Note: The procedures and requirements for applying for and receiving physical therapy may vary between countries. This information describes the current situation in Germany.
Physical therapy is often part of a treatment plan at a hospital. It is then done in the hospital. To have outpatient treatment at a physical therapy practice, you need a prescription from a doctor. A prescription generally includes six treatment sessions, each typically lasting 15 to 20 minutes. People have about one to three appointments per week, depending on what the doctor prescribes.
The treatment has to start no longer than 28 days after the doctor wrote the prescription, otherwise the prescription won’t be valid after that. If the treatment is needed urgently, it has to start within 14 days. The doctor must write this on the prescription.The time between treatment sessions shouldn't be longer than 14 days. If there is a longer break between sessions and there is no good reason, the prescription is no longer valid.
Unless you are exempt from copayments, you have to pay 10 euros per prescription plus 10% of the treatment costs yourself. The costs of different treatments vary. If, for instance, one treatment costs 20 euros, you will have to pay 22 euros for six treatments (the basic fee of 10 euros per prescription, plus 6 x 2 euros).
For the medical conditions listed above, the costs of prescribed physical therapy (apart from the above-mentioned copayment fees) are often covered by statutory health insurers. If physical therapy is needed as a part of rehabilitative care, your accident insurer or pension fund will cover the costs.