top of page

If You Like a Good Bargain, You Are Going to LOVE Physical Therapy

If You Like a Good Bargain, You Are Going to LOVE Physical Therapy It is no secret that prices have been going up. Gas is expensive. Food is expensive. The housing market is crazy. If you are looking for ways to pinch some pennies or stretch your dollars, physical therapy might be just what you are looking for.

Physical Therapy Saves Cost A study that looked at the claims data of 472,000 Medicare beneficiaries with back pain found that when physical therapy was the first treatment, costs were 19% lower than when people got injections first and 75% lower than for people who were sent straight to surgery. The study also found that in the year following diagnosis, people who got physical therapy first had costs 18% lower than those who got injections, and 54% lower than those in the surgery group. Another example happened in 2006 when Virginia Mason Health Center in Seattle teamed up with Aetna and Starbucks. They sent workers with back pain to see both a physical therapist and physician for their first treatment. Use of MRI dropped by 1/3, people got better faster, missed less work and were more satisfied with their care. The cost savings was so great that Virgina Mason was losing money on treating back pain, so Aetna ended up paying them more for physical therapy treatments because they were saving so much money.

Physical Therapy First Means Fewer Visits… A paper published in Physical Therapy looked at outcomes when patients went to a physical therapy first vs. seeing a physician first for back pain. It found that patients who went to their physician first needed 33 physical therapy visits on average, while those who went to their physical therapy first only needed 20. Seeing a physical therapist first saves money, but it also saves time.

It Also Means Better Outcomes A study of 150,000 insurance claims published in Health Services Research, found that those who saw a physical therapist at the first point of care had an 89 percent lower probability of receiving an opioid prescription, a 28 percent lower probability of having advanced imaging services, and a 15 percent lower probability of an emergency department visit.

1 view0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

February is American Heart Month

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Cardiovascular diseases affect the heart and circulatory system

I’m injured or sore. Should I use HEAT or ICE??

This is a very common question asked in physical therapy! Let’s break down a few pros and cons of each modality. If in doubt, you can always ask your physical therapist which one might be best for you

7 Things Your Physical Therapist Wished You Knew

Your physical therapist has a lot of advice, but because their main focus is on your well-being, they might not have an opportunity to share it with you. Here are a few things they wish you knew. With

bottom of page