Physical Therapy Business Alliance and Industry Coalition Award Major Grant to Research the Impact of Physician Self-Referral

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Grant award will support The Foundation for Physical Therapy’s independent study targeting the impact of physician self-referral arrangements on access to physical therapy care and health care costs.

The Physical Therapy Business Alliance (PTBA), an independent association of physical therapy businesses in partnership with several other industry related groups, issued grant funds totaling $300,000 to The Foundation for Physical Therapy to support the investigative research study - Influence of Physical Therapy Referral Characteristics and Practices on Quality, Cost Effectiveness, and Utilization Patterns. Earlier this month, the Foundation for Physical Therapy awarded the competitive, peer-reviewed grant to Jean Mitchell, PhD, of Georgetown University.

Dr. Mitchell is a noted expert in the areas of health economics, health services research, and applied econometrics. Mitchell has conducted several research studies on the impact of physician self-referral arrangements for other medical specialties and her findings have had considerable impact on both federal and state public policy.

PTBA recognizes the profound implications of Dr. Mitchell’s research, which will analyze data from multiple sources in order to understand how physician self-referral arrangements impact the physical therapy profession, patient access to evidence-based physical therapist care, and the cost and utilization of services. As an association of physical therapy businesses, the PTBA represents independent physical therapy practices and their employees that have been adversely impacted by self-referral arrangements.

The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) has long opposed such referral for profit arrangements because of the inherent conflict of interest they present. The PTBA is in alliance with APTA’s position and applauds the timeliness of research occurring simultaneously with health care reform demands for increased accountability, transparency in pricing, and scrutiny of service utilization. “The Foundation for Physical Therapy is the ideal vehicle for such clinical and policy research as its independence assures the rigor of the scientific process,” noted PTBA Chairman Carl DeRosa PT, PhD, FAPTA.

About PTBA
The Physical therapy Business Alliance is on a mission is to build a network of private practice physical therapy businesses to elevate the role of the physical therapist in the modern healthcare environment. Our business alliance will provide resources to promote the success of the private practice physical therapist, raise the standards of excellence in the industry, and communicate a strong and consistent message that private practice physical therapist businesses undoubtedly represent the best value in healthcare. We seek to become a powerful voice for free enterprise in physical therapy in environments such as Congress, regulatory agencies, and the all-important court of public opinion. Likewise, our vision is to provide focused, agile, and unencumbered response to legislative and payment challenges to improve business conditions for independent physical therapy practices.

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Brooke McVeigh
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