Study shows early and guideline adherent physical therapy results in lower costs, reduced use of health care resources in patients with low back pain
Louisville, KY (PRWEB) April 13, 2015
Confluent Health and Evidence In Motion (EIM) are proud to announce that a study conducted by principal Dr. John Childs, PT, PhD, MBA, OCS, FAPTA, has been published in BMC Health Services Research demonstrating that early and guideline adherent physical therapy following an initial episode of acute, non-specific low back pain (LBP) resulted in substantially lower costs and reduced use of health care resources over a 2-year period.
The study analyzed 122,723 patients who went to a primary care physician following an initial LBP episode and then received physical therapy in the Military Health System within 90 days. Clinical guideline recommendations in military and civilian settings are to avoid opioids and advanced imaging procedures as a first-line of treatment. Research done mainly in civilian settings reveals that clinical practice is inconsistent with these recommendations.
Of the patients involved in the study, 24% (17,175) received early physical therapy (within 14 days) that adhered to guidelines for active treatment. During a 2-year time period, these patients made significantly less use of advanced imaging, lumbar spinal injections, lumbar spine surgery, and opioids than patients with other combinations of timing and adherence. Early physical therapy patients also had 60% lower LBP-related costs as compared to 33.5% (23,993) of patients who had delayed and adherent physical therapy (between 14 and 90 days).
According to Dr. Childs, “Our results extend the findings from civilian settings by demonstrating an association between early guideline adherent care, costs, and use of health care resources in a single-payer health system.”
Dr. Childs has led a highly active research agenda over the last 15 years. His work has been focused primarily on injury prevention, comparative effectiveness research, randomized trials, matching the most effective treatments to various subgroups of patients, and examining the outcomes of translating decision-making strategies into physical therapy practice. His work has made significant inroads into defining the value of physical therapy for managing patients with common musculoskeletal conditions like back pain.
He has been integrally involved in establishing Evidence In Motion as a leader in training physical therapists in evidence-based practice both nationally and internationally and promoting residency and fellowship as the preferred training path for physical therapists upon graduation from their entry-level physical therapy program. Dr. Childs is also a partner in Confluent Health, Texas Physical Therapy Specialists, a multi-site private physical therapy practice in the greater San Antonio and Austin, Texas regions and Fit for Work, an occupational health practice that provides employers with consultative services to decrease injuries, reduce workers’ compensation costs, and increase productivity and profitability.
About Confluent Health:
Confluent Health is a Louisville, Kentucky-based private equity holding company focused on creating a healthcare system that recognizes physical and occupational therapy providers as the Best First Choice for preventing and managing musculoskeletal and movement disorders. Confluent Health offers the following management services: evidence-based practice, patient loyalty, regulatory assurance, marketing and branding, clinic operations, hiring and retention, strategy, accounting and finance, and customer service to Texas Physical Therapy Specialists (TexPTS), Evidence In Motion (EIM), BreakThrough Physical Therapy (BTPT), ProRehab Louisville, Physical Therapy Central (PT Central) and Fit For Work. Together, these companies share a common ownership team and are committed to developing a learning, purpose, and coaching culture. For more information, please visit Confluent Health on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, @ConfluentHealth.