclosed treatment rooms.

Question:  What types of treatment does a physical therapist provide?


Physical therapists treat all muscle and joint-related pain and injuries, including surgical rehabilitation, with a combination of techniques including:

  • Pain, Movement and Injury Evaluation
  • Hands-On Manipulations
  • Exercise Instruction
  • Modalities for Pain and Swelling
  • Kinesio Taping
  • Ergonomic and Movement Assessment
  • Balance and Gait Training
  • Health Education and Injury Prevention

For a complete list and explanations, see How We Treat.

Question:  How does physical therapy differ from other services like chiropractic or massage?


Physical therapists are the leading experts in movement and pain. We are the only professionals trained to address muscles, joints and dysfunctional movement patterns. All of these factors go into building a comprehensive and personalized treatment plan specific to your needs, with the aim of getting you independent.

We have extensive training in exercise and quality of movement, and individually designed exercise programs are a large part of your healing and means of injury prevention. As physical therapists, it is our goal to empower you, through knowledge and exercise, to keep yourself healthy once you achieve pain relief.

Physical therapy can be a great compliment to both chiropractic and massage therapy, especially in cases where complete relief is not being obtained. If exercise instruction and movement training is not part of your current care, ask to see a physical therapist. See: What We Treat

Have further questions?