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The PTA Differential: How We Got Here, and What's Next


If you've spent much time following APTA's social media feeds or reading comments on the association's news or blog posts, you know that the payment differential for services provided by physical therapist assistants (PTA) set for 2022 is sparking a significant amount of concern and frustration in the physical therapy community.

And with good reason: Nobody wants to see payment decrease for such a crucial profession. On top of that, the coding system CMS was compelled by the legislation to implement to document when services are delivered "in whole or in part" by a PTA or occupational therapy assistant, while improved over its original plan, still has flaws.

But for some, there's another element to the frustration they're feeling: They’re wondering how we got here and what APTA is doing about it. And that's understandable, too, because legislation and regulatory rulemaking are complicated and sometimes messy, and it can be a challenge to keep up even if you’re working hard to pay attention.

So let's walk through it.

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