Q: How do I know if FUNctionabilities is right for my child?
A: Right off the bat we will tell you that we are not for everyone. We are not for children with major physical disabilities or feeding tubes. Our gym is not set up for wheelchairs and there are other companies in our community who are fantastic with those children. We happily refer to them so that each child gets the best care possible for his / her needs. We have always sought to reach the children that are not already receiving life-changing services anywhere else. These are the children that do not receive enough services at school and the parents who haven’t received answers for their nagging concerns about their child. Typically, these children have sensory processing deficits, developmental delays, learning disabilities, speech and language delays, or autism. If you aren’t sure if your child is right for our services, please give us a call (801) 443-7775 option 1. Our intake process helps to clarify who is a good fit for our services so that we do not waste your time or your benefits if your child is not someone that we can help.
Q: How long will it take? How much will it cost?
A: These are usually the first questions we get; this is why we start telling you in our initial intake paperwork. We provide options that will help you cater to your specific situation for evaluations. Then we make our recommendation for your child’s treatment based on the complexity of your child’s condition, the goals you want to accomplish, and the observations and findings of our therapists. We then walk you through what your costs will be if you follow our plan of care.
Q: What if I only have a limited time available to bring my child for his / her appointments?
A: We try to work with everyone’s schedule; however, there often must be a give and take. Please keep in mind that we are working with hundreds of schedules. While we don’t believe in wait lists, if you limit your availability, we might have to put you on a wait list for that time. If you broaden your availability, we will be able to fit your child’s plan of care in to our schedule.
Q: Will my child always have the same therapist?
A: We try to be as effective as possible, which often means keeping children on the same therapists when possible. However, when people make changes to their schedule, therapists are gone, and for other reasons, it is not always possible to keep children on the same therapists all the time. There are also times and situations that we find it useful to change therapists for children who may need to learn how to work with new people.
Q: What if I need to change an appointment, who do I call?
A: Just call us at (801) 443-7775 option 4 and we will take care of you. Please avoid LAST-MINUTE* changes since this doesn’t give us enough time to give the slot to someone else who needs it.
*Repeated offenses will lead to fees and cancellation of future appointments.
Q: What if I can’t make my child’s appointment?
A: We understand that things can come up. All we ask is that you give us a 48-hour advanced notice. This gives us enough time to give the slot to another child who needs it. We incur a cost every time an appointment slot goes unfulfilled. This policy* helps us to keep our care and services affordable. Thank you for your cooperation.
*Repeated offenses may lead to fees and cancellation of future appointments.
Q: Why are there fees if I arrive late, cancel last-minute, or no-show to my child’s appointment?
A: We understand that sometimes things happen that may prevent you from making it to your child’s appointment. Our priority at FUNctionabilities is to improve the lives of the children and families that we serve. We haven’t always charged families fees and didn’t want to start, but it has become necessary for three reasons. First, when children miss sessions or time in their sessions, they cannot make the same progress. This can compromise your ability to utilize insurance. Second, we want all children to be able to access our services. When a child is frequently late, misses sessions, or no-shows, they are not only missing out on therapy, but also taking the place of another child who could be in that spot. Third, we have a responsibility to our employees. They have come to work and planned for your child, when you are late, cancel last minute, or no-show it compromises our ability to pay our employees.
Q: Can I bring my other children to appointments?
A: Children who do not require supervision can come and sit in the lobby with you. We must look at everyone’s experience, so we do not want to disturb other parents who are waiting in the lobby.
Q: What time do you open and close?
A: Typically, our office hours are:
Mondays: 1:45 pm – 6:30 pm
Tuesdays: 8:00 am – 12:45 pm; 1:45 pm – 6:30 pm
Wednesdays: 8:00 am – 12:45 pm; 1:45 pm – 6:30 pm
Thursdays: 8:00 am – 12:45 pm; 1:45 pm – 6:30 pm
Fridays: 8:00 am – 12:45 pm
Q: Why does FUNctionabilities suggest more therapy sessions per week than other clinics in our community?
A: We are unique in our community and have proven that this is a good thing. Outside of Utah, there are many more options for pediatric therapy and most of them utilize frequent sessions per week because it is MUCH more effective.
Q: Can my child attend longer sessions and come less frequently?
A: We have chosen our treatment times for several specific reasons. First, we found that our session lengths are the best for the attention, focus, and energy they require of each child. Second, it is best when therapy sessions can utilize the compounding effect which requires them more frequently. Third, we want to help as many children as possible and longer sessions equals less children treated in a day.
Q: Will I be able to attend therapy sessions with my child?
A: We understand the apprehension a parent might have when asked to leave their precious child with our therapists. However, we attribute our amazing results to our child-centered treatment model. Rest assured that we have performed background checks on everyone that works for us and because of our treatment model, no therapist is ever completely alone with your child. Here is why this is a crucial part of our treatment model. First, parents initial concern is often behaviors of some sort and it is very difficult for parents to see their child hit, kick, or cry. However, it is a necessary part of therapy that we see these behaviors so that we can help you and your child find peace faster. We don’t want you to suffer any longer. Second, children behave differently in front of their parents, and typically not in a way that improves therapy. We need to build a therapeutic alliance with your child so that they trust the journey we are on. Third, a driving force in our speech and occupational therapy is play, so it can be easy to misconstrue what we do when you don’t always know the what or why of the activity and subtle changes and adaptations we make to help your child learn a skill. Fourth, we have an open gym format for treating children, that although quite large, can get crowed when we add extra bodies. Most families in Utah have more than one child so this quickly becomes overwhelming to the children we treat. Fifth, we want to focus our attention strictly on your child. While we agree that your part is vital, we know you understand the feeling of being pulled in many different directions when all your children want your attention at the same time. The same is so for a therapist when parents and siblings are present. At our facility, we take a child-centered approach in the very strictest sense so that your child receives the best care we can offer. Many parents enjoy the break they get in the lobby while we are working with their child. We encourage you to be prepared to talk with us at the end of each session.
Q: What if I don’t agree with your diagnosis or evaluation?
A: Please understand we do NOT diagnose. We only assign ICD-10 treatment codes according to what you, your doctor, and our assessments tell us. We know that some children do not perform as well on “tests” as they perform in everyday life. However, we only have these “tests” from which to measure performance. As we proceed with treatment, it will quickly become apparent that they can perform better, and we can adjust goals and/or accelerate our plan of care if needed.
Q: Will my child’s behaviors get worse?
A: Behaviors might get worse for a short period of time as we start to implement the boundaries your child needs. They are not use to these boundaries and want to see if they can push them. This is good and necessary for improvement. Make sure you do what you say you will do. Keep your therapist informed about behavior changes so that they can help.
Q: What can I do?
A: You are your child’s greatest tool and we are on your team. Keep us informed of anything you feel might influence your child’s circumstances. Ask questions and do the home exercise program. Stick to the plan of care that we have discussed.
Q: What if we don’t do our home exercises, will that affect my child’s progress?
A: Yes. If you don’t do your program at home, or perform them irregularly, your child will not progress as fast. It’s important you take our instruction seriously if you want the best results.
Q: My child’s behaviors are much better, why do I need to keep bringing my child to therapy?
A: It’s important to understand that your child’s behaviors are caused by other underlying difficulties and require therapy to improve. It can be tempting to think you are ready to go but that’s when behaviors and problems often reoccur.
Q: What if I’m not happy with the care, who do I talk to?
A: It doesn’t happen very often, but should there be any problem, we ask that you talk to us. In most cases we find that a little communication goes a long way. Just call (801) 443-7775 extension 304 to speak with our “Care Coordinator.”
Q: Why can’t you give me an exact cost for the evaluation?
A: We individualize care, so we can provide the best evaluation for your child. Our evaluations are based on the complexity of your child’s condition, the goals you want to achieve, and the observations of our highly trained therapists. Unfortunately, this cannot be determined over the phone. We can however, provide you with a typical price range for our “Good” evaluation.
Q: Why do you require a card on file?
A: There are several reasons why this is becoming more common in the medical field. First, statements waste a lot of paper, postage, and staff time. Second, we believe that children deserve the best and we want to continue treatment without breaks so we need a guarantee of payment on file for each child. Third, we wait 30 to 60 days, and sometimes longer, for payment from your insurance company. Once that is received, we need to be sure that balances for patient-responsibility are paid in a timely manner.
Q: I have never had a doctor’s office ask to keep my card on file, I don’t understand.
A: We realize this is a relatively new policy for medical offices. But it is no different from leaving a credit card on file with Amazon or your cell phone provider. They only charge you when you order something or have a monthly bill. We will do the same thing after your insurance pays and charge the card on file if you have a balance each month.
Q: But I always pay my bills, why me?
A: We must be fair and apply the same policy to all our patients. This is our version of auto-pay so you don’t have to worry and don’t forget about your bill. We have wonderful patients and we know that most of you pay your balances. Unfortunately, this is not always the case with everyone.
Q: Why does my child need re-evaluations that I may have to pay for out of pocket?
A: Most insurance companies will cover these re-assessments that we have found to be essential to improve progress. We strive to constantly learn and improve. At the end of 2017, our owners did a lot of research into the best treatment methods as well as what was working best within our company. They discovered that we are reaching goals at astonishing levels (above what current research believes to be possible). The common denominators to our success were having specific knowledge about each child’s improvements and areas of concern (which requires standardized testing) and writing plans of care with more frequent visits. We based our FUN Program Pathway from this knowledge to help us better achieve our goal of improving the lives of children and creating more harmony at home.
Q: Can I get a refund on a cash package?
A: In the past when we have tried to be understanding, we dropped the discount to the next closest package if there is one. If you choose the highest discount package but do not follow through you are not entitled to the same discount as if you had. Our cash package discounts increase the more visits you pay for up front. We want to help you in any way that we can. So, our cash packages are non-refundable, but they are transferrable.
Q: What if I can’t afford the cost of my care, what should I do?
A: We hate it when finances get in the way of your child’s progress. At any time if you have financial concerns, let us know and we can help. We have special programs for those who have high deductibles or no insurance and can make it more affordable than you might think. So, don’t worry.
Q: What if I need to dispute my bill?
A: All you have to do is call us if you ever have a concern about your account. Mistakes are rare but can happen and we will apply a refund directly to your account if we have made a billing error. Unless you have established monthly payments with us, we only charge the amount your insurance company has marked as patient responsibility after applying any fees or discounts.
Q: Why do people occasionally have complaints about their bills or believe that medical professionals are all about the money?
A: Our philosophy has always been to be as transparent as possible because we do not like people to receive unexpected bills. In our experience, most complaints about money have to do with misunderstandings about insurance benefits, not wanting to pay fees for consistently being late or cancelling, or unexpected life events that make paying a known-bill daunting. In most of these cases, if you approach us with any questions and keep us abreast of any life events we can work things out, including setting up a payment plan if necessary. We love what we do but we also provide services with the expectation of payment for those services.
Q: I don’t really know my insurance benefits. Can you tell me what they are?
A: Unfortunately, there are so many health plans, we are not able to know them all. We verify that insurance plans are effective, but we do not always know the exact benefits of your plan.
Q: How do I find out about my benefits?
A: With rising costs of medical care, it is essential that you understand your child’s health insurance plan. Here are 3 ways to do it:
- Review your plan benefits with your insurance agent;
- If your plan comes from your job, you can review benefits with your Human Resources Director; or
- Call Customer Service at your insurance company. The phone number is usually on the back of your insurance card.
Q: What is a deductible?
A: The amount of money that you contract with your insurance company to pay out of pocket every year before your insurance begins to pay. There are different deductibles for office services and hospital services. Deductibles continue to get larger and larger, resulting in patients having greater out-of-pocket costs over and above their co-payment.
Q: Can I pay my co-pays as I go each session?
A: Yes, you can. We prefer to get the financial part taken care of up front, so we can focus solely on improving your child’s life. However, you may pay co-pays as you go if you prefer.
Q: What if I have 2 insurance plans?
A: You are very fortunate!! Each plan may have different policy benefits and deductibles. Again, we need your credit card on file just in case these plans do not cover all of your child’s services. Remember, we will not access your card on file until both plans have paid AND if they dictate a remaining patient responsibility.
Q: How will I know how much you are going to charge me?
A: For every visit, your insurance company mails an Explanation of Benefits (EOB) to you. This document shows how much your insurance paid and what you need to pay based on the benefits and the deductible of your policy. Our office receives the same information but typically after you do. We apply any payment we may receive then make any adjustments as per our contract, if we have one, with your insurance company and add any fees or discounts. The remainder is the amount that will be charged to the card on file and we will immediately email you a receipt.
Q: What if I have a really large bill?
A: Be proactive. Call us as soon as you receive your EOB. We are always happy to set up a payment plan. With our system, your card can automatically be charged each month. Contact our billing staff at (801) 443-7775 option 3 for all balances over $500 to discuss a plan.
Q: What if my insurance doesn’t pay you, what do I do?
A: Normally we give your insurance company several opportunities to respond to “failure to pay” situations, and we do everything we can on your behalf. We’ve been known to send appeals on your behalf and complaints to the insurance commissioner. We also encourage you to contact your insurance company because that often gets the issue resolved. If they still refuse to pay, unfortunately the bill will be your responsibility as is required by law. But don’t worry, you will be given advanced notice from us prior to this issue occurring.
Q: How do I get a copy of my medical records?
A: Just call (801) 443-7775 option 3 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. There may be a small fee based on the type and volume of records you request. Please allow for up to 30 days for requests to be fulfilled.
Q: Why do we charge consultation fees?
A: This one is simple. Our therapists are very good at what they do and are best served helping to improve the lives of children. Because of this, we must charge for their expert time just like any doctor, lawyer, therapist, etc. Our owners are the most experienced staff members and are busy wearing the many hats required to ensure your child receives the best services possible.