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    New Model Sets Forth Principles to Guide Development of Physical Therapy Benefits

    APTA recently developed the Physical Therapy Model Benefit Plan Design (MBP) to ensure access to physical therapy services by informing decisions regarding coverage of physical therapy services in insurance benefit plans. The MBP describes the role and value of physical therapists and physical therapy services and sets forth principles to guide development of physical therapy benefits. It also provides definitions and references to support the position. The MBP should be used by insurers, employers, individual insurance plan subscribers, and public policymakers when considering insurance benefit plan design. It also is a tool for physical therapists to advocate for appropriate access to and coverage of physical therapist services for their patients and clients.

    A new APTA podcast and transcript provide background information about development of the MBP, which was adopted last month by APTA's Board of Directors, and an overview of what is in the model benefit plan.


    Comments

    As a Texas PTA and as a faculty member in a Physical Therapist Assistant Program, I am extremely disappointed, although; not at all surprised, that the organization believes, "Physical therapists are the only professionals who provide or supervise the delivery of interventions under a physical therapy plan of care." Myself and many other qualified physical therapist assistants are and have been professionals who provide or supervise the delivery of interventions under a physical therapy plan of care. What benefit does the APTA hope to gain by eliminating PTAs?
    Posted by Laura Miele on 1/13/2012 4:55 PM
    There is no mention of the PTA in the APTA's "position" statement. Can the APTA continue to represent the PTA if they are written out of the equation?
    Posted by Richard on 1/13/2012 9:47 PM
    "Physical therapy interventions are provided by or under the direction and supervision of licensed physical therapists....Physical therapy and physical therapist services are the care and services provided by or under the direction and supervision of a licensed physical therapist." There is no mention of PTAs. Other statements by the APTA say that PTs can supervise non-PTAs in providing physical therapy services. A lot of therapy aides went back to school for PTA licenses so that they could provide physical therapy services in Ohio. The climate for PTAs in Ohio is becoming ominous. Granted, physical therapy is fighting for survival, and the position is needed. However, as a PTA, I feel unrepresented.
    Posted by Debra Dreher on 1/14/2012 1:41 AM
    Apparently the PTA was not only left out of the 2020 version...we've actually been retro fitted to the 1980 vision. It is intellecutally dishonest and disingenous for this organization and PT's to think that after years of selling the need for licensure, standards, accreditation, credentialing of the PTA "for the good of the patient", that in the face of financial pressures we can throw back to any unskilled employee under the direction of the PT. What credibility does that leave? If I were the 3rd party payors watching this, I would tell you, "If you can just show anybody how to do it...then you're services aren't worth what we're paying in the first place."
    Posted by Jane L Stroede on 1/14/2012 3:38 PM
    I am a new PT, and would agree that what is not said, often speaks louder than what is said. Just as most PT'S disagree with MD's who allow non-qualified staff to provide supervised rehab tx, we should view this missing language in the same light. I also agree with the quote, "If you can just show anybody how to do it...then you're services aren't worth what we're paying in the first place." Very perplexing.
    Posted by Keith on 1/14/2012 11:10 PM
    If you read the entire transcript you will see that PTAs are fully represented as providers of physical therapy under a PT. I am pleased to see my association working on this issue as I have seen many patients forego their treatment due to cost. My own father, who has a $50 copay for PT, had chosen to do the same. I read about Kentucky's success at the state level to limit cost and thereby improve access to PT and fully support my state in doing the same.
    Posted by Linda Johnston -> AFWZD on 1/15/2012 11:50 AM
    Time to check the ego's at the door. Professionally, we are fighting to remain a player in the healthcare and wellness industry. With all the unrest, we will knock our allies out, as the real enemies count their winnings. To sail successfully, everyone needs to take on a productive role and work together. In todays world, a title does not define you in a consumers eye, so better get busy working on relationships. Save the fight to get paid a fair living wage for the valuable service physical therapy provides in a persons quality of life. Thank you for developing a resource to negotiate in restoring physical therapy benefits with 3rd party payer players.
    Posted by jodie humphrey on 1/18/2012 11:39 PM
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