Frequently Asked Questions
What about the cost of therapy?
One of the first questions we are often asked is the cost of therapy. At Emerge, we understand that therapy can be expensive, and we do everything we can to make therapy affordable for families. Emerge is primarily a private pay clinic and we work hard to keep our charges as low as possible. There are no hidden or ‘facility’ fees which can add $135-150 per treatment session. As a result, Emerge is now one of the most economical choices for families. We are now able to offer complimentary filing for major medical insurances. Many of our families are receiving 50-80 % of the cost of therapy through out of-network provisions in their insurance plans, although this does vary depending on the policy.
Does Emerge accept my insurance?
We are in-network providers for all Tricare insurance plans, Health Choice and NC Medicaid. We will bill these plans directly and collect any co-payments and deductibles as necessary.
Are there other options for funding my child’s therapy?
Large institutions such as IBM, SAS, and UNC Faculty Physicians often offer a separate funding source that may cover the therapy and educational needs of children with special needs. Please confirm with your personnel director or a phone call to your insurance company to discuss your specific benefits. Health Savings Accounts (HSA’s), Health Reimbursement Account (HRA) and any plan where you are able to set aside funds for medical expenses (Flex) via your employer may also be used for therapy. Ask your employer about these options. In the case of documented economic hardship, we may sometimes offer a small scholarship to cover a portion of the cost of therapy.
Why is Emerge out-of network for my insurance?
Emerge is an out-of-network provider for one reason, and one reason only — we strive to provide the highest quality of care to our clients and their families. As an out-of-network provider, we are able to deliver high-quality therapeutic services. In order to provide this level of service, we limit our therapists’ caseloads. This allows our therapists to spend more time on your child’s care — time that goes beyond your scheduled appointment time. Read more below to learn more about what it means to receive high-quality therapeutic services.
Not all speech, occupational, and physical therapy services are created equal. Our therapy services are not cookie-cutter or one-size-fits-all. At Emerge:
- We treat the WHOLE child. This means that we do not just look at your child’s communication, occupational, or physical therapy needs. We are constantly trying to understand your child and their place in the world. This allows us to not only provide the highest quality of care, but to make appropriate referrals to other providers, recommendations for home and school, and to collaborate with your child’s other providers and teachers.
- We use a variety of skilled, evidence-based intervention practices that are customized to your child’s needs. Skilled interventions are interventions that only licensed therapists with advanced training can provide. Advanced training means the therapist has had continuing education, in addition to a Master’s degree, to learn these skilled intervention practices. Evidence-based interventions are interventions that have been deemed effective by scientific research.
- We treat in a state-of-the-art facility using current and innovative equipment and materials. Our facilities, equipment, and materials have all been designed to meet the specific needs and interests of children. We also have the resources to appropriately address the concerns of teens and young adults.
- We provide high-quality caregiver education and support. This means spending time with each caregiver at the end of the session, or during the session, to discuss treatment and recommendations for home and school, and making ourselves available to address questions and concerns about your child as they arise. We spend time thinking and planning how to carry-over therapy skills developed in the clinic to home and school. We see ourselves as a partner with our clients’ caregivers. We are in this together!
- In addition to time spent providing caregiver education, we also offer a unique feature for families called the Practice Portal. The Practice Portal is a place where families can access therapist selected reading materials, videos, and practice exercises for home programing, 24/7. Each client’s Practice Portal is unique to them, with their own private login. No more lost emails or handouts. Everything is now stored in a convenient and easy to use location. See a preview here.
- Our evaluation reports are not a template form or a checklist. Our evaluation reports are customized for each, individual child.
What should I look for in a therapy clinic?
If your child has received therapy in the past elsewhere, or if you are about to start therapy at a new clinic, ask yourself:
- Is/are my child’s therapist(s) treating them as a WHOLE child?
- What skilled, evidenced-based interventions is the therapist using?
- Are you receiving high-quality caregiver education and support?
- Are your concerns listened to and addressed?
- Are the evaluation reports thorough and customized?
- Do you feel the kind of positive energy needed to support change and development?
- Is the facility modern, bright and cheerful? Is it a facility that caters to the interests and spirit of a child?
- Do you and your child feel comfortable and welcome?
- Can you easily find a parking spot? Is parking free of charge?
- Have you visited the clinic before your first appointment?
Before you make a decision about where to bring your child for your therapy, it is highly recommended that you visit all of the clinics that you are considering in order to guarantee the best fit for your child.
Should I visit Emerge before my first appointment?
Please schedule a visit with us! We’d be happy to answer your questions in person. Come see how we provide high-quality therapeutic services to our clients and their families. We are happy to accommodate both in-person and virtual tours.
The bigger question to ask yourself might be what is the harm of not doing therapy? What is the long-term impact for your child and your family if they continue to struggle with communication, sensory, motor, social and/or behavioral challenges? We know that most children do not outgrow these challenges and those persistent struggles coping with the demands of everyday life often lead to secondary self-esteem, behavioral and/or emotional consequences.
How does occupational therapy differ from physical therapy?
Pediatric occupational therapy uses a holistic approach to help a child achieve independence and participation in their daily routines and environments. This may include helping a child better regulate to transition throughout their day without tantrums, sequence activities of daily living for getting ready for school, helping them sustain attention to complete school work, or improving motor coordination. Pediatric physical therapy helps a child with more physical rehabilitation needs that will support them being able to safely and successfully access their environments.
What does an evaluation look like?
We want you and your child to know what to expect when coming to Emerge for an evaluation. More detailed information about occupational, speech/language, and physical therapy evaluations can be found on our website HERE . Evaluations vary in length from 1 to 2 hours and can also include a caregiver meeting and/or school observation. We always spend time at the beginning of the evaluation getting to know your child and building rapport. Many evaluations, particularly for school-age children, include standardized testing at a table, but some focus more heavily on engagement in play or in movement tasks. If you decide to set up an evaluation with us, the therapist you speak with initially over the phone will give you specifics on the length, what will be covered in the session, and how to prepare your child.
How long does therapy take?
Unfortunately we cannot give a definitive total length of therapy. Sessions are typically scheduled once or twice weekly. Speech therapy sessions are scheduled for 30, 45, or 60 minutes, depending on the child’s age and particularly needs, while occupational and physical therapy sessions are typically 45 or 60 minutes. We know that children make faster progress in therapy when it starts out intensively, and when there is carryover in the home setting. We place a strong emphasis on parent/caregiver education for this reason; it’s important to us that you feel empowered to help your child.
Do you see adolescent or adult clients?
YES! While 90% of the population that receives services at Emerge is under 13, we do see both adolescent and adult clients. We have a whole variety of tools, resources, and curriculums that are specifically geared toward the adolescent child. All of our therapists are trained to deliver skilled intervention for children of any age!
We also see adult clients in our clinic, typically on a consultation basis. As sensory processing has become more mainstream, many adults are finding that they have sensory processing differences that are making participation in a one or more areas of their life more difficult than it should be. We work closely with these clients to understand how they are interpreting their world using both interview and standardized questionnaires, and we provide home programs and clinical treatment plans to help these individuals in their daily interactions.
Do you do consultation?
Yes! We are glad to provide consultation to your child’s school or daycare setting to help them learn and apply strategies that work for your child. In addition, we offer educational presentations targeted toward teachers/schools. More information can be found here.
What about home therapy?
We can occasionally offer therapy in the home setting in order to better understand how the child interacts in their home environment. We are not able to do this on an ongoing basis, due to challenges around travel time and in clinic treatment sessions.
Additionally, most of the children who receive services at Emerge greatly benefit from the use of the specialized sensory equipment we have in the clinic to optimize progress toward their goals.
Do you go to schools?
We provide individualized therapy services in several private schools in Durham and Chapel Hill. In addition, we have relationships with many other area schools and are happy to provide consultation and educational presentations.