How Diagnostic Testing is Reshaping the Physical Therapy Industry

Technology is growing at a rapid pace. Chief among these advances has been the rate at which technology is growing within diagnostic testing and the healthcare industry at large.

New advancements in diagnostic testing have opened the door to a wide range of innovative procedures. With these new procedures comes a new standard in accuracy and effectiveness in regard to treatment.

Diagnostic testing is doing more than changing the way physical therapists (PTs) treat patients. It’s also changing how therapists and clinics are getting paid for their services. Thanks to new advances in diagnostic testing, PTs are able to offer not only a better quality of care, but earn more money doing it.

Learn more about the advances in diagnostic testing, and how it’s changing the physical therapy industry.

Diagnostic Testing Has Grown By Leaps and Bounds

With the exponential rate at which technology continues to advance, growth within the world of diagnostic testing has increased dramatically.

Consider the drastic changes we’ve seen in phones and home computers. Now think about all the developments that have been unique to medical technology. It’s no surprise that diagnostic testing has experienced radical changes as exciting and innovative testing comes on the market.

The advent of tests such as electromyography (EMG) testing, ultrasound, videonytsamography (VNG), and more, have opened a new world of understanding in physical therapy treatment. Now, more than ever before, PTs can clearly and accurately recognize the causes at the heart of our patients’ problems.

The diagnostic imaging industry was worth $19.5 billion in 2018 in the United States alone. This was a 4.2 percent increase from 2017, and the market is projected to continue to grow at an annual pace of more than three percent.

Such a strong and consistent growth rate demonstrates why so many physical therapy clinics across the country are rushing to incorporate these diagnostic tests into their practices.

Accurate Diagnostic Testing Creates More Effective Treatment Plans

For the longest time, the effectiveness of physical therapy treatment plans was a long and drawn-out process. Worse yet, it did not always accurately identify the source of a problem. Patients would have an initial evaluation followed by an in-person exam. Based on these examinations and the patient’s history, a treatment plan would be created. But this would only touch on the surface of the issue at hand.

While this modality can be effective, it is unable to always recognize the underlying problem. This can greatly reduce the overall effectiveness of a treatment plan. Through the application of accurate diagnostic testing, PTs have access to objective, reliable data. The results are more effective treatment plans and improved patient outcomes.

The better your understanding of the heart of a problem, the better a physical therapist is prepared to treat it. There’s no question that a more informed diagnosis and data leads to improvements in treatment; what you may not know is how it can also make a big difference in how much PTs are compensated.

New Tests Provide New Billing Codes for PTs

As any PT will tell you, what you are allowed to charge is all too often determined by the billing codes that are available to you. The advent of new diagnostic testing offers a wide range of expanded services previously unavailable to PTs.

What’s more, with these new tests come associated diagnostic billing codes. These codes can greatly increase payments from insurance companies. The result has been a net positive for both clinics and their patients.

These new tests vastly increase the range of services you can provide. These new services mean access to an array of billing codes with a much greater average patient return. Where typical insurance reimbursements traditionally range between $70 and $100 per session, PTs taking advantage of these new codes can bill an average of $550 for each diagnostic session.

And it’s more than new services boosting the bottom line for PTs. Physical therapists who have gotten on board with the latest diagnostic tests report that insurance reimbursements regularly grew by as much as 75 percent.

This marked increase in cash flow has led to a surge in popularity for these diagnostic tests among PTs. With that also comes a rise in the need for certified training so therapists make the most of this new technology.

Testing Creates New Opportunities for Learning and Advancement

Of course, these incredible advancements in diagnostic testing are of little use without the training to properly use them. The increased need for trusted diagnostic training also provides new avenues for PTs looking to advance their careers or earn valuable physical therapy continuing education credit units (CEUs).

CEUs are important not only for those training to become physical therapists. They are also vital to medical doctors and other healthcare professionals looking for the CEUs they need to remain in good standing.

The result is a new generation of PTs and healthcare professionals better trained and prepared than ever before, armed with the latest technology to improve patient care. Through the comprehensive training available through the world-renowned team at Hands-On Seminars, thousands of physical therapists and healthcare professionals around the world have received their certifications and CEU credits for a wide range of diagnostic tests.

The availability of reliable and affordable training has helped to increase the accessibility of these tests to a much wider range of businesses. Through a combination of live, online, and hybrid courses from the world’s leading experts, accessing learning these vital diagnostic tests has never been easier.

Diagnostics Improve Accurate and Affordable Testing

One of the musculoskeletal tests making waves across the physical therapy industry has been the rise of ultrasound testing. Musculoskeletal ultrasound has been a gamechanger when it comes to identifying and diagnosing joint and muscle issues.

Until recently, musculoskeletal problems were diagnosed through the use of X-rays, computed tomography (CT) scans, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). While these techniques can be incredibly helpful in musculoskeletal diagnosis, they also bring their own concerns.

Both X-rays and CT scans use radiation as part of their imaging process. Although the medical community generally agrees this radiation exposure is relatively harmless, there are many people made uncomfortable by it.

Musculoskeletal ultrasound offers a noninvasive, radiation-free way to diagnose muscular issues without the risk of increased exposure to radioactivity. What’s more, ultrasound is significantly more affordable than CT scans and MRIs, and it is 100 percent accepted by insurances.

Thanks to its lower cost, safety, additional billing codes, and accuracy, ultrasound testing has grown in popularity across the industry.

And it is much more than ultrasounds making waves across the world of diagnostic testing. Tests such as VNG are setting in standards in what patients expect in testing vestibular and inner ear functions. By offering a range of affordable, non-invasive services, physical therapists are prepared to change the lives of even more patients.

Learn how Diagnostic Testing Can Improve Your Care and Your Revenue

Exciting things happening with diagnostic testing, and it doesn’t look like it is going to slow down any time soon. As technology continues to advance, so too will its applications.

Hands-On Companies is proud to position itself at the forefront of the cutting edge of the diagnostic testing industry. We are always researching the latest and most innovative tests and techniques. This way, we may in turn share that knowledge with our colleagues in the physical therapy profession, as well as our patients.

Discover how you can revolutionize your practice through diagnostic testing. Learn how you can improve patient care through more effective treatment plans while also increasing profitability through better insurance reimbursements.

Reach out to the team at Hands-On Companies today to find out how you can take advantage of these exciting innovations in your practice today!