Primary Care Physicians Referring to Physical Therapy
As a primary care physician there are so many benefits to referring your pediatric athletic patients to sports physical therapy. Here are the Top 3 Reasons:
1. You get to keep your patients instead of referring them out
When a youth athlete comes in for an injury which you have deemed is not in need of surgical intervention, referring them to physical therapy is the best way to keep that patient under your care. After going to physical therapy for three to six weeks, they should return to your office for a follow up visit. This arrangement give the patients consistent supervision by keeping them under your care. Instead of losing the patient to an orthopedic, you can handle non-surgical cases with the assistance of a qualified sports physical therapist. Having a good relationship with a sports physical therapy clinic will help keep those patients in your care instead of losing them to chiropractors or other specialists. If patients have a great experience going to see you first for their care, they are likely to return when another injury occurs.
2. Increased patient satisfaction
Parents demand more than RICE. In this day in age, youth athletes have a higher expectation for recovery from their sports injuries than in the past. As a primary care physician, parents are coming to you for answers to their child’s dilemma. When all that the primary care physician prescribes is rest, immobilization and ice, the parents will likely look to other professionals for more. The fact is, a lot can be done for a youth athlete to safely return them to play in a progressive manner. A qualified sports physical therapist has the experience, knowledge and tools to safely guide these patients in a quick recovery. When the child returns to play the parents will be very grateful to you, as the person directing their care, for guiding them to physical therapy. Patient satisfaction surrounding your care will definitely see an increase.
3. Improve networking for referrals back to you
The laws in California allow for patients to go directly to a physical therapist for their care for a limited time only. If further care is needed, that patient needs to have a plan of care signed off by a physician. The physical therapy clinic is looking for great physicians to establish relationships with. Establishing a peer-to-peer relationship with a local sports physical therapy clinic can be a great way to increase your own practice’s referrals.
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