Kalispell, MT (PRWEB) June 17, 2013
Physical therapy (PT) has been proven to be an effective means of returning people to an active life — PT has been used to rehabilitate athletes, people with cancer and those suffering from severe injuries. But for those who wish to use PT simply to improve their overall health, today’s standards may cause them to be out of luck. In many jurisdictions, insurance companies assert that visiting a physical therapist is contingent upon prescription or referral by a physician—and in many cases, it needs to be after a severe injury or surgery. In response, Professional Therapy Associates, a Montana physical therapy clinic, says these laws raise healthcare costs for patients, significantly increase time spent in physical therapy, and also give patients no freedom of choice in choosing their form of healthcare.
PT is regularly utilized to improve one’s overall strength, flexibility and endurance. This preventative method reduces injuries and lowers overall health care costs. “Direct access,” the term used in the insurance industry indicating that a person has the right to have access to PT without a doctor’s referral, is limited, and that has burdened the healthcare system further by increasing patient costs. Direct access has been proven to be more cost-effective than the opposite:
●The total paid claims for physician referral episodes to physical therapists was 123% or 2.2 times higher than the paid claims for direct access episodes. The total paid claims averaged $2,236 for “physician referral” episodes as compared to $1,004 for direct access episodes.
●Physician referral episodes were 65% longer in duration than direct access episodes.
●Physician referral episodes generated 67% more physical therapy claims and 60% more office visits than direct access episodes. (1)
PTA CEO and owner Blaine Stimac says that while affordable healthcare is a good start, the current regulations are restricting those simply seeking to improve their overall health. In preparation for the ACA and to meet increased public demand, Stimac plans to institute cash-based programs as the healthcare market expands.
“For people who just want to feel better, there’s really no option as of now,” said Stimac. “Because of that, many people may forego any treatment altogether and let their health deteriorate. Our future programs will allow patients to have lower out-of-pocket costs, while still returning them to optimal health.”
PTA has expanded its facilities to service more patients in preparation for the ACA. Two recently opened clinics associated with PTA are:
●Polson Physical Therapy, 211-A Main Street, Polson, MT 59860; and
●Lakeside Physical Therapy, 77 Deercreek Road, Somers, MT 59932.
Both new physical therapy clinics will offer the same services as are currently offered by the existing locations, including sports medicine, health and wellness programs, spine programs, and post-op rehabilitation.
PTA’s team of licensed physical therapists continually stays current on the latest techniques and practices through regular education and an internal fellowship program. PTA provides Flathead Valley residents free consultations at every location. These free consultations are offered to all local residents who are experiencing discomfort in their joints, limited range of motion, muscle weakness, lack of balance or other medical conditions.
Interested individuals may schedule a free consultation by registering online at http://www.ptflathead.com/free-consultation.
To learn more about the physical therapy services provided by Professional Therapy Associates, visit http://www.ptflathead.com.
About Professional Therapy Associates and Blaine Stimac
Professional Therapy Associates (PTA) is an established provider of physical therapy in Montana. Founded in Kalispell in 1988, the practice has expanded to include four convenient locations throughout Flathead Valley. In addition to its flagship Kalispell North facility, PTA also has clinics in downtown Kalispell (Flathead Health and Fitness), Whitefish (The Wave), Columbia Falls (Columbia Falls Clinic), Polson (Polson PT), and Somers (Lakeside PT). Owner and CEO Blaine Stimac is a licensed Physical Therapist in Montana, and holds a Master of Science in Physical Therapy from the University of Montana. He and his team offer a full range of services, including manual physical therapy, sports medicine, therapeutic exercise and biofeedback, as well as treatment for back and neck injuries, motor vehicle injuries and work-related injuries. For more information, visit http://www.ptflathead.com.
1.“Cost-effectiveness of Direct Access to Physical Therapy.” Mitchell Study: Cost-effectiveness of Direct Access to Physical Therapy. American Physical Therapy Association, 13 Jan. 2011. Web. 29 May 2013. apta.org/StateIssues/DirectAccess/MitchellStudy/.