Patient Centered Musculoskeletal Health
As a Physical Therapist and health care provider for over 26 years I have seen many changes in health care. The current push has been to increase access, improve quality, and reduce cost. How does Physical Therapy fit into this equation? PT’s have for many years been on the back end of health care and have faced many restrictions within the system and by the insurers.
Today Physical Therapy (PT) is being integrated into health care models and is looked at as a potential cost saver. PT’s are highly trained movement specialists and can offer as much in the prevention and early intervention as they have in the after care and rehabilitation. The public, Health care providers and insurers are seeing the positive impact of early intervention with reduced need for surgery, long-term pain medication use and the development of chronic conditions.
The move towards improved patient education and access to information is something PT’s have stressed for a long time. We want the public to better understand their bodies and the cause behind musculoskeletal conditions and how to better prevent and manage pathology.
PT’s will and should become frontline providers of healthcare and this is happening in the US military and other developed countries such as Great Britain, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and some of the Scandinavian countries. The results show improved access to appropriate care, improved outcomes with significant reductions in costs.
In the future you might see a PT for an annual exam of your musculoskeletal health, just as you may currently do with your Family Physician. In the mean time if you don’t currently have a PT, take it upon yourself to find a PT in your area, as a resource for questions and to and provide you with the Musculoskeletal care you deserve.
– Steve Peterson, PT