Can Choosing Physical Therapy First Really Save You Money?
As healthcare consumers, we automatically assume that healthcare services are expensive regardless of who or where they are coming from. There is an exception to this: Physical Therapy (PT).
When we experience pain we often take a “wait and see” approach, rely on over-the-counter medications or seek a prescription for medication from a doctor. We worry about spending both our time and our money. In fact, if we were a bit quicker to seek care from a PT for our aches and pains we might be able to stay active and pain free longer, and also learn how to take better care of ourselves to maintain an active lifestyle.
Does PT really save money?
PT has been shown to save thousands of dollars for healthcare consumers who access physical therapy first (PT-1st) to start their healing process.
Research has shown that a PT-1st approach by consumers:
· For shoulder injuries, PT saved 5 times the cost versus surgery.
· For knee injuries, PT saved almost 7 times the cost versus surgery.
· For neck injuries, PT saved over 10 times the cost to the consumer versus surgery.
· Getting in early (defined as within 14 days of injury/onset) to see your PT for low back pain was shown to save $3000 per case.
The better news is not only does getting PT-1st reduce your likelihood of paying more; it reduces your chances of needing surgery, injections, opioid prescriptions and repeat doctor’s visits!
Who Pays for PT?:
Physical therapy is a mandated benefit in healthcare so you will find that it is covered by Medicare, Medicaid, your insurance plan and worker’s compensation. Most of your insurance plans will cover PT with a limited co-pay or co-insurance.
Will My Insurance Pay for PT-1st?
Most insurance plans will pay for PT-1st! Check with your local physical therapy provider or insurer to see what your healthcare plan requirements are.
With physical therapy, you can save time and money, get back to your life,, all while keeping your body and your bank statement happier and healthier!