By Tim Leeds
Daimon Parrotte opened his physical therapy clinic, Physical Therapy Down Under, full time effective Monday, Dec. 18.
Parrotte had been working at his clinic part time since it opened Nov. 1, and continuing to work at the Fork Belknap Agency. He said he has recently been seeing five to ten people a day at his clinic, and decided to start working there full time. His last day at the agency was Friday, Dec. 15.
Parrotte said the agency is contracting with Northern Montana Hospital for physical therapy right now, but they are looking for a full time therapist to replace him.
Parrotte said he has been working 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. most days, and is continuing to see clients after hours and on weekends.
"Which has been very popular," he said. "... Since we started, most people really like that we're open after hours."
He said it makes it very convenient that they don't have to take time off from work or schedule an appointment on their day off, and so on.
"It's my time," he said, "and I don't mind when I see people."
Parrotte said the business is steadily building, but they still have plenty of spots to get people in. He said they have been able to see everyone on the same day they called.
Parrotte said he has been seeing people for sports injuries, and they have basically set it up so he is on call to see people the same night if they are injured in a game. He has also gone on site to workplaces to make recommendations to people having neck pain and the like.
"We're just trying to do a variety of things to try to meet the community's needs," he said.
He said he usually spends 45 to 60 minutes with each client, depending on the needs of the client, one to three times a week. He said some clients only need to come once or twice, while others have been coming for six to eight weeks.
The clinic has received quite a bit of the equipment he uses, Parrotte said, although more is still on the way.
"It's been a story of ordering stuff and waiting and sending it back," he said. "But we're getting there."
He now has one wide padded treatment bed, another fixed-height treatment bed and a variable height treatment bed.
"This one is the Rolls Royce, the Cadillac of treatment beds," he said about the variable height unit.
Parrotte also has a variety of other equipment in stock, including pulleys, exercise bands and exercise balls. He said he's hoping to add a bicycle and treadmill, and may look at other equipment as well. He has also started ordering special medical equipment for his clients as needed, Parrotte said.
He said they have received preferred provider status with Blue Cross, Medicare and Medicaid, and are still working on receiving that status with other companies. Preferred providers are generally able to bill the company directly instead of the patient, often at a lower rate and with less out-of-pocket expense for the patient.
Parrotte and his wife, Kristi, who is also the office manager for the business, are continuing to decorate the clinic with an Australian theme. Parrotte is originally from Australia, but has been practicing in the United States since 1993. He has also practiced in Australia, Canada and England.
Parrotte said he opened the private clinic to provide an alternative, another option, for people in the community who need physical therapy. He graduated from a five-year physiotherapy program in Australia, and is licensed by the state Board of Physical Therapy as well as the U.S. national board.