Page 22 - Athletic Health Handbook
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athletic training to be the fastest
growing area of employment in the
AT profession. Recent studies have
shown the addition of ATs in the
physician clinics have provided
increased patient throughput on
average of close to 20 percent.2
Patient satisfaction studies have also
been completed showing ATs have
received high satisfaction scores.3

The AT is an ideal clinician
to work in conjunction with the
physician when they are seeing
patients in clinic. Their musculoskeletal
background allows ATs to take
thorough histories, perform
musculoskeletal exams, and order
appropriate tests to present to the
physician prior to them seeing the
patient, thus improving clinic
efficiency. Their skills also include
fitting and applying braces and
teaching home exercise programs to
patients. This allows the PA to work in
autonomous roles and run concurrent
clinics with their own independent
case-load to improve patient access
and increase clinic volumes. In the
operating room, PAs can assist the
physician with Medicare patients and
cases assured to be reimbursed for
assist fees. Depending on hospital
credentialing regulations ATs may be
able to assist in the operating room.
They may be best suited for providing
operating room efficiency and
assisting in non-reimbursable
cases when available. ATs can
also be utilized to deliver care for
postoperative visits, which is especially
beneficial during the postoperative
global period saving time generally
spent by the physician or PA.

In conclusion, both PAs and ATs
can provide substantial benefits to a
physician practice. Optimizing these
practices is dependent on the clinic’s
willingness to change and shift their
current practice models.

PHYSICIAN ASSISTANTS AND ATHLETIC TRAINERS IN YOUR ORTHOPAEDIC PRACTICE 22
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