Americans are willing to pay out of pocket for physical therapy at a similar rate as regular screenings and check-ups, according to a recent survey commissioned by ATI Physical Therapy.
Additionally, Americans expect access to affordable physical therapy services to be covered through employers. The survey was conducted online by The Harris Poll among over 2,000 U.S. adults.
One third of Americans (33%) say physical therapy is among the out-patient type of medical services they would be most likely to pay a co-pay of $40 or less for without hesitation. Other healthcare services Americans would be most likely to pay a co-pay of $40 or less for without hesitation include urgent care visits (55%), regular screening/check-ups (35%), prescriptions (33%), and chiropractic services (24%).
When it comes to employers covering certain healthcare services, more than four in five Americans (84%) agree that employers should ensure their employees have affordable access to physical therapy, if needed, to maintain a healthy workforce, with about half (49%) strongly agreeing with that opinion.
“Survey results indicate that there is a willingness to pay for access to physical therapy earlier in the healthcare journey, which means employers need to act on these preferences to ensure a healthy workforce.
“While it’s unclear if these results are directly related to the experience of many Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic, it seems the impact of extended work-from-home on our bodies, coupled with the extra focus on healthcare costs and services, are shifting consumer perceptions of priority, preventive health services like physical therapy.”
— Dr. Charles Thigpen, Sr. Director of Practice Innovation and Analytics at ATI Physical Therapy
Additional survey findings broken down by age group include:
- Adults ages 35-44 are more likely than younger adults ages 18-34 and older adults ages 45+ to strongly agree that employers should ensure their employees have affordable access to physical therapy, if needed, to maintain a healthy workforce (62% vs. 43% and 49%).
- Adults ages 35-44 are more likely than those ages 55+ to say the following are among the out-patient type medical services they would be most likely to pay a co-pay of $40 or less without hesitation if needed:
- Regular screenings/check-ups (47% vs. 33%)
- Prescriptions (41% vs. 28%)
- Physical therapy (41% vs. 29%)
Survey Method: This survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of ATI Physical Therapy between July 29–August 2, 2021, among 2,099 adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample, and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.
[Source: ATI Physical Therapy]