October is National Physical Therapy Month, and this year’s theme focuses on the economic value that physical therapy provides to the client. We know that physical therapy can help you recover after an injury or surgery, but it can also be an incredibly cost effective option that can save you thousands of dollars if you pursue PT over other forms of treatment.
The reason the economic value of physical therapy is the focus of this year’s PT month is because a landmark report commissioned by the American Physical Therapy Association recently assigned a value to physical therapy when it is pursued for eight major conditions in lieu of other services. In today’s blog, we take a closer look at the economic value of physical therapy for treating a variety of conditions.
The Value Of Physical Therapy
The new independent report commissioned by the APTA decided to look at the economic value of pursuing physical therapy over other treatments for eight specific conditions that affect tens of millions of Americans. Those eight conditions are:
- Knee osteoarthritis
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Low back pain
- Stress urinary incontinence
- Tennis elbow
- Vascular claudication
- Falls prevention
- Cancer rehabilitation
For the report, the term economic value means calculating the financial benefits of choosing physical therapy over other options. Financial benefits were measured by calculating a dollar value for improvements in quality of life. Researchers also looked at some of the costs that could be avoided by pursuing physical therapy compared to other treatments, like payments for treatment sessions, out of pocket costs and the cost of surgery or for being hospitalized by a fall. They even assigned value to hidden costs like travel time for treatment and missed life events.
Let’s take a look at the economic impact of choosing physical therapy over alternative forms of care. Estimates from the report suggest that choosing physical therapy over rounds of corticosteroid injections has a net value benefit to the patient of $13,941. Instead of choosing a wait and see approach coupled with primary physician care, a patient who chooses early physical therapy stands to see a net benefit of $4,160, according to the study. Choosing PT over injections for urinary incontinence offers a net benefit of $10,129, while patients who choose physical therapy over alternate treatments for carpal tunnel syndrome could see a net benefit of $39,533. The remaining net benefit amounts for the studied conditions are as follows:
- Tennis elbow – $10,739
- Vascular claudication – $24,125
- Falls prevention – $2,144
- Cancer rehabilitation – $3,514
As you can see, physical therapy can save you thousands of dollars by helping you overcome a condition sooner and without needing to pursue costlier treatment options. There is immense value to choosing physical therapy for your health issue, and let us show you how we can add that value to your life. For more information, or to set up an appointment with the team at OrthoRehab Specialists, give our team a call today at (612) 339-2041.