Innovations in Practice

Many exciting and innovative practice models are being utilized today by physical therapists across the country and internationally. These models are as diverse as the environments in which physical therapists practice. Some new delivery models are exploring innovative ways of addressing barriers of payment, physician owned physical therapy practices, and staff shortages. Others take advantage of opportunities in new areas or practice or utilize new technologies.

New collaborative care models include accountable care organizations, bundled payment models, patient-centered medical homes, and the health systems rehabilitation community.

Seeking Innovations in Practice

APTA is involved in myriad activities that explore models of physical therapist care throughout the United States and internationally.

Innovation 2.0
APTA is launching Innovation 2.0, a new project that will provide funding and mentoring to innovators who are developing or participating in innovative payment and service delivery models that promote the role of physical therapy.

Submit a letter of intent to participate by January 20, 2014. Formal proposal submission will be open January 17-February 13, 2014.

Innovation Summit: Collaborative Care Models
On March 8, 2013, APTA hosted the Innovation Summit: Collaborative Care Models, a groundbreaking event that brought together physical therapists, physicians, large health systems, and policy makers to discuss the current and future role of physical therapy in integrated models of care. You can still enjoy this groundbreaking event, and earn CEUs, by watching the programming on-demand, via the APTA Learning Center.

Innovative Models of Physical Therapist Practice in the US (.pdf) APTA.org Members Only Icon
An exploration of innovative practice models within the United States was conducted by APTA in 2010 to enhance our knowledge base and to provide an initial starting point for clinicians to implement or further investigate new models of physical therapist care delivery.

A list of representative models of physical therapist care delivery was developed from multiple sources. The list includes a variety of models that are attempting to address issues such as access to care, cost effectiveness, patient/client safety, efficacy, inter-professional collaboration, and innovative utilization of physical therapist practice in the health care delivery system. The models of care delivery that are described in this resource do not represent a comprehensive list of innovative models throughout the country nor does the list include representative models for all types of practice settings. Descriptions of additional models will be added to this resource over time.

International Summit on Direct Access and Advanced Scope of Practice
In October 2009, APTA led a conference that investigated advanced models of physical therapist practice both in the United States and internationally. The event was co-sponsored by APTA, the Canadian Physiotherapy Association (CPA), and the World Confederation of Physical therapy (WCPT) and included participants from more than 20 countries.

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Guide to PT Practice