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PTA Blog Talk

One-on-One Therapy

Published September 11, 2013 4:05 PM by Jason Marketti
I was reading about a facility that promises one-on-one hourly sessions of physical therapy with a DPT. My first thought was, "How can that facility financially support so many DPTs and see seven to eight patients a day per therapist?" The reimbursement isn't there to make this an effective use of a DPT's skills and training. And if a patient cancels, there will be a large hole in the therapist's day.

I would think a better way is to have several PTAs seeing patients and one DPT could advise, direct and consult with the patients as they are progressing under the supervision of a PTA. The facility would effectively stay in business with reduced reimbursements and the cost per full-time employee would be less. Some may argue the financial gain is not worth it, but it is. When the reduction of reimbursements is finalized, there may be some associates who will need to be let go because the cost to retain them outweighs what insurances will pay for their skilled care. This should have no reflection on their knowledge and patient care abilities; it's a financial decision to keep a company afloat in a volatile healthcare market.

If every facility in the country was to develop a plan to have one-on-one sessions with only PTs, treatments would be delayed, missed or never done at all, and this is not in the best interest of the public. We could advise patients that all therapeutic treatments will be provided by individuals who are licensed to provide physical therapy services and their care will be directed by a physical therapist. But this would not jibe with the APTA's RC 4-11 and would certainly not help the case for RC 7-11.

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I agree partially with the argument. I am apt with my masters and my dpt. I value PTAs a lot. I feel your plan would almost deminish the  PT and their skill set. I think the mix and collaboration is best for cost and for patient care.

derek September 11, 2013 7:12 PM

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About this Blog

    Jason J. Marketti
    Occupation: Physical Therapist Assistant
    Setting: San Jacinto, CA
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