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Early physical therapy for low back pain associated with less subsequent health care utilization
Date:12/6/2010

aluated by a generalist specialist (internal medicine, family practice, emergency medicine, and general practice) were least likely to receive physical therapy within a year as compared with patients who were evaluated by physiatrists (physical medicine and rehabilitation), whose patients were most likely to receive physical therapy in the acute phase and also within 1 year of their initial evaluation.

"The study has also shown us that treatment practices among those who are utilizing less physical therapy, namely generalist specialties, may need to be modified since these providers also are responsible for evaluating the largest proportion of patients with acute low back pain," said Ward.

The most common condition experienced by the patients was nonspecific backache (63.6%), followed by sciatica (14.5%), degenerative disc disease (10.5%), and spinal stenosis (6.2%).

In November, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services formally established the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, which will examine new ways of delivering health care and paying health care providers who can save money on behalf of Medicare and Medicaid while improving the quality of care. Included in the Innovation Center's initiatives is a demonstration project on direct access to physical therapists that was outlined in Section 3201 of the new health reform law, the Affordable Care Act, but no deadline was established regarding its implementation.


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Contact: Jennifer Rondon
jenniferrondon@apta.org
703-706-3216
American Physical Therapy Association
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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