The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) had set a goal called “Vision 2020” to help improve awareness of physical therapy in the patient community. Nitin Chhoda explains how this vision will open new horizons for patient–physical therapist interaction.

physical therapy software for EMRThe Vision 2020 goal set by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) is alive and well.

The professional achievements to be accomplished through Vision 2020 are well on their way to implementation and open new horizons for patient–therapist relations.

It’s imperative that practice owners realize that physical therapy software will play a significant role in the future of the profession and achieving the goals of Vision 2020.

What are the APTA’s goals?

APTA’s goals seek to increase therapist knowledge and provide them with the same rights as other medical professionals, while increasing access to physical therapy software and services for all.

Therapists across the nation are advocating strongly for themselves, their patients and the profession as a whole. Significant inroads have been made, but insurance providers have been slow to adopt necessary change.

Vision 2020 sets forth the following goals to be implemented by 2020:

  • Grant physical therapists the same privileges as other medical practices, with the ability to be assisted by appropriately educated and licensed staff;
  • Physical therapy software direct access to patients without a referral from a medical doctor;
  • The ability to practice autonomously and collaboratively;
  • Recognize that physical therapists require doctoral level studies;
  • Allow patients to choose their practitioner of choice
  • Establish core industry standards and professional values.

Two of those goals have seen dramatic progress in the right direction.

Forty-four states now allow patients to see a physical therapist without first obtaining a physician referral.

The Status of Physical Therapy Programs 

Eighty-eight percent of physical therapy software and programs at universities are now doctoral programs. Advances in physical therapy treatments and technology require ongoing education and programs are advancing to offer therapists the specialized training they need.

The value of physical therapy software and services has often been highly underrated by those in the medical profession and insurance providers. Instead of referring patients to therapists, many have chosen to medicate and treat symptoms.

The Insurer and Insurance Providers

Insurance providers limit or cap reimbursements and refuse to compensate physical therapy assistants, effectively prohibiting access to those who could benefit the most from treatments.

physical therapy software programsAPTA is working closely with insurers to educate them about the savings in healthcare costs provided by therapists and their assistants.

While 44 states don’t require patients to obtain a physician referral, most insurers still do, even when there’s no evidence to support the visit is necessary.

Vision 2020 goals will save on healthcare costs, lets patients begin treatment sooner, and allows therapists to manage physical therapy software client care more effectively.

The Important Role of Physical Therapy Software

Transitioning to physical therapy software will play a major role in assisting therapists meet the goals of Vision 2020. Electronic medical record (EMR) systems will help physical therapy clinics provide an advanced level of managed care for patients, while electronic billing provides the means for practices to obtain quicker reimbursements.

They offer a more efficient means of managing all facets of practices, from physical therapy software staffing to purchasing new equipment.

All aspects of a physical therapy practice will be impacted by EMRs and provide the tools for therapists to advance the standards and goals of Vision 2020. Physical therapy software contains an extensive array of benefits for private practices.

It integrates easily with existing systems to save time, control healthcare costs and provide opportunities to physical therapy assistants. The goals of Vision 2020 are already being realized and changing the physical therapy profession forever.