The physical therapy field is a dynamic one. In fact, job growth projections for the industry over the next few years are significantly higher than average projections in other fields.
Now is one of the most exciting times to get involved. As the following examples illustrate, new developments in the industry will soon offer major benefits to physical therapists, their clients, and everyone else involved in the recovery process. These benefits will enable patients to have direct access to physical therapy in New Jersey and other states across the nation, among other numerous advantages.
These are just a few changes to look out for in the coming months:
Merit-based Incentive Payment System
As of January 1, 2019, some physical therapists are now required to adopt MIPS physical therapy billing, while others may choose to do so.
What is MIPS? It’s simply a payment adjustment system designed to both improve the quality of care while reducing average costs.
With this change, a physical therapist will receive a MIPS payment adjustment score based on four criteria: Quality, Improvement Activities, Advancing Care Information, and Cost. The score will determine a Medicare B payment adjustment two years later.
Mergers & Acquisitions
In the first half of 2018 alone, approximately $2.5 trillion in total deals were made as a result of hospital mergers and acquisitions. It’s highly likely this uptrend will continue. Large healthcare corporations will continue to buy smaller practices and operations in the coming years. Although the impact this will have on the quality of care remains to be seen, it’s still an important trend to pay attention to.
New Referral Methods
The degree of ownership hospitals and physicians have over physical therapy billing has increased recently. The result? Doctors and healthcare providers can no longer be relied on as the primary referral sources for physical therapists who operate private practices. Physicians and healthcare facilities are simply less likely to refer patients to anyone out of network.
Thus, private practice physical therapists will have to seek other ways to attract clients, such as leveraging social media.
Technology Boosting Patient Engagement
Patient engagement is crucial in physical therapy. In order to ensure patients successfully complete treatment programs, physical therapists need to maintain relationships with them. That means making sure they have ways to coordinate even when a patient can’t actually visit their physical therapist in person.
Luckily, technology is making that easier than ever. Thanks to new patient engagement tools, physical therapists can cultivate productive relationships, resulting in better results for everyone.
Again, these are merely a few new developments worth paying attention to. The main point to remember is that physical therapy is a constantly-changing field. Staying abreast of those changes is key to success for both patients and practitioners.