Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects

Department

Allied Health

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

Introduction: With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010, many medical specialties prepared to see reimbursement rates altered. Not impervious to this trend was the field of physical therapy (PT). This change in reimbursement structure could impact the effectiveness of PT treatment. Under this model, a patient may not be able to receive the appropriate number of visits to a physical therapist, resulting in a loss of utilization in the injured area and, possibly, a loss of independence. Methods: A literature review was performed to determine reimbursement rate impact on PT. A seven-item open-ended survey regarding various aspects of the ACA was sent to physical therapists in the area during November 2014. Interviews were also conducted with therapists from Kentucky. Results: Results from the survey indicated that, while a large portion of patients are gaining access to PT for the first time, the number of visits allowed have been drastically reduced. Kentucky’s poor health status makes the state more susceptible to decline in quality of PT. Discussion: These results indicate that the ACA may negatively impact the field of physical therapy as reimbursement rates and the number of allowed visits change.

Advisor(s) or Committee Chair

Travis Esslinger

Disciplines

Health Law and Policy | Rehabilitation and Therapy

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