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Patient FAQ's

Here are answers to some of the frequently asked questions we receive from patients who are interested in learning more about physical therapy and our approach to healing. If you have any additional questions, we'd be happy to answer them for you, just give us a call.

How do I schedule follow-up appointment?
When should I arrive?
What should I bring?
What should I wear?
What if I am unable to make my appointment?
How long will my visits last?
How often will I have therapy sessions?
What types of treatment may I receive?
Will I see the same physical therapist each time?
Will my doctor be kept updated on my treatments and progress?
Am I eligible for physical therapy?
Do I need to see a doctor first?
Will my insurance cover physical therapy

How do I schedule follow-up appointments?

Appointments are made with Patient Relations. Please call (360) 647-0444 to schedule an appointment.  

When should I arrive?

If you haven’t completed the new patient forms ahead of time, please arrive at least 30 minutes before your first appointment. If you’ve completed the necessary forms and bring them with you, you may arrive 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment.

Please bring the following:

  • Completed new patient intake forms 1 & 2
  • Insurance card
  • Doctor’s referral (if needed)
  • Appropriate clothing (see below)
  • Any operative reports
  • Diagnostic tests (x-rays, MRI, etc.)
  • Protocols your physician has given you
  • A list of any questions you might have

What should I wear?

We suggest you bring along appropriate clothing:
  • Shorts are recommended for lower back, knee, ankle, or foot conditions.
  • Women should wear a sports bra or tank top for back, neck, or shoulder conditions.
If you forget to bring recommended clothing, or if acquiring the clothing is an issue, we are happy to provide t-shirts, shorts, sports bras and medical gowns to accommodate.  

What if I am unable to make my appointment?

To accommodate all our patients, reserving time slots for treatments is very important to operate our facilities efficiently. Canceling at the last minute or failing to show for a session limits our ability to meet the scheduling needs of our other patients. Therefore, it’s important for all of our patients to understand that Bellingham Physical Therapy might charge a $50 fee to clients who fail to show up for an appointment without calling 24 hours in advance to cancel.

How long will my visits last?

Your visit with one of our physical therapists will vary from 30 to 60 minutes.  

How often will I have therapy sessions?

A treatment program typically consists of 2 to 3 sessions per week.  

What types of treatment may I receive?

You may receive modalities as needed (ultrasound, electrical stimulation, infrared and forms of these), joint mobilization, SCENAR therapy technique with therapeutic exercise in many forms and progressions, structured home exercise plans and/or client education. These also encompass intervention. All of our treatment sessions are individually tailored to each client, so it’s difficult to create a “standard” treatment list.

Will I see the same physical therapist each time?

We make every effort to have you see the same physical therapist each time. On the rare occasion that this isn’t possible, another one of our trained physical therapists will cover your appointment as needed, until your primary therapist’s schedule opens up. Less than 5% of our clients see more than one physical therapist for their treatments.

Will my doctor be kept updated on my treatments and progress?

After an initial evaluation, your physical therapist will write a note to send to your doctor regarding the findings, rehab potential, and plan of care. Before each doctor follow-up visit, we will send a progress note with updates and recommendations, regarding your plan of care. These progress notes are sent every 4 weeks as needed. We will also make phone calls, write emails or send faxes as necessary to communicate any necessary information to supports your treatment.

Am I eligible for physical therapy?

Anyone is eligible for physical therapy — it’s just a matter of working out the financial compensation options. We accept private insurance, private payments, Medicare and student insurance. If physical therapy is not an appropriate or necessary solution for you, we will determine this early on and refer you to the appropriate healthcare provider.

Do I need to see a doctor first?

The state of Washington is a direct access state, which means everyone has access to physical therapy without a written order.  If you want to have your insurance cover physical therapy you will need to contact your insurance company to see if they require a written order, prescrition or referral.

Will my insurance cover physical therapy?

We accept most non-HMO insurance carriers, but you are still responsible for obtaining your policy details such as knowing:

  • What coverage your policy has
  • What remainder (if any) you are expected to pay

Learn more about insurance and billing. Still have a question?
If you still have a question that is not listed above, please contact us at (360) 647-0444.  


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Phone: (360) 647-0444

306 36th Street Bellingham, WA 98225
(By the REI in Sehome Village)

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