Physical Therapy

Why Physical Therapy

Atlas Home Health has experienced physical therapists that will help you to develop, maintain and restore maximum functional ability after surgery, traumatic event or illness.

They will perform treatments to reduce your risk of falling by increasing your flexibility, balance and coordination, promote movement and reduce pain.

In order for physical therapy to be covered by the Medicare home health benefit, your care must be necessary and ordered by your doctor for your specific condition. You must be home bound and only need care on a part-time or intermittent basis (not full time).

On their first visit, the physical therapist will perform an initial assessment of your overall health and functional ability. After that, the physical therapist will make regularly scheduled visits to your home. If you need other therapy or nursing services, you will receive an initial assessment and regularly scheduled home visits from those nurses/therapists as well. Doctor’s orders are needed to start care. 


Physical therapy services are given by a licensed physical therapist or a physical therapy assistant. If you receive care from a physical therapy assistant, they will be supervised by a licensed physical therapist.

Our physical therapists will:

  • Get you moving and functioning after a surgery, traumatic event or illness.
  • Help you return to your previous level of ability and movement.
  • Teach you how to be safe in your home.
  • Prepare you for outpatient therapy.

    What a Typical Visit Looks Like

    A typical home health visit from a physical therapist may include:

    • Education on your disease process as well as ideas on how to keep you safe in your current living environment.
    • Checking your vital signs.
    • Checking for signs and symptoms of infections and blood clots that are common after surgery.
    • Range of motion exercises that will help improve flexibility.
    • Exercises to improve your balance and coordination to help prevent falls and increase your independence.
    • Dressing changes and wound care for staples or stitches left behind from surgery.
    • Developing a progressive, on-going home exercise program that you can do on your own.
    • Helping to control your pain including education on the use of hot and cold to enhance tissue repair.
    • Teaching you about the safe use of the equipment and other safety measures within your home.

    Technical Terms & Rules

    The following are technical terms and Colorado and Medicare rules for Home Health Physical Therapy:

    • A3-3118.2, HHA-205.2: The service of a physical therapist, speech-language pathologist, or occupational therapist is a skilled therapy service if the inherent complexity of the service is such that it can be performed safely and/or effectively only by or under the general supervision of a skilled therapist. To be covered, the skilled services must also be reasonable and necessary to the treatment of the patient’s illness or injury or to the restoration or maintenance of function affected by the patient’s illness or injury.

      In order for therapy services to be covered, one of the following three conditions must be met:

      1. The skills of a qualified therapist are needed to restore patient function.

      2. The patient’s condition requires a qualified therapist to design or establish a maintenance program.

      3. The skills of a qualified therapist are needed to perform maintenance therapy.

      And, the amount, frequency, and duration of the services must be reasonable.


    • Any therapy service offered by the Agency directly or under arrangement shall be provided by a qualified therapist or by a qualified therapy assistant under the supervision of a qualified therapist and in accordance with the plan of care as permitted by Colorado Therapy Practice Acts (Colorado Revised Statutes, Title 12, Article 41)
    • Goals and outcomes are directed toward maintaining, improving or restoring the patient’s self-care, responsibility, quality of life and level of functioning.
    • Services provided by a physical therapist include:
      • Initial and ongoing assessments to determine level of functioning, including OASIS assessments at appropriate time points.
      • Developing and revising the plan of care in consultation with the physician and other care team members.
      • Identifying barriers to desired outcomes.
      • Goal setting.
      • Providing therapeutic treatments.
      • Teaching patient/family.
      • Evaluation of equipment needs to increase functional level.
      • Preparing clinical and progress notes.
      • Coordinating services in consultation with family and home health staff.
      • Evaluating the effectiveness and outcomes of care.
      • Supervising Therapy Assistants.
      • Participating in in-service programs.
      • Planning for discharge.