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Full Story

Current Landscape: Payment for Clinical Experience

Jan 21, 2020

The topic of payment for clinical experience was researched by the American Council of Academic Physical Therapy (ACAPT) and its National Consortium of Clinical Educators (NCCE).

After conducting a survey to over 1,500 clinicians and PT academia, ACAPT has identified the following trends:

  • Very few DPT academic programs are paying for clinical experiences
  • Very few clinical entities have investigated the concept of payment for CE
  • High-level clinical administrators, while still not recommending it, are more likely than other clinical education stakeholders to consider payment for CE

The profession must consider all legal and ethical implications for clinical payment, including, but not limited to:

•             Setting type

•             Clinical site or clinician motivation

•             Teaching quality

•             Conflicts of interest

•             Professional obligation

•             Other factors

Based on the research so far, ACAPT and NCCE have the following recommendations:

1)  APTA should investigate reimbursement for student-provided PT services under the supervision of a licensed PT, including Medicare & all payers.

2)  All stakeholders should identify alternatives to payment for clinical experiences that benefit all stakeholders and provide non-monetary incentives. 

3)  ACAPT and/or APTA should craft a position statement on payment for clinical experiences and investigate development of national standards.

For the future, ACAPT & NCCE are also planning to explore:

  • How clinical sites that require payment allocate the revenue generated
  • Payment for integrated clinical experience (ICE) or clinical education experiences that occur before the completion of the didactic part of the curriculum and prior to the start of any terminal clinical experiences.
  • Investigate best practices in clinical education to minimize unnecessary variation and continually provide students with a successful clinical experience.

For more information, read the full report here. Academic administrators, clinicians and faculty interested in this topic can contact ACAPT at acapt@apta.org.  We welcome valuable input that leads to excellence in PT education.

For an update on the recommendations and an opportunity to provide input, come to NCCE’s Open Forum on Wednesday, February 12, 2020 from 6:30 - 7:30 pm at the Combined Sections Meeting (CSM) in Denver.

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