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  • WSJ Article Focuses On Special Rehabilitation Needs of Student Athletes

    A recent Wall Street Journalarticle highlights the special approaches that must be taken with young athletes and the role physical therapy plays in ensuring that treatment is appropriate for musculoskeletal systems that are still growing. The story also includes details of how a Florida physical therapist (PT) worked with 2 student athletes—and inspired 1 to study to become a PT.

    Reporter Laura Landro writes about how increases in the number and severity of sports injuries among student athletes are focusing greater attention on the impact of treatment on growth plates and other issues specific to pediatric patients. With more intensive sports programs and year-round competition becoming more common, providers must be acutely aware of how to structure rehabilitation in ways that can allow a student to return to a sport without risking longer-term damage, she reports.

    The WSJ story includes an account of how APTA member Whitney Chambers, PT, DPT, OCS, helped 2 Florida student athletes recover after an injury. Chambers describes the approach she took to treat a high school football player who tore his anterior cruciate ligament and a young soccer player who suffered a labrum tear. According to the article, the football player is planning to return to the sport in college, while the soccer player will play only recreationally—while pursuing a career in physical therapy at Florida State University.

    Health Care Spending Growth Low Again

    The residual impacts of the economic recession are the primary drivers behind relatively low growth in US health care spending in 2012, according to a recent report from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The report cites a 3.7% growth in overall spending during the year, with a slight drop in the overall portion of the economy devoted to health care, from 17.3% in 2011 to 17.2% the following year.

    The report from the CMS Office of Actuary (abstract only available for free) states that while faster spending growth occurred in hospital, physician, and clinical services, overall growth was tempered by slower rates in prescription drugs and nursing home services. Private insurance spending growth also remained low due to the slow economic recovery, according to report's authors.

    The 3.7% growth rate is consistent with trends that began in 2009, and have fluctuated between 3.6% and 3.8% annually since.