Recently, Medicare released a list of the total payments of the more than 880,000 medical providers in 2012. The total cost of these payments was ~$77 billion. While medical doctors, specifically ophthalmologists and cardiologists, were at the top of this spending list, there were a few physical therapists that had an alarmingly high number of payments. Naturally, the media latched onto this information.
This past Sunday The New York Times published an article about one physical therapist in Brooklyn who billed four million dollars in Medicare in 2012. The four million dollar figure is staggering because on average physical therapists collected $49,000 in Medicare payments in that same time frame. In the article, The New York Times goes on to say "one thing is certain, physical therapy has become a Medicare gold mine."
This blanket statement about the profession of physical therapy is far from true. The majority of practitioners billed within their expected range. Fortunately, the APTA was quick to react to this article. In a letter to the editor, President Paul Rockar responds to The New York Times article.
Thank you to our President and the APTA for keeping everyone up to date and aware of the issues challenging our profession.
Creswell, Julie, and Robert Gebeloff. "One Therapist, $4 Million in 2012 Medicare Billing." The New York Times. The
New York Times, 27 Apr. 2014. Web. 29 Apr. 2014.