Attending the Combined Sections Meeting (CSM) in Las Vegas this February has made us reflect on the value that physical therapy provides for the future of healthcare and general quality of life. As physical therapists, we are excited to be engaging in such a vital role by improving patients’ overall function, naturally.
Physical therapists are doctors of movement and can effectively assess biomechanical challenges and movement patterns, as well as design a treatment plan to restore function. Hence, the greatest opportunity lies with seeing a physical therapist directly for those movement and pain-related injuries. This is called “Direct Access” in New York State, and it allows the community to seek a visit from a physical therapist without a referral (http://www.op.nysed.gov/prof/pt/ptfaq.htm).
At a great seminar at CSM by a fellow physical therapist, Tannus Quatre, PT, MBA, we were able to see a broad view on the value of physical therapy in this chaotic healthcare environment.
By 2020, there will be a shortage of 91,000 physicians in the U.S., creating the need for primary care movement specialists a need for our active population. This is a tremendous opportunity for physical therapists to serve the community and improve the efficiency in wait time and medical appointments.
In the age of social media and increased access to medical information on the internet, the general population represents a strong educated consumer. Copays, medical premiums, and deductibles are at an all-time high, and each health care visit is taken with tremendous scrutiny. Consumers of health care want value, convenience, and results.
Physical therapists are working hard to share more of their valuable information with the general public in an effort to help them understand the unique benefits of physical therapy. For years, physical therapists were jokingly referred to as “PT” – which stood for “pain and torture.” However, thanks to significant research contributions, doctoral degrees, and outstanding patient satisfaction, the profession has gained tremendous respect.
Physical therapists are now experts not only in movement, but also in areas such as manual (hands-on) therapies, concussions, vestibular (dizziness), and physical therapy during pregnancy.
To take a look at the value a physical therapist can provide you, please visit us at www.sptny.com.