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Aquatic Therapy Resources
From Your Aquatic Therapy Command Center


Aquatic therapy can be defined as the use of water and specifically designed activity by qualified personnel to aid in the restoration, extension, maintenance and quality of function.. More simply put, therapists use water like they use any other piece of equipment; to restore function. These procedures require constant attendance of a therapist educated in performing aquatic therapeutic exercises. Common synonyms: Aquatic Rehabilitation, Aqua Therapy, Pool Therapy, Water Therapy, Hydrotherapy

There are dozens of techniques used in the aquatics industry. Some of the more popular include: Ai Chi, Bad Ragaz Ring Method, Aquatic PNF, Aquatic Feldenkrais, Watsu, Halliwick, Aquatic Sensory Integration, Aquatic Trunk Stabilization, Aquatic Yoga, Aquatic Pilates, Cardiac circuit training and the Unpredicatable Command Technique.

Medicare and Medicaid - as well as many private payers such as Aetna, Blue Cross/ Blue Sheild - will only pay for aquatic therapy if a physical, occupational or speech therapist provides the service. However, athletic trainers, massage therapists, kinesiotherapists, exercise physiologists, therapeutic recreational specialists (recreational therapists), chiropractors, osteopaths and others can legally provide aquatic services within their own scope of practice.

Sensory Disorders * Limited Range of Motion * Weakness * Poor Motor Coordination * Pain * Spasticity * Perceptual/Spatial Problems * Balance Deficits * Respiratory Problems * Circulatory Problems * Depression/Poor Self-Esteem * Cardiac Diseases * Joint Replacement * Motor Learning and Processing Disorders * Orthopedic Injuries / Trauma * Obesity * Prenatal * Neurological (MS, CVA, Parkinson's) * Osteoporosis * Arthritis * Fibromyalgia


eSPLASH (Industry hotsheet; read by 5,000+):


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Billing & reimbursement:

Medicare billing rules (supervision, use of aides, co-treating)

What comprises a group for group therapy?

Local Coverage Determinations (why aquatic therapy is denied by Medicare in some situations)

Medical necessity & aquatic therapy

Renting exclusive use of an off-site pool for Medicare patients. (Revised May 7, 2008).

Does this exclusivity clause apply to private practice therapists?

How about hospital therapists?

Can I bill under 97110 (therex) if the payer refuses code 97113?

APTA billing seminar (free transcript of seminar)


On aquatic therapy

On aquatic exercise

On # of pools

ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act):

ADA compliant pools

ADA compliant lifts

State codes for pools:

State/federal guidelines for pool construction & operation


In-house seminars

Certificate or specialty tracks

Infants & children:

Neonatal hydrotherapy (Aquatic therapy for newborns)

Swim diapers:

Risk management:

Swine flu

MRSA transmission

Vomit & blood

2 week rule (diarrhea)


Leasing or renting pools:

Things to consider before leasing

More thoughts on leasing

Medicare rules re: exclusive use


Free downloads:

Multiple sclerosis download (15 pgs)

Parkinson's download (34 pgs)

Sample Letter of Appeal

Jobs in aquatic therapy:

Find a job (free)

Post a job ($100/mo)

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Aquatic Therapy - Aquatic Resources Network & Aquatic Therapy University

"Thank you so much for all your information! I can not express to you enough my appreciation."

Marie Nielsen, PTA
Orange City, Iowa



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