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KORT Physical Therapy and Healthcare Reform: Early Intervention Drives Costs Down for Patients, Insurance Companies
Date:9/7/2013

approach to healthcare, according to KORT physical therapist Nelson Caudill, PT, DPT, CSCS.

“As healthcare costs in the form of copayments and deductibles rise, more patients are delaying treatment in the hopes things will improve on their own. However, this approach actually costs patients and insurance companies more in the long run,” said Dr. Caudill.
A 2012 study by Fritz and associates of 30,070 patients with the complaint of low back pain found that early treatment saved patients and insurance companies $2,736.23 in total healthcare costs versus patients who delayed treatment by 15 or more days following symptoms.

Another study by Gelhorn and Associates found that patients receiving immediate physical therapy care after an acute bout of low back pain ultimately had less corticosteroid injections, diagnostic imaging, and overall number of physician visits--resulting in less overall cost to the patient.

“In light of the best available research, the timing and type of intervention are critical in regards to outcome and overall cost. Someone experiencing a bout of acute low back pain should seek out intervention within 14 days of experiencing symptoms,” said Dr. Caudill. “This is true of most injuries as well. Seeking care as soon as possible after injury is always the best course.”

At KORT physical therapy, the clinical practice is based upon providing patients with the best evidence-based interventions tailored to each patient so that the best outcome is produced with the least amount of cost, said Dr. Caudill.

Most health insurance plans now allow patients to seek physical therapy treatme
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