Physical Therapy First Can Reduce Healthcare Costs

A policy brief (click here to read the brief), dated February 2016, from the Health Care Cost Institute states that patients with lower back pain who received direct physical therapy care had reduced healthcare costs when compared to patients who were seen by another provider first. Also, patients who visited a physical therapist at the beginning of their treatment were less likely to end up in an emergency room.

Back Pain.

Low back pain is one of the, if the, most common occurrences in the healthcare setting and a likely contribution to disability, and increased healthcare costs. The researchers looked at claims data showing three different groups of people: 1) those who never saw a physical therapist, 2) those who saw a physical therapist later in their treatment, and 3) those who immediately received physical therapy.

The study also found that patients who saw a physical therapist first were less likely to be prescribed a painkiller when compared to others who saw a different type of clinician. The policy brief also reports that visiting with a physical therapist first WILL reduce the use of costly healthcare services and reduce healthcare spending across the board.

“The findings from this study suggest that seeing a physical therapist as the first point of care compared to seeing a physical therapist at a later point in time (or not seeing a PT) reduces utilization of potentially costly services,” the study from the Health Care Cost Institute stated.

The practice of Physical Therapy in California allows for patients to be directly seen by a physical therapist without the need to see a physician first.  There are some limitations to this, as defined by your insurance plan.  Most every patient who has coverage under a “PPO” plan can be seen by a physical therapist first!

Would you like to schedule a FREE Discovery Visit to find out exactly what is wrong? This is a FREE visit with a physical therapy who can give you answers, and save money on your health care!  For your FREE Discovery visit, Click Here to Schedule Today!

Andrew Vertson

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