The physical therapy industry is an ever-expanding powerhouse, reaching a population comprised of the young and old, the active and sedentary, and the rich and poor. Physically therapy is a traditionally accepted method of pain relief as well as injury rehabilitation and management, and with multiple settings, physical therapy is an incredibly accessible resource.

Changes in health care have directly led to changes in the physical therapy industry, leading some clinicians from the traditional physician-referral model of physical therapy to a direct access, cash-based model. This way, patients can go right to physical therapists instead of seeing a doctor first for a referral and care dictated by an insurance agency. This new model of outpatient physical therapy is gaining popularity across the country and is associated with three key benefits:

  1. Physical therapists can move from relying solely on reimbursement to new income opportunities.

Unfortunately, insurance companies often determine the value of the physical therapist’s service. By providing cash-based services, clinicians can establish their own worth and potentially focus on clients within their specialty areas of practice.

  1. Physical therapists can provide a more inclusive experience.

In private practice settings, clinicians can dictate what services they offer. Creating an integrated practice with massage therapists, chiropractors or strength training professionals can make your clinic an interdisciplinary one-stop shop for all rehabilitation and strengthening needs.

  1. Physical therapists can extend care into wellness

Using a consumer-based model, clinicians are able to extend their services to post-rehabilitative patients and continue to help them long after they’ve been discharged by the health care system. Each state regulates the services provided by physical therapists; therefore, these services can vary by state.

Physical therapist Andre Labbe of Total Package Performance in New Orleans is a pioneer in running a clinic with this new private practice model. Watch below as he discusses the state of healthcare today as well as how the physical therapy industry can mold itself around this.


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