In December 2015, a review was published in the ever-popular issue of Physical Therapy. This particular study was conducted to determine if total care physical therapy programs are considered to be cost effective. In all, a total of 18 unique studies were evaluated. There is absolutely no doubt – whatsoever – that the current total care physical therapy programs of today have the ability to optimize the health and physical well-being of those that participate in them; however, the lingering question of their cost effectiveness continues to be a question that is highly debated. In this brief post, you will learn about the conclusions drawn from this review.
The Studies Analyzed
In order to complete this review of total care physical therapy programs, numerous studies were analyzed. All of the studies were conducted between the years of 1998 and 2014. The following facts were outlined in the analyzation of the studies:
- Physical therapy treatments in conjunction with usual care sessions were evaluated.
- Studies were evaluated that added physical therapy to usual care sessions.
- 13 of the studies were placed on treating issues that were musculoskeletal in nature.
- 2 of the studies were placed on treating internal-based conditions.
- 2 of the studies were treating neurological issues.
- 2 were directly linked to conditions that were to fall under the “internal conditions” category.
The Definition of “Cost Effectiveness”
The individuals that conducted the review to determine if total care physical therapy is cost effective had to actually implement a very strong definition for the study. This definition included the fact that the total care physical therapy program had to be much cheaper than the basic or standard treatment that is normally issued for the condition. There was no dollar figure set for the review. The reviewers did want the readers of their study to understand that physical therapy is considered to be a much cheaper treatment than standard treatments when it comes to long-term total care.
Physical Therapy Considered Cost Effective
While it is true that physical therapy is most often prescribed in addition to standard treatments, it is important to understand that there are more costs involved than just straight medical costs. When evaluating the costs associated with loss of work or the inability to perform standard job duties, medications, trips to the doctor, and similar expenses, you will discover that those that receive total care physical therapy actually have fewer overall costs than those that do not receive physical therapy.
Physical therapy is more than just a medical treatment. It is a service that is designed to strengthen the body, improve range of mobility, and optimize all aspects of physical functioning. When individuals suffer from medical problems, it is common for prescriptions and procedures to be prescribed to address the issue; however, in most instances, these treatments must be continued. Those that receive physical therapy, though, are typically able to overcome the worst of their symptoms. As a result of this fact, it can be concluded that physical therapy is a cost-effective option to just about any medical problem.