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MEDIA: Statistics
How Popular is Aquatic Therapy? How Often is it Prescribed?


One of the greatest needs expressed by the press is a quick resource base for statistics on aquatic therapy. So, just for you, Aquaticnet.com has gathered information from sources as varied as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, the National Swimming Pool Foundation and state bathing codes.

We want to be the media's Aquatic Therapy Command Center. Please cite Aquaticnet.com as your source.

Question: How popular is aquatic therapy? How often is it prescribed?

Answer: There are no surveys which address popularity of aquatic therapy. There are, however, billing patterns available from the largest payer in the United States, the federal government.

We can use CMS data to determine how often Medicare is paying for aquatic therapy services in comparison to other physical medicine and rehabilitation procedures.

Per the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) ,

  • The number of aquatic therapy services (CPT code 97113) billed to Medicare Part B by private practice physical therapists:

    2001 - 525,569 (about 2.8% of all procedure codes billed to Medicare Part B by private practice PTs in 2001)

  • 2002 - 735,073 (about 3.1% of all procedure codes billed to Medicare Part B by private practice PTs in 2002)

    2003 - 781,807 (about 2.8% of all procedure codes billed to Medicare Part B by private practice PTs in 2003)

    2004 - 1,014,400 (about 2.7% of all procedure codes billed to Medicare Part B by private practice PTs in 2004)

    In summary, in the private practice PT setting, aquatic therapy accounts for approximately 3% of services billed to Medicare.

    In billing frequency in the private practice PT setting, it ranked #154, well below "therapeutic exercises" (#5), "manual therapy" (#18), "therapeutic activities" (#41), and neuromuscular re-education (#55). It was billed almost as often as a PT evaluation (#143) and more frequently than was "gait training" (#189).

    Source: BESS data for Medicare Part B services. BESS stands for Part B Extract and Summary System. BESS only includes data from Medicare carriers, thus it only includes information from therapists in private practice.

    Even though other practice settings (e.g. hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, etc.) are not represented, BESS is probably an accurate portrayal of over-all billing frequency.

  • The amount spent by Medicare Part B on outpatient aquatic therapy in 2005 was $46 million (Note: This amount includes all outpatient aquatic therapy, not just those services billed by private practice therapists). Source: Medicare Part B

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STATISTICS

Team Aquatic Therapy - United the world...one therapist at a time. A multidisciplinary, global network of aquatic therapists. Membership provides access to online database of aquatic therapy clearinghouse of information.
fast faqs about aquatic therapy, aquatic industry numbers

 

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