what is hand therapy?

  • Hand therapy is the art and science of evaluating and treating injuries and conditions of the upper extremity (shoulder, arm, elbow, forearm, wrist and hand). It uses a number of therapeutic interventions to help return a person to their highest level of function. It evolved from the need for a specialist with the knowledge and experience required to manage the challenging recovery of complex hand and upper extremity injuries.

  • This will depend mostly on your insurance plan

    • For private insurance (Blue Cross/Shield, Aetna, Etc.): Direct Access in the state of California allows you to see a PT/OT without a referral up to 12 visits.  After that you will need to see a doctor to continue therapy.  Most plans require that we at least send a doctor who has seen you for your condition a plan of care to be certified within 30 days of your initial evaluation.  Contact your insurance company to receive details per their policy.

    • For Medicare:  You can begin therapy without a doctor’s referral but will need to see one within 30 days to ensure certification of your evaluation plan of care.  Medicare also requires that you follow up with this physician every 30 days while you in therapy.

  • If you choose to begin therapy before you see a physician, your therapist can advise if you do need to see a physician to order more extensive diagnostic testing like X-Rays, MRIs, EMGs, etc. that can help them ensure they are executing the best treatment plan for your injury/condition

Do i need a referral for hand therapy?

do you accept my insurance?

  • We gladly accept all private insurance, worker’s comp, and are participating Medicare providers.

  • We do not contract with any insurance plans outside of Medicare. **

    • This means our services will be covered using any available out of network benefits. If you are not sure what kind of out network coverage your plan has, contact our office and we can verify all these benefits for you. 

    • Payment for services will be due upfront for most plans and we will submit claims for you to your insurance carrier.  Contact our office for more information on your specific plan.

    • You are able use your FSA/HSA for your payments.  We can provide receipts and statements for you if necessary.

  • We do not take lien cases.


  • Hand Rehab Associates’ ultimate goal is to meet each patient’s individual treatment needs and rehab goals. We strive to provide more one on one time with your therapist. We have found that most insurance contracts do not allow us the freedom to do that.  We want you and your therapist to be in control of your care, not your insurance plan.

why don’t you contract with my plan?

  • You can expect a thorough examination of your injury, complaints, and rehab goals.  Your therapist will work with you to create an individual treatment plan and provide supportive home activities to help get you meet those goals. 

  • As time permits, we are able to provide initial treatment and orthotic fabrication/fitting with your evaluation.

What can I expect at my evaluation?

  • Your evaluation will take about 60 – 90mins depending on severity of your injury, medical history, and symptoms.  This will also depend on if we need to fabricate a custom orthotic for you as well.

  • Follow up appointments vary from 45 – 75 mins.

How long will my appointment take?

  • You should bring with you any important information pertaining to your injury.  This includes but is not exclusive to your referral from your doctor, any diagnostic results (X-rays, MRI, EMG, etc.), list of surgeries (last 5 years for general, all time for upper extremity), and current medications that you are taking. 

  • You can also email this information ahead of time to staff@handrehabassociates.com

  • If you would like to fill out intake paperwork ahead of your evaluation, see available forms here.   

What should I bring to my appointment?

  • This varies depending on the area we will be working on. Your therapist may make other suggestions after your initial evaluation.

  • Fingers, hands, wrists and elbows we suggest a short sleeve shirt. For elbows, ensure the sleeve is loose enough to fold up the arm.

  • Uppers arms, shoulders, and neck we suggest a tank top or very stretchy shirt so that can reach your neck and upper back.

What should I wear to my appointment?

  • You may contact the office at 650-839-1800 and request your records.  Records will take 24-48hrs to provide.

  • Records can be emailed or faxed at no cost (depending in size of chart.) Printed records can be provided for a fee of $15 or $25 depending on size of chart.

What if I need a copy of my records?