Service Utilization and Costs of Patients at a Cash-Based Physical Therapy Clinic

Health Care Manag (Frederick). 2019 Jan/Mar;38(1):37-43. doi: 10.1097/HCM.0000000000000247.


Cash-based physical therapy, a model in which the clinicians do not accept insurance payments and accept only direct payment, is quickly becoming an enticing option for clinicians who own their own practice. The purpose of this study was to describe service utilization for a single cash-based physical therapy clinic. Forty-eight charts of patients who had been discharged between 2013 and 2016 were randomly selected. The data were deidentified prior to the researchers gaining access. Chronic diagnoses were predominately prevalent (n = 28). The lumbo/pelvic region of diagnoses (39.6%) and knee/leg region of diagnoses (29.2%) encompassed the majority of the diagnoses. The mean physical therapy utilization for the cohort per episode of care was 8.0 ± 8.1 visits per episode of care, total cost of $780.19 ± 530.30 per episode of care, and $97.52 per visit. This study is the first to present data regarding costs, utilization, and patient demographics for a cash-based physical therapy clinic.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Ambulatory Care Facilities
  • Direct Service Costs / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Health Expenditures*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Physical Therapists / economics*
  • Private Practice / economics*
  • Retrospective Studies