Utilization of ambulatory physical therapy and occupational therapy by the United States Population, 2009-2013

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Abstract

PURPOSE: The aging of the U.S. population and insurance reforms in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 have been postulated to increase future demand for physical therapy and occupational therapy. The purpose of this study was to develop population estimates for and describe the demographic characteristics of persons using ambulatory physical therapy and occupational therapy during 2009-2013. METHOD: From data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey-Household Component, population estimates of the number of persons utilizing ambulatory therapy services were developed for the total U.S. population and by selected demographic characteristics: Age, sex, census region, race/ethnicity and income category. RESULTS: The ambulatory therapy patient population grew by an average rate of 5.9% to a total of 13.2 million persons in 2013. The average annual growth rate was higher for persons aged 0- 17, age over 64, Asian-Americans, Black Americans, and persons living in low income and near-poor households. The typical user was a working-age, Caucasian female living in a middle or high income household. CONCLUSIONS: While the typical user of ambulatory therapy services represents persons who traditionally have good access to health care, the results of this study point to an aging of the population using therapy services and improved access to ambulatory therapy services for historically underserved populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)225-231
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Allied Health
Volume46
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2017

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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