A study focusing on the impact of risk-adjustment on quality scores reflecting improvement in patients’ functional abilities has been accepted for publication by the Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy.

In the study, researchers led by Daniel Deutscher, PT, PhD, utilizing Focus on Therapeutic Outcomes Inc (FOTO)’s database of rehabilitation outcomes, evaluated 414,125 patients, treated for lower back pain by 12,569 clinicians from 3,048 outpatient physical therapy clinics, from all US States, between 2014-2016.

The study, titled “Impact of Risk-Adjustment on Provider Ranking for Patients with Low Back Pain Receiving Physical Therapy,” suggests that 70% of clinics were incorrectly ranked on quality levels for their patient care due to lack of risk-adjusted profiling of functional outcomes.

“Dr Deutscher’s research on risk-adjustment is important because quality of healthcare, as measured by outcomes measures rather than numbers of procedures, has become a central focus for improving today’s health care system,” says Al Amato, PT, MBA, president of FOTO, in a media release.

“Risk-adjusted clinic ranking systems are now recommended by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to meaningfully assess the quality of rehabilitation therapy services and help consumers choose the best provider for their healthcare needs. Statistical methods for developing accurate clinical ranking are required for the foundation of a fair value-based payment program and have become an important area for research,” he adds.

[Source(s): Focus on Therapeutic Outcomes Inc, Business Wire]