General questions

What will happen at my first physiotherapy appointment?

Your physiotherapist will do an initial assessment to provide a working diagnosis of the injury.

Your physiotherapist will work with you to identify your needs and devise a treatment plan.

Our treatment focuses primarily on manual therapy or a ‘hands-on approach’ and includes education, exercise, and electrotherapy as determined by your physiotherapist.

How long are physiotherapy appointments?

Physiotherapy visits are 30 minutes. However, your clinic time may vary between 30-60 minutes.

Prolonged visits are booked for 60 minutes.

Is a doctors’ referral required for me to attend physiotherapy?

No, a doctor’s referral is not required for physiotherapy. Some extended health plans and private insurers may require a referral to activate payment. Check with your insurer for details.

Whether you need a doctor’s referral for ICBC, WorkSafe and DVA claims depend on the organisation:

  • ICBC Claims: For a new claim you do not require a Doctor’s referral for your initial visit unless specified by your Adjuster.
  • WorkSafe (WSBC): To activate your claim you need to have seen your doctor.
  • DVA claims: A doctor’s referral is required with a specific diagnosis.

Will my extended health care plan cover all or a portion of my physio visit?

Contact your insurer to determine whether you are covered for physiotherapy under your extended health plan.

How do ICBC, Worksafe and DVA claims work with respect to my physio coverage?

  • Approved ICBC injury claim visits do not require any payment by the patient for the allocated number of visits allowed.
  • Approved WorkSafeBC injury claims do not require any payment by the patient for the allocated number of weeks allowed.
  • DVA is fully covered for the allocated number of visits once approved and does not require any payment by the patient.

Direct billing questions

We’re pleased to offer online direct billing for physiotherapy and registered massage therapy to a number of extended health carriers (see list below). Availability of this service is dependent on your carrier and/or plan.

Please note that all treatment fees are the responsibility of the patient. If online direct billing is not available, you will be asked to pay for your visit and we will provide you with a receipt to submit to your extended health carrier for reimbursement.

Oakridge Physiotherapy offers online direct billing for the following insurers:

  • Canada Life (previously Great West Life)
  • Johnston Group
  • SSQ Insurance
  • Group Health
  • Chamber of Commerce
  • Industrial Alliance
  • Sun Life Financial
  • Green Shield Canada
  • Pacific Blue Cross
  • Medavie Blue Cross (Veterans Affairs, Canadian Armed Forces and RCMP)

What you need to bring

  1. Your extended benefits card with policy number and member ID
  2. Doctor’s referral, if required by your policy

Direct Billing FAQs:

How do I know how much I am covered for?

You can learn the details of your coverage by contacting your extended health carrier or your plan administrator.

What if my visit is partially covered by my extended health carrier?

We can still bill your carrier! If your visit is partially covered we will bill the covered amount to the carrier and ask that you pay the balance of your visit at the end of each treatment.

Can we coordinate benefits?

At this time Oakridge Physiotherapy will bill one third-party carrier per visit (eg: one extended health carrier or ICBC or MSP). Coordination of benefits is not available. We will bill your primary carrier until the plan’s funds have been exhausted. To comply with insurance carrier policies, we cannot bill your secondary carrier once your primary plan funds have been exhausted. 

Do I need a doctor’s referral?

We do not require a doctor’s referral. However, some plans do require one. Please check with your extended health carrier to learn your plan requirements.

What if my injury was sustained in a motor vehicle accident or workplace accident or I have an open ICBC, Worksafe or another insurance claim?

We cannot bill your visit to your extended health carrier if your injury was sustained in a motor vehicle accident or workplace accident. You will need to pay for the treatment and seek reimbursement from your carrier.

What if my claim is denied?

If your visit is denied for online direct billing we ask that your balance is paid in full at the end of each treatment. The front desk staff will advise you if your claim has been denied before you leave.

Please note: Some plans have restrictions that do not allow for online direct billing. To check if you are eligible for this service please contact your extended health carrier.

Telehealth questions

What is Telehealth or Telerehab?

This type of visit with your physiotherapist is done using an online platform to connect in a video conference or even over the phone. It is like skype or facetime but on a much more secure platform.

The visit includes an assessment where your practitioner guides you through a series of tests to determine the nature of your problem.

Your practitioner can also demonstrate and guide you through treatment techniques, exercises, and provide advice and education on ergonomics, positioning, and the management of your problem. We will provide you with a plan for recovery.

You will be surprised about how much help we can give you!

Why should I use Telehealth?

It cuts down on travel time. It is safe to use if you are sick or are unable to physically get to the clinic. It is also safe for those who are medically at risk and cannot be around others. Telehealth is also a great way to review an existing rehab program to make changes or to even progress a program as you are improving. Not all visits need to happen in the clinic. Your practitioner’s expert advice can be applied in this format too.

How much does Telehealth cost?

All of our regular fees apply.

Is the treatment the same quality?

You bet it is! Your practitioner provides expert advice every day. This advice addresses exercise prescription, injury management, recovery progression, and education. All these things are ideally suited for telehealth.

What is not appropriate for Telehealth?

Some problems need a little more help and expertise to get you moving that can only be provided on an in-person basis. Problems requiring specific hands-on techniques, or the use of therapeutic equipment are examples. Often, once these problems are settled down to a degree, telehealth becomes a great option for monitoring your recovery.

What if the technology is a challenge for me?

No problem. We will provide instructions on what to do to get your appointment set up the right way. We are here for you.

What device can I use?

You can use any device that has an internet connection, camera, and microphone. It could be a phone, tablet, laptop, or even a desktop but having a device that is portable makes the appointment much easier for everybody.

How do I pay?

We can take your credit card information over the phone and email you a receipt.

Does insurance cover Telehealth visits?

Yes, it does. Presently most major benefits insurers cover telehealth visits. If you have a specific question please call us.

What about ICBC and WSBC claims?

Both cover telehealth appointments. However, at times the initial assessment might be best done in the clinic but that can be determined by your practitioner.

How much space do I need?

Make sure you are in a room that has a spot for you to stand, sit, or lie down in. There should also be enough room to place your device in a position to see you.

What should I wear?

You should wear something comfortable that gives you freedom to move in. You should also think about wearing clothing that allows your practitioner to see the body part being assessed. Think shorts, t-shirt, tank top as these items make it easier for us to see you.

Should someone else be with me during my appointment?

It is recommended that someone else be nearby during the telehealth appointment. This is for safety reasons. Should there be any problems we want to be able to reach out to someone to help you. Having an emergency contact is important along with their information so we can contact them in case of an emergency.

Will my personal information be safe?

Yes. All client information is saved securely just as if you were in the clinic. The telehealth sessions are not recorded. We follow all current provincial and federal privacy rules and laws to protect you.