In my last columns, I introduced you to the concept of Transitions Physical Therapy being a neuromechanical PT specialist clinic. We explored the evidence of why seeing a neuromechanical expert is beneficial and that research shows a clear advantage to the utilization of a physical therapy specialist in three major areas,
Expertise Cost Savings Reduced Visits.
In this article, let’s address the second question, what does it mean for your wallet? The answer is cost savings. Utilization of a PT specialist first, or sooner than later, has been shown to reduce overall healthcare expenses.
· In a physical therapy cost review published in 2014 by Ojha et al, patients that directly accessed PT services payed $250 less per episode of care than those going through a referring provider.
· The same review cited a study by Mitchell and de Lissovoy, which found that paid insurance claims per episode of care were $1,232 less in the direct access group for all services per episode of physical therapy care.
· In a 2012 study by Fritz et al, it was reported that total low back pain expenditures averaged $2736.23 lower per episode in the patient group that received physical therapy within 14 days of their visit to their primary care than those in the group that received physical therapy after 14 days.
Again, as stated previously, in no way should PT be a substitute for your general practitioner, but when it comes to musculoskeletal conditions, the old philosophy of “rest it,” “it will go away,” and when it doesn’t, seek help, clearly increases your healthcare cost.