We love to tell patients that at Imagine, our goal is to get you “Better Faster” and to keep you “Better Longer”. Based on two new studies, we can now say that of the patients we’ve treated with low back pain (LBP) who chose to come to us or were referred to us within 90 days of their initial LBP episode, we’ve most likely also helped you keep a “Better Bank Account”.
Maybe you’re shaking your head saying–“Nope, you helped with my pain, but not my bank account!”. Please consider with us one recent study that analyzed 122,723 patients who went to a primary care physician following an initial episode of LBP and received PT within 90 days. Twenty-four per cent of these patients received PT within 14 days and adhered to the guidelines of their treatment plan. The study found that “in a 2-year time period, these patients made significantly less use of advanced imaging, lumbar spinal injections, lumbar spine surgery, and opiods than did patients in other combinations of timing and adherence” (APTA News Release, April 2015). These treatments–injection, surgery, opiods, imaging–all cost lots of money. We encourage you to give PT a shot (no pun intended) first. We want to help you avoid costly and unnecessary treatments…while getting you better!
John Mart, a veteran (29 years!) Physical Therapist states: “You WILL get better faster and stay better longer if you see your Physical Therapist when you hurt your back. We will be able to differentiate if your back pain is due to nerves being pinched, muscle spasms or joint restrictions. We will decrease your pain and show you how you can decrease your pain on the first visit.”
Not convinced we can or did save you money? A second study released this year looked at PT treatment versus imaging for patients with low back pain. The study “analyzed utilization records and other health information for patients who consulted with a primary care provider about uncomplicated LBP and were referred to management outside primary care within 6 weeks” (APTA News Release, March 2015). What they found?
1) Initial PT (average 3.8 visits) cost $504 on average versus $1,306 for and MRI (magnetic resonance imaging).
2) Average subsequent cost over the next year were nearly 72% lower for patients who began with PT ($1,871 compared with $6,664) versus beginning with imaging over the same time period.
3) Authors discovered that patients who receive imaging as a first referral increased their likelihood of surgery, injections, specialist visits and emergency room visits
Bottom line–We’ve Got Your Back! We’d love to hear YOUR testimonials of how we helped your back pain. Please share with us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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