Your Child's Physical Therapy Appointment

Your child’s outpatient physical therapy appointment will be scheduled at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Buerger Center for Advanced Pediatric Care located on the Raymond G. Perelman Campus in Philadelphia or one of the CHOP Care Network Specialty Care Centers that provide PT services.

To schedule your child’s outpatient physical therapy appointment:

  • Your child must have a prescription prior to scheduling an physical therapy visit. If the referring physician is outside of CHOP, the prescription can be faxed to 215-590-7661 or sent via email (
  • You may call 215-590-5819 to complete the intake process after the prescription is received. Please have the following information available when you call:
    • Child’s insurance card
    • Calendar to choose best time and day
    • Whether or not your child is being referred from a clinic
  • The location of your child’s visit will be decided based on your family’s schedule and therapist availability. Directions for each location are available online.

On the day of your child’s appointment

Please plan to arrive 15 to 30 minutes before your appointment. This will allow for unplanned transportation delays and give you enough time to find parking and complete the registration process before the appointment. We need the full therapy session to meet the goals set by you and your child’s therapist. 

If you are more than 15 minutes late for your appointment, you may need to reschedule for another time or day or with another therapist. Your appointment may also be cancelled.

At the Buerger Center for Advanced Pediatric Care, you will need to check in at the Giant Welcome desk on the first floor prior to your child’s appointment on the 4th floor.

During registration, please have the following information ready:

  • Your child’s social security number
  • Your child’s medical insurance card
  • Co-pay (you may find the amount of your co-pay on your insurance card, under "specialty")

During your child's appointment

Typically a physical therapy appointment lasts approximately an hour. Specific PT interventions or tools will be based on your child’s medical condition and specific needs.

Copy of medical records

To request a copy of your child’s medical record, please contact our Medical Records Department at 215-590-7720.

Information for scheduling medical transportation

Medical Assistance recipients are eligible for transportation to physical therapy appointments. Prior to calling for medical transportation, you should have the following information ready:

  • The name and address of the physical therapist your child will be seeing
  • Date and time of the scheduled appointment
  • Physical Therapy department phone number: 215-590-5819

Inform the transportation company that you need to arrive 45 minutes to an hour prior to your scheduled appointment time to allow for check-in.

You can find this information on the After Visit Summary form you received after your child’s initial evaluation.

Visit the Resources page for a list of companies that provide medical transportation.

Physical therapy frequency guidelines for effective outcomes

The goal of any therapy program is to provide children and families with the knowledge and skills they need to manage daily challenges after formal therapy has ended. Therapy helps each child develop the skills required for the job of living.

Our facility provides physical therapy for acute medical needs. Working within this framework, therapy programs are designed in the short term with clearly identified functional goals. Progress toward these goals is assessed throughout, and the need for continued therapy is assessed about every three months.

Studies have shown that children achieve targeted goals, acquire functional skills and show quicker developmental progress when parents and professionals work together. We believe that you are the key to your child’s success.

Therapists use these guidelines to help determine how frequently and how long therapy services are needed for each child. The four frequency categories for therapy are:

1. Intensive Therapy – three visits weekly

This frequency is used for children who:

  • have immediate/complex needs
  • are quickly achieving goals
  • are at risk for losing function due to a current medical condition
  • need frequent visits for a limited length of time n require intense family education due to rapid clinical progress

2. Weekly/Biweekly Therapy – one to two times each week or every other week

This frequency is used for children who:

  • make steady progress toward their goals
  • need to see a skilled therapist for regular visits for a limited time

Parents learn to safely perform exercises and activities with their child, and a routine home program is established.

3. Periodic Therapy – monthly or at regularly scheduled intervals

This frequency is used for children who:

  • show slower progress toward their goals
  • are successful in implementing a routine home program to maintain and progress in their skills
  • need periodic sessions with a therapist to check on function, to provide treatment and to update the home program

4. Consultative Therapy – as necessary

This frequency is used for children who have been discharged from therapy and need to consult with a therapist. These services may be needed when:

  • your child improves or regresses
  • medical interventions that occur in stages are planned
  • your child is ready to perform a new task as a result of changes in age, developmental stage, life cycle, physical environment or social environment
  • new assistive technology becomes available

When appropriate, re-enrollment in therapy for a defined period of time may be recommended.

Changing frequency and ending therapy

Transitioning from one frequency of therapy to another occurs when your child moves from one life stage to another, from one functional level to another, from one program to another, or from one environment to another (for example, going from hospital inpatient to home, or going from preschool to school).

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