Health care visionary and expert, Fran Fowler is back for a second podcast exploring the market trends impacting physical therapy in 2011. Fowler predicts 2011 to be a bit of a roller coaster ride for the physical therapy industry.
One unfortunate physical therapy market trend that is likely to continue is lower reimbursement rates. Some insurance groups are even paying less if a patient is seen by a physical therapy assistant instead of a physical therapist. Only time will tell if this trend will be adopted on a broader scale. Fowler also states the Stark Law which governs physician self-referral for Medicare and Medicaid patients as an area that may be further examined which could also impact reimbursement rates for physician-owned physical therapy clinics.
As the cost for care shifts more to consumers, Fowler predicts patients may not always be able to afford all of the visits prescribed. To overcome this challenge, she recommends physical therapists invest in educating patients. She adds physical therapists need to help consumers understand that saving a few dollars on physical therapy now may end up costing more in the future. Or even worse, limited function over time.
On the positive side, Fowler sees demand for physical therapy continuing to grow. Another market trend that continues to show promise is the clinics that focus on prevention, health and wellness in addition to traditional physical therapy services. Sports injury prevention programs that focus on preventing common injuries like ACL will continue to offer additional income opportunities for physical therapy clinics.
Listen now for additional physical therapy market trends you can take advantage of in 2011. If you’re interested in contacting Fran Fowler for additional information, you can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.