• News New Blog Banner

  • APTA Projects Future Supply and Demand of Physical Therapists

    In an effort to determine a more accurate picture of the physical therapy workforce and aid workforce planning, APTA's Workforce Task Force has developed a model to project supply and demand of physical therapists through 2020. Using the model to manipulate data collected through APTA member surveys, the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy, and federal and other sources, the task force projected a either shortage or surplus of physical therapists in 3 different scenarios. The model includes multiple variables that may impact the future workforce, such as physical therapist attrition rates, the number of full- and part-time personnel, and the percentage of the US population with health care insurance. The model is easily updated to reflect changes in physical therapy education program graduation rates, employment patterns, health care reform, and other factors. APTA will continue to monitor the health care environment, make any necessary modifications to the model, and communicate changes to members and the public.

    An explanation of the how the model was developed, a description of the possible scenarios, and graphs illustrating the projections are available on APTA's Physical Therapy Workforce Data page.

    USA Today Features Intel's Early Access to Physical Therapy Model

    Workers with routine back pain at Intel's plant in Oregon are "much happier" these days due to collaboration among Intel, 2 local health care systems, and a health insurer that has reduced the waiting time to see a physical therapist from 19 days to 48 hours, reports USA Today

    In addition to the Intel model, the article highlights the collaborative effort at Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle and other partnerships that have formed to tackle the problems of unsatisfactory quality and rising health costs.

    According to the article, Intel workers are completing their treatment in 21 days, compared with 52 days in the past. The cost per patient has dropped 10% to 30% due to fewer unnecessary physician visits and diagnostic imaging tests. In addition, the workers are "more satisfied and return to work faster."