Group physical therapy was a way to have patients come together and participate in activities where they could encourage one another and watch each other progress. Since the decline in reimbursements for this type of activity, it's no longer economically feasible for facilities and therapists to do this. In some instances, the group coding may have been abused and overused. With the old system, two therapists could have seen eight patients in an hour and billed accordingly and someone made big bucks when this type of group billing was the norm.
Getting away from groups was not the brightest thing to do though. Yes, the one-therapist-to-four-patients ratio was probably overly abused by some companies but when patients have some sort of workout partner their accountability to participate in their own care should increase. We read and are told to walk or hike with a buddy, work out with a friend, have a running or lifting partner etc. Where are the patients' workout buddies?
I instruct patients in the proper technique of the exercises but I don't perform all the exercises along with them. Another patient with the same or a similar diagnosis would. Two knee patients could compare stories, discuss surgeons, do range-of-motion comparisons, and encourage one another with their exercises and gait.
But I'm sure there would be some therapist who still messes this up for the rest of us and has two comatose patients trying to play volleyball or barely gripping a weight, while they talk about what they did over the weekend to another care provider for an hour.