Physical Therapy Classification and Payment System (PTCPS)

APTA's goal is to reform payment for outpatient physical therapist services to improve quality of care, recognize and promote the clinical judgment of the physical therapist, and provide policymakers and payers with an accurate payment system that ensures the integrity of medically necessary services.

APTA proposes to reform payment for outpatient physical therapist services by transitioning from the current fee-for-service, procedural-based payment system to a per-session payment system.

APTA has been actively pursuing a new payment system since 2010, when regulatory and legislative barriers began to place significant pressure on physical therapists. Since thhen, APTA’s efforts to reform payment have undergone several transformations.

The original conceptual model, the alternative payment system (APS), was developed between 2010 and 2012 and was built around 12 core codes, based on member feedback. The APS Task Force was created to refine the payment system. The task force continued to develop the conceptual model, created an implementation strategy, and renamed the APS the Physical Therapy Classification and Payment System (PTCPS).

Following the work by the task force, APTA submitted the PTCPS model to the American Medical Association (AMA). Upon submission to the AMA, PTCPS became AMA property and subject to strict confidentiality rules.

APTA continues to work with the AMA and other provider groups through the AMA process to develop a new payment system. For more information and the history of APTA's efforts to reform payment, view our resources below or email

Elements of Payment Reform

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CSM 2016