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Higher-Land Oc​cupational Therapy, PLLC

My Blog


How Integrative health clinics work

Posted on January 11, 2017 at 10:18 AM Comments comments (38)
   When you hear a clinic calling itself "integrative health" , you know this clinic has some combination of  traditional western medicine, holistic/naturopathic care, chiropractic, and/or therapy (PT, OT, ST, nutrition). The idea is to allow the consumer to integrate her/his health care choices in one location, with all the providers being aware of what all is going on in this patient's health-related life. There are many benefits to this, including the patient not being given conflicting information, not being over-treated, medicated, etc., and not having to re-tell the story multiple times.
     Here at Lubbock Advanced Physical Medicine, we offer JohnFBarnes-Myofascial release, provided by myself (occupational therapist), Chiropractic care, and medical management which includes joint injections for pain, trigger point injections, and headache protocol, as well as pain related prescriptions if the consumer is not already receiving this care somewhere else. This is a great convenience for the pain patient to be able to address his/her pain management all in one location. However, it is very important for the consumer to be aware of his/her rights and responsibilities regarding such a convenience.
     To begin with, a consumer is not obligated to accept ALL care provided in an integrative health clinic simply because it is provided or even recommended. So, for instance, if the chiropractor recommends the patient receive OT for JFB-MFR, but the patient neither has the time nor the inclination , the patient may reject this recommendation and still receive the best chiropractic care in Lubbock without any fear of penalty, rejection or lesser treatment while accepting other treatments provided. Furthermore, if a patient begins with a treatment plan with multiple providers here, and decides one isn't contributing to his overall wellbeing and medical improvement, that patient can discontinue the plan with any one provider at any time and continue to receive stellar service from the providers he/she chooses to continue with. There is no penalty for this.
     In addition, if a consumer were to receive a referral from his primary care physician for Chiropractic care or JFB-MFR, this consumer is not obligated to receive treatment from all the providers in an integrative health clinic. He/she may only participate in treatment from the one provider to whom she was sent. This is not a problem at all.
     Each person is ultimately in charge of her/his own body, as each of us has to live in our own body and we are usually experts in the history and pain issues of our bodies. Part of our goal as integrative health providers is to return to each person who comes to us full autonomy and authority over his/her own body.
     As far as consumer responsibility goes, there is one large issue that each person must take personal authority for. If you are already being followed medically for pain, and receiving any prescription medications or injections for pain from an outside source, our medical practitioners MUST be made aware of this. this is critical to your health, so as to not over medicate you causing further damage to your already injured system. In such a case, our medical provider may not follow you at all, or only enough to keep the rest of us informed regarding your level of medical intervention.
     It is also the patient responsibility to be assertive regarding his/her wishes regarding care accepted, but to also keep an open mind. Many people have tried so many things to obtain relief from pain by the time they get here that they find it hard to trust that anything else could help. Yet, they come, because any small hope is better than none. We are very excited about the integrative health plans we offer, and we are very optimistic about our own service as well as the service of the other providers we work with! You will become quickly aware of how excited we are about this and how confident we are that we can help. We all believe that the increased benefit of our combined services is exponential, and that you will improve much faster if you combine services. Because of our excitement and our belief systems, we may come over as being "pushy"... for lack of a better term. Please don't silently feel coerced! Just be as assertive as we are, speak up! For instance, maybe you have tried a decompression table before and it caused you pain and spasm that you were unwilling to tolerate. Then one of our providers here recommends it. Just be honest about your experience and your unwillingness to try that again. It is really ok! It is YOUR body, after all, and only you have to sleep with the pain at night!
     If you have any other questions regarding an integrative health clinic, just ask! You can post your questions here, or you can ask at the clinic you are choosing to trust with your body; but ask. It is YOUR body, ALWAYS be informed. You are in charge!

Referrals for occupational therapy

Posted on January 3, 2017 at 11:50 AM Comments comments (38)
I have not written on this blog for a long time, and one of my resolutions is to make this more of a priority. One question I often get asked is why a patient has to have a referral from a doctor to receive therapy from OT/me.
 The first and easiest answer is that both your insurance and my governing rules require a referral/prescription for OT if I am going to touch your body or use exercise as therapy. Small differences between your insurance and my governing body (TBOTE) are as follows:
     Insurance requires that the referring provider be a medical doctor, PA, FNP, psychiatrist.
     TBOTE allows me to accept referrals from all of the above, plus chiropractors, psychologists, and LPC's as well. If you are a cash patient, you can obtain your referral from any of the above mentioned providers. If you desire to use your insurance, your PCP, pain management doctor, surgeon, or psychiatrist may provide referrals that your insurance will accept.
  Now, you might think it is unnecessary and even limiting/invasive for this requirement to be in place. certainly it makes things more ...complicated... for me! However, it is a rule set in place for YOUR protection. Your doctor, who knows your medical history and your body is the best one to determine whether therapy is safe for you, or whether the potential risks outweigh the potential benefits. Also, your doctor should know all the things you are trying to alleviate pain as this gives her/him a more clear picture of your mindset and desire to get better.
   While JFB-MFR is extremely gentle, and I have successfully used it with patients as early as the day after surgery or the week after an auto accident , NOT ALL THERAPIES ARE THE SAME! Insurance companies and TBOTE cannot take so much time to categorize each therapy individually, and their greatest desire is to protect you, the patient. Your doctor is the best person to determine whether your body is ready for therapy.
   That being said, many doctors do not know much about JFB-myofascial release, and may be hesitant to refer a chronic pain patient to traditional therapy due to fear of increased symptoms. You may have to educate your doctor about it. Add to that the fact that as an OT in Lubbock, TX, I am a little off the traditional path of therapy practice. I do love to talk about what I do, however, and I have actually visited with doctors whose patients asked them to look into this therapy more before saying "no". Once a doctor is confident that this therapy will not harm her/his patient, the doctor is typically happy to refer, and both the doctor and patient can learn a new thing, and I gain new friends while myself learning new things!
   So the referral, while somewhat complicating the initial process, is a win-win-win in the long run.