Want to know how a physiotherapy session works, how much it costs, and if your insurance company will reimburse you? Read on for answers.
What is the first appointment like?
Get to know yourself and understand your problem
At the first appointment, the physiotherapist or physical rehabilitation therapist will get a sense of your condition, i.e., your physical abilities and functions.
He or she will ask why you decided to see doctor and will review your medical history including any current health problems, allergies, past issues, medical tests performed, and any medications taken.
Then, he or she will ask about your symptoms and what your condition prevents you from doing on a daily basis.
Here are some questions your physiotherapy professional might ask you during your first visit:
- Where does it hurt (location of the pain)?
- On a scale of 0 to 10, how painful is it, where 0 means no pain and 10 means unbearable pain?
- What kind of pain do you feel (burning, tingling, feeling of heaviness, etc.)?
- When does it hurt (in the morning, when you get up, at bedtime, during the day, etc.)?
- What makes the pain worse (physical exertion, walking, sleeping, etc.)?
- What relieves the pain?
- When (approximately) did you start to feel your symptoms?
- Have you taken steps to relieve your symptoms since they started?
Conduct physical tests to understand your problem
At this first appointment, the physiotherapy professional should also do some physical tests:
- If you’re seeing a physiotherapist, he or she will use these tests to assess your problem, determine the cause, and make a diagnosis.
- If you’re seeing a physical rehabilitation therapist, he or she will use these tests to document the problems identified by the doctor or physiotherapist who referred you.
Develop and explain the treatment plan
After the tests, the professional will talk to you about the results and what treatments might help you regain, maintain, or maximize your physical abilities and functions.
He or she will work with you to develop a realistic treatment plan that suits your condition and is in line with your expectations and objectives. The plan will include treatments you can start at the first appointment or the following one. The physiotherapy professional will also give you advice and instructions specific to your condition so you can actively participate in your rehabilitation.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions
As a patient, you play a major role throughout your treatment. The physiotherapy professional is there to help and support you in this process. It’s important that you understand the problem, the treatment, what you need to do to improve the situation, and what you should avoid doing so you don’t make it worse.
This will help you accept and understand your treatment and make working with your physiotherapy professional more effective. Remember—a team that works together wins together.
Don’t hesitate to ask questions or ask for more explanations from the get go. The physiotherapist or PRT is there to answer your questions and help you understand.
Where can I find a physiotherapy professional?
There are physiotherapy professionals working all over Quebec. They practise in public institutions like hospitals, rehabilitation centres, and CLSCs as well as in private clinics.
If you want to consult a private practice physiotherapy professional, you have two options:
- If you want see a physiotherapist, you can consult them directly—no need for a referral or doctor’s note.
- If you want to see a physical rehabilitation therapist (PRT), you need a referral from a physician or physiotherapist who has assessed your problem (preliminary and additional information). Once you have done this, you can make an appointment with a PRT.
Find a professional
If you’re looking for a physiotherapy professional, please consult our online directory.
How much does it cost?
In public institutions
If you consult a physiotherapy professional who practises in a public institution, your care is free and paid for by the government.
In private clinics
Physiotherapy professionals with private practices set their own prices. OPPQ does not offer a fee scale.
If you go to a private physiotherapy clinic, the physiotherapist should tell you the price of the treatments he or she is planning and if there is a charge if you do not show up for an appointment
In the vast majority of cases, insurance companies will cover the cost of physiotherapy in private clinics. However, some private insurance plans may require a doctor’s note before settling claims. Some insurance companies require that treatments be given by a physiotherapist.
Before you go to your first appointment, contact your insurer to find out what services are covered under your policy and the terms and conditions required for the treatment to be reimbursed.
If your plan covers the cost of physiotherapy provided by professionals licensed to practise in Quebec, your insurer should also reimburse services provided by physical rehabilitation therapists. If you need to discuss this topic with your insurer, consult the official document explaining that PRTs are OPPQ members and are licensed to practise physiotherapy
Depending on your situation, there are several public insurance plans that, under certain conditions, will reimburse you for a portion of your physiotherapy treatment. To find out how to get reimbursed by public plans, follow these links: