Physical Therapy Assistant (PTA): Article Analysis

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In the Physical Therapy (PT) arena of medicine, some insurance companies have now been requiring all PT be performed by a Physical Therapist only and not by a Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA). Whether these companies are putting the actual terminology of ‘PT only, no PTA’ into the contracts or just simply not paying a submitted bill because the notes said a PTA performed some of the work. In the article, “Educating Payers about the Value of PTAs” in the November 2013 issue of PT in Motion, spot lights the very issue of the insurance companies scrutiny of who actual performs the billable work in a Physical Therapy clinic. New Hampshire, Kentucky, Indiana and Colorado were just a handful of states represented in this article, but insurance being a nationwide necessity; it is safely assumed that the “PT-Only” trend is everywhere. Insurance companies and other health insurance providers are simply uneducated about the field of PT and the need for the PTAs. The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) has picked up on this trend as the previously mentioned article was a version of what was posted in the September 2013 issue of Perspectives – an APTA publication. The APTA has a strong position in the advocacy of the Physical Therapy as a profession and…show more content…
I am curious to know why the insurance companies started this trend on restrictive billing practices or how come the contracts were not clearly understood by each Payee. I was shocked to see how recent this article was. With updated national licensing requirements for PTAs, in a perfect world, these insurance companies should have been educated and informed on the PTA role before encountering these billing issues. PT being not only a focus on reactive but preventative medicine, I would hope that principal or prevention would be engrained in this profession; shouldn’t the role of the PTA been clearly defined
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