Physical Therapists – The Medical Provider Seen Most Often
Physical therapists see injured workers more than any other medical provider.
This was a question that a client emailed to me earlier in the week.
What medical provider does the injured worker see more in a WC claim? The answer was not so obvious at first until I reviewed an old WC, then the answer became obvious. The most popular medical provider on most claims is, of course, the physical therapist.
Many claims do have the element of physical therapy.
The claim where the employee is out of work longer almost always involves PT. Have you looked at the PT’s that your employees are seeing? If not, this is an area that is often overlooked even if an employer has a full medical network or panel.
The PT can affect the claim very heavily. Now that I think back into my career when the PT heads south on the insurance carrier/TPA/employer, the claim will usually tank. I am not saying that there are very many PTs in the WC marketplace where this occurs overall.
Most PT and Occupational Therapists are encouraging people.
The personalities of the PT and the injured worker, adjuster, or physician may clash. This usually results in a much more expensive claim.
Justifying a medical provider of any type by “being in-network” as a savings tool (usually 15%)is great. However, if the savings will seem small to a claim that spins out of controls – often without the knowledge of the employer or adjuster.
I created a large study for a PT Network provider a few years ago. The one area that stood out in the study was that a medical savings of 15% is puny when the wrong provider is treating the WC patient. Most employees consider the PT on the same level as their treating physician – especially after seeing the PT every weekday for two weeks or a month before seeing the treating physician.
I used to question the need for PT until I crushed my left guitar-playing hand. The first link at the top covers what happened to me.
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