Burnout, market consolidation, and high out-of-pocket costs for patients emerge as hot-button topics in WebPT’s 2019 State of Rehab Therapy report
WebPT, the market-leading software platform for outpatient rehab therapists, released its 2019 State of Rehab Therapy report detailing the findings from its recent industry-wide survey of more than 6,000 physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech-language pathology professionals from an array of specialties, settings and geographic locations. According to the report, the biggest challenges facing the rehab therapy industry today include provider burnout, increasingly complex payer relationships and mounting student debt.
Organized into five sections — demographics, business and financials, challenges and opportunities, salary, and technology — the report presents data on job satisfaction, billing and reimbursements, revenue, practice size, patient volume, career outlook, top challenges and technology preferences. Key findings include:
- Within the next five years, more than 51.9 percent of rehab therapy professionals are considering a career change, with many looking to either reduce work hours or move into non-clinical roles.
- As organizations get larger, they are increasingly participating — or planning to participate — in value-based payment programs. In fact, more than 25 percent of 21-plus-provider companies report that they already participate in such programs.
- About 23 percent of all respondents reported being involved in a merger or acquisition within the last five years.
- More than half of rehab therapy graduates will have more than $70,000 in student loan debt, and nearly 25 percent will owe more than $100,000. However, overall, students reported slightly lower levels of debt in 2019 compared to 2018, with the percentage of students owing $0 at graduation jumping from 8.3 percent in 2018 to 13.5 percent in 2019.
- Nearly 80 percent of organizations require a physician referral for new patients even though some form of direct access to physical therapy is available in all 50 states.
- High copays and coinsurances were the top-ranked regulatory issue in terms of impact to the rehab therapy community, regardless of respondent role, longevity or sex.
“Since the beginning, WebPT has been on a mission to provide innovative solutions that drive our industry forward and make rehab therapy more accessible to the 90 percent of people who could benefit from it but aren’t currently receiving it,” said Dr. Heidi Jannenga, PT, DPT, ATC, president and co-founder of WebPT. “A significant part of this hinges on our ability to gather and distribute important data and benchmarks that enable rehab therapists to achieve greatness in practice on a larger scale — and thus, gain the recognition and respect we deserve. The State of Rehab Therapy report has been instrumental to this process by shining a light on some of the biggest challenges and trends impacting rehab therapists today. We hope the report encourages therapy professionals to advocate for themselves, their profession and, above all, their patients to demonstrate the powerful benefits rehab therapy provides.”
To learn more and download the full survey report, visit WebPT.com.
About WebPT, Inc.
With a 40-percent market share, WebPT is the leading rehab therapy platform for enhancing patient care and fueling business growth. WebPT’s product suite provides a robust end-to-end solution covering the entire rehab therapy business cycle, from billing and managing a practice to delivering quality, evidence-based care. With a 99-percent retention rate and an uptime rate in excess of 99.9 percent across its entire platform, WebPT is the most-trusted and most-reliable solution in the industry, regardless of practice setting, specialty or size. WebPT’s growth has earned it a spot on the Inc. 5000 list of the nation’s fastest-growing companies six years in a row as well as inclusion on the 2018 Healthcare Informatics list of the top 100 U.S. healthcare IT vendors. Learn more at webpt.com.