Arcadia and APTA Host Panel on State of Physical Therapy Care

By Caitlin Burns | January 16, 2020

The moderator and 5 panelists on stage with audiences at tables

On Jan. 9, Arcadia University Department of Physical Therapy and the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) hosted a collaborative discussion about the practice models for physical therapists, “Practice Revolution: Physician Owned, Corporate, Health Care Systems, Independent, and More.”

The panel addressed current discussions in APTA’s policy-making body, House of Delegates, about ownership of Physical Therapy services, and the ethics of physical therapy services owned by physicians, independent physical therapists, or by other groups. The discussion asked: 

  • Are certain models inherently unethical? 
  • What models are patient-centric or produce best outcomes? 
  • What models promote coordinated care across practice settings? 
  • What principles should guide emerging practice models for PTs?

“Musculoskeletal pain is a growing epidemic,” said neurosurgeon Dr. Ryan Grant, a panelist who presented from Hawaii via video. “Instead of integrating all of the entities to focus on the patient, our current [health care] model is a whirlwind of chaos. In essence, we’ve left our patients to have ‘good luck’ medicine.” 

In addition to Dr. Grant, panelists included Dr. Justin Moore, APTA chief executive officer, and Dr. Bill Boissonault, APTA executive vice president of professional affairs, as well as APTA members Dr. Jennifer Gamboa, Patrick Graham, and Michael Horsfield; and Dr Louis Levitt, vice president of The Centers for Advanced Orthopaedics. Former CEO at the Centers for Rehab Services and former APTA President Dr. Paul Rockar Jr. moderated the event. 

“We have to stop trying the same things and expecting a different outcome,” said Graham. “We’ve got to embrace change and expose ourselves to new possibilities because that’s going to be the only thing that helps us survive as a profession.”

Arcadia’s Department of Physical Therapy provides an innovative, patient-centered curriculum across its entry-level and post-professional programs. The Department’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program is ranked 20th in the nation by U.S. News and World Report