Thousands of Physical Therapists are Closing their Doors

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High insurance co-payments has led thousands of consumers who need Physical Therapy to stop their treatments. On May 18th thousands of Physical Therapists in New York State are closing their doors to go to Albany to fight for a new legislation that reduces patient co-payment obligation.

Thousands of Physical Therpists are ready to close their doors on May 18th

Many insurance companies pay only 5 to 10% of the total cost of physical therapy care, while the patient has to come up with the rest of 90 to 95% of the payment. That is not what insurance is supposed to be. It’s just not fair.

Thousands of patients around the country have to discontinue their Physical Therapy treatments because they cannot afford to pay their sky-rocketing co- payments. Especially in this diffucult and uncertain financial environment insurance co-payments that exceed $40, $50 or even $60 per visit make almost impossible for people to afford two or three Physical Therapy sessions per week. Insurance companies by increasing the co-payment obligation to the patient, end up paying less to the providers and reap greater profits.

In a recent interview Dr. Dimitrios Kostopoulos, co-founder of Hands-On Care Physical Therapy stated “Despite the fact Physical Therapists are the front line providers for musculoskeletal problems, they are considered by insurance companies as "specialists" and fall under the "specialist" high co-pay schedule. Such a high co-pay schedule prohibits thousands of patients from receiving Physical Therapy services prescribed by their physicians”.
"Excessive Physical Therapy co-pays have resulted in thousands of patients with unresolved problems, forcing them to undergo expensive and invasive procedures that would have been otherwise unnecessary. This drives up the costs of healthcare", as Mark Amir President of Madison Physical Therapy emphatically states.

The New York Physical Therapy Association is supporting legislation that will eliminate this burden to New Yorkers and has asked its members to join them at Lobby Day on May 18th in Albany. Understanding the impact this issue has on the care their patients receive, a group of individual Physical Therapists have created a grassroots campaign to support this legislation. "We are asking our fellow therapists to close their doors on May 18th and take their staff and their patients to Albany to support this new legislation and consumer's rights", as stated by Konstantine Rizopoulos, PT who is one of the organizers of the movement. More information about their campaign can be found at http://www.ClosingMyDoors.com

David Sofer PT, owner of Community Physical Therapy of Brooklyn proclaimed that “…many insurance companies pay only 5 to 10% of the total cost of physical therapy care, while the patient has to come up with the rest of 90 to 95% of the payment. That is not what insurance is supposed to be. It’s just not fair”.
Correctly applied Physical Therapy has been shown to reduce the utilization of imaging, medications, injections and surgery at significant levels. Overall Low Back pain costs are the same in this country as the costs of treating cancer. "The downstream savings that physical therapy provides are not being realized because of the significant cost burden placed on patients by insurers in their shortsighted attempts to cut costs" noted by Jeff Hathaway PT, President of Proactive Physical Therapy.

Physical Therapists are asking their patients and colleagues to join them at http://www.ClosingMyDoors.com and on May 18th in Albany.

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Dr. Dimitrios Kostopoulos

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