Q: What is a Sports Medicine Physician?
A: Sports medicine physicians are physicians with specialized training and experience in non-operative treatment of a wide variety of musculoskeletal conditions and injury prevention and rehabilitation. They help patients maximize function and minimize disability and time away from sports, work, or school. There are experienced sports medicine physicians with a primary specialty in Family Practice, Internal Medicine, Emergency Medicine, Pediatrics or Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation who also have an additional 1-2 years of accredited fellowship training in Sports Medicine. For more information about Sports Medicine visit The American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM) at http://www.amssm.org.
Q: Do I have to be an athlete to come to Sports Medicine?
A: Absolutely NOT. Sports medicine physicians are ideal physicians for patients of all different activity levels, including non-athletes and elderly patients. They are excellent resources for patients who desire to take control of their own lives and become active and live healthy. They are extensively trained in taking care of competitive athletes, “weekend warriors,” industrial athletes, or any one with an injury. They can often utilize the same expertise used for competitive athletes to help patients from all walks of life return to full function as quickly and safely as possible. The sports medicine physician is dedicated to providing comprehensive care to individuals of all ages.
Q: What is the difference between a sports medicine physician and an orthopedic surgeon?
A: Both types of physicians are extremely well trained in musculoskeletal injuries; however Sports Medicine physicians use a non-operative approach to the medical treatment of these musculoskeletal conditions. Approximately 90% of all sports injuries do not require surgery, making sports medicine physicians an ideal choice for taking care of such injuries. Should surgery be required, the sports medicine physician can expedite referral to the appropriate orthopedic surgeon. They can also help guide and supervise the rehabilitative and physical therapy process when needed. Most importantly, Sports Medicine physicians are trained in the non-musculoskeletal aspects of sports medicine, such as the treatment of concussions, exercise induced asthma, and diabetes in the competitive athlete.
Q: How can physical therapy help me?
A: Physical therapists are uniquely qualified to assess and treat problems with your muscles and joints as well as posture and balance difficulties. Your physical therapist will evaluate your condition and recommend treatment for you to help alleviate your symptoms. After completing a comprehensive examination, your physical therapist will develop a individualized rehabilitation program consisting of a combination of hands-on treatment, stretching and strengthening exercises and modalities (treatment with machines such as ultrasound and electrical stimulation). You may be given an exercise program to perform at home along with tips for correcting faulty posture and ways to maintain your pain-free state.
Q: Do I need a referral for physical therapy?
A: Yes. You must have a referral from your treating physician.
Q: Does insurance cover my doctors’ visit or physical therapy?
A: As part of St. Elizabeth Healthcare, we are a preferred provider for a majority of insurance companies. In most cases we will bill your insurance company for you. We can contact your insurance company regarding your benefits or you may contact them yourself to find out about your eligibility.
Q: How much will I owe for each session?
A: Many insurance companies require a co-pay or co-insurance that you are responsible for paying at the time of service. We accept cash, check, debit, and major credit cards for a co-pay or service not covered by your insurance plan at one of our centers.
Please check with your insurance company or insurance card to determine your co-pay. You may also have a deductible and a percentage allocation amount required by your insurance company. Again, please refer to your policy to determine the amount you are responsible for.
Q: How is billing for services handled and who do I call for billing questions?
A: If your question is about billing prior to your first visit, please contact (859)301-5600.
If you have a question about your Explanation of Benefits (EOB) or a billing question regarding a previous visit call one of the numbers below.
- Physical Therapy or X-ray services: Call (859) 655-4100
- Services provided by Dr. Michael Miller: Call (859) 344-5555
Q: What do I need to do to get started?
A: Call our office at (859) 301-5600 for an appointment. At that time, we will ask for information to help in completing the registration process. We may need information from the physical therapy referral your doctor gave you and from your insurance card, so have them ready. At that time we will determine the most convenient time and location for your first visit and will schedule an appointment.
Q: What do I need to bring for my first visit?
A: Please bring the physical therapy referral your physician gave you, your insurance card, as well as any X-ray’s, MRI or CT scan reports and operative reports you may have.
Q: What should I wear for my doctor’s visit or physical therapy appointment?
A: We suggest that you wear loose, comfortable clothing that allows us to easily provide an examination. For example, if you are coming in for knee pain, please bring or wear shorts. For shoulder pain, a loose fitting t-shirt is ideal. Should you prefer to change before or after your session, we do have locker rooms available at our Edgewood and Florence locations for patients to use.
Q: What will happen on my first physical therapy visit?
A: You should arrive 10-15 minutes early for your first appointment in order to allow time to fill out any necessary paperwork. You will then be assessed by a licensed physical therapist who will take a thorough history of your problem, followed by a detailed physical examination. At that time your therapist will discuss the findings of your examination with you and suggest how to proceed with your individualized therapy program. Because the initial assessment is very comprehensive, it may require the entire first visit to complete. In that case, treatment will begin at your next scheduled appointment.
Q: What type of education and license does my therapist have?
A: After obtaining a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university, physical therapists must attend a physical therapy school that is usually affiliated with a medical school. Both master’s and doctoral programs are available and take an additional two to three years for completion. Physical therapists can practice following successful completion of a national physical therapy examination. All physical therapists at St. Elizabeth Sports Medicine take several continuing education courses each year to update and advance their skills in order to better serve our patients.
Q: How long will each session last?
A: Each physical therapy treatment will typically last between 30 and 60 minutes.
Q: Will I always be seen by the same person?
A: We make every attempt to provide the same clinicians for each visit. Our physical therapists work in conjunction with our athletic trainers and physical therapy assistants at each location to provide the best care possible for our patients.
Q: What is a physical therapist assistant?
A: Physical Therapist Assistants (PTA’s) work under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist and assists in the treatment of patients. PTA’s are trained in helping patients with exercises and exercise programs, evaluating data on a patient's progress, using pain relieving techniques and modalities, assisting with patient mobility, and providing therapeutic massage when indicated. PTA’s are required to have a two year Associates Degree in Applied Science from an accredited college/university. Upon graduation they must pass a national examination, administered by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy to receive their state licensure. All PTA’s at St. Elizabeth Sports Medicine are licensed in the State of Kentucky and must meet ongoing continuing education requirements in order to remain licensed.
Q: What is an athletic trainer?
A: Athletic Trainers are health care professionals, who collaborate with physicians and physical therapists to optimize activity and participation of patients and athletes. Certified Athletic Trainers (ATC’s) are medical experts in the prevention and evaluation of injuries, treatment of emergencies, as well as managing and rehabilitating injuries that result from physical activities.
Athletic Training is recognized by the American Medical Association as an allied health care profession. ATC’s work in various setting including the military, physical therapy clinics, hospitals, businesses, secondary schools, colleges/universities and professional sports. In order to become a certified athletic trainer, students must graduate with a bachelors or masters degree from an accredited professional athletic training education program and pass a comprehensive test administered by the Board of Certification. Once certified by the National Board and the KY Board of Medical Licensure our staff of Athletic Trainers must meet ongoing continuing education requirements in order to remain certified.
The Athletic Trainers at St. Elizabeth Sports Medicine are responsible for the athletic coverage of various local high schools, as well as Thomas More College and the Cincinnati Kings.
Q: What is the ImPactTM Test?
A: The ImPact TestTM is a computerized test which can help to measure the cognitive/mental changes that occur when an athlete suffers from a concussion. The test measures attention span, memory, problem solving, and reaction time. The ImPactTM test can help give a physician some objective measures and is used together with a physical examination, balance test, and report of the athletes symptoms, to help make better decisions regarding return to play for the injured athlete.
Q: Why is a baseline test done?
A: An ImPactTM Baseline Test is done to establish a “baseline” score. In other words, it helps find what is normal for the athlete taking the test. In the event of a concussion, the information from the baseline can be compared to post concussion tests to help determine return to play guidelines.
Q: How long does the test take?
A: About 30-45 minutes
Q: How is it done?
A: The athlete will sit at a computer and do a variety of tests that measure reaction time and memory. The computer stores the scores for use later in the event of a concussion.
The second component to the program is a balance test that takes about 5 minutes. For this we measure and score the athletes balance based on 6 – 20 second balance tests.
Q: How can my son/daughter receive the baseline test?
A: Baseline testing is available to any athlete over the age of 12. Call our office at (859) 301-5600 to schedule an appointment.
Q: How long is the baseline test good for?
A: It is recommended that a new baseline be completed every 2 years. Children and adolescents under the age of 18 undergo cognitive changes as they mature. Repeating the baseline every 2 years should help account for this growth.