Here in the western world, we’ve been groomed to expect health insurance to pay for ALL our necessary healthcare needs, and we’re immediately turned off the moment we hear, “that’s not covered by your insurance.” Then all in the same day, we’ll gladly spend thousands of dollars on plastic surgery, permanent makeup, Botox, spa days, or even better, unhealthy calorie-filled meals at the “best” restaurants in town.
The reason I say your health insurance is killing you is that your health insurance will only cover what THEY deem is medically necessary, and most of the time, that’s not what is the most effective intervention for you, the patient. For example, insurance will gladly pay for your prescription for high blood pressure or high cholesterol pharmaceutical medication, but they won’t reimburse a doctor for the time they spend educating you on why you have high cholesterol or blood pressure in the first place (usually due to that unhealthy diet we talked about earlier). Because of that, doctors quickly write you a script for a pharmaceutical medication to treat your symptoms (but not treat the actual problem: your diet) and run out of the room to see their next patient.
Health Insurance and Physical Therapy
Here’s another example in relation to your physical health. A patient who has Medicare is trying to avoid having back surgery and wants to attempt conservative treatment first (in the form of physical therapy), but Medicare will only pay for a certain amount of physical therapy (PT) visits per year. And to make matters worse, Medicare pays the PT clinic the most money when the clinic bills it as therapeutic exercise, which incentivizes the clinic to focus on that specific intervention. And when, at the end of your allotted sessions, you still have back pain, you often hear, “Well, we tried conservative treatment and that didn’t work. Now you need surgery.”
Most people who have had PT remember it as being like an assembly line. Walk in, do a 10–15-minute “warm up” on the recumbent bike, then go through your sheet, which has generic stretches and exercises on it. Sometimes you might have an aid helping you go through the motions, or maybe your PT yells at you from across the room to adjust something you’re doing horribly wrong. But you rarely get quality, hands-on treatment from your actual physical therapist.
A Hands-On Approach to Patient Care
Say what you want about how great all the advances in technology are—actual human touch is by far the most therapeutic and healing when it comes to physical ailments. And I’m not just talking about manual therapy or soft tissue massage. What’s more important is putting your hands on a patient to get them in the correct position so the exercise they are doing is actually effective.
Our motto at Berman Physical Therapy is that it must be performed 100% correctly, or it’s not going to be 100% effective. Put another way, the farther you get away from performing an exercise 100% correctly, you get exponentially less return on investment, until it gets to the point that it’s doing you more harm than good. I’m certain some of you reading this can relate to that!
Please treat your healthcare like any of your other “big” purchases – you would never seek out the cheapest house or car, after all, and you really do get what you pay for. And just because you pay a ridiculous amount of money for your health insurance doesn’t mean you shouldn’t spend more to get the quality healthcare you need. We’re literally talking about life and death!
For more (brutally honest) information, please check out The Berman Method podcast, where my wife and I get even more uncensored and explicit about the broken “corporate medical system”!
Dr. Jake Berman, PT, DPT, is a physical therapist and the owner of Berman Physical Therapy where they focus on treating the actual problem causing your symptoms (pain) to help you avoid taking pain pills and dangerous surgeries. So if you’re tired of feeling “old” and you are looking for another way to keep active and mobile, call Dr. Berman at 239.431.0232 to take advantage of a FREE 30 minute taster session!