Massachusetts Medicaid patients have limited access to PT after ACL reconstruction surgery: 4 things to know

Shayna Korol -  

Massachusetts Medicaid patients have limited access to physical therapy after ACL reconstruction surgery, according to an Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine study.

Here are four things to know.

1. Boston Medical Center researchers found that 51.8 percent of physical therapy clinics in the metropolitan Boston area accept Medicaid; 96.4 percent of practices accepted private insurance.

2. Medicaid patients had to wait longer for initial PT appointments compared to their privately insured counterparts — 8.4 days versus 4.8 days respectively.

3. According to orthopedic surgeon Xinning Li, MD, at Boston Medical Center, who Medicaid patients often return for follow up or postoperative visits without being able to do the prescribed PT exercises, leading to delayed functional improvement and stiffness.

4. Dr. Li suggests that providers advise Medicaid patients how to establish a postoperative rehabilitation plan when preparing a patient for ACL surgery. Orthopedic surgeons and hospital staff can help Medicaid patients find reimbursable PT services to improve their postsurgical outcomes.

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