I said it last year and I’ll say it again – 2018 is going to be a good year for physical and occupational therapy (see the industries thoughts about 2017 here). And, from the outlook below of some very influential PTs in our industry, I’m not the only one feeling the excitement. Though we still battle healthcare uncertainty in 2018, the excitement that exudes from everyone in our industry is enough to make me believe that this could be our year.

Below, find passions, thoughts and fears from some of the most Influential PTs. I’m happy to bring in Mike Laviolette as well as an up and comer in physical therapy (see his recent blog on common marketing mistakes that could be killing your practice here).

I also want to hear from you! Leave a comment below letting us know what you’re looking forward to in 2018. Here’s to a great year!

James Buenaventura, PT, DPT

What I’m looking forward to in 2018? I think we’ve gained so much ground in the realm of public identity, so I’m excited to see the push further in the realm of professional identity. I am excited including PTAs in TriCare, fighting alongside my colleagues/friends in Texas, Illiniois, and Missouri as they push for unrestricted direct access. Just as we all have our mountains to climb, on a personal note as an avid hiker, I’m looking forward to hiking to Everest Base Camp and crossing that off my bucket list in 2018!

Jerry Henderson, PT

As I wrote last year, I am excited to see more effective care take a more important role than simply more care as we transition from fee for service. The pace of that transition is accelerating, and I couldn’t be happier. When financial incentives are aligned to provide the Right Care at the Right Time to the Right Population, physical therapy will thrive. Alternative Payment Models will require new skill sets and technology: The “soft skills” necessary to motivate our patients to take responsibility for their own care, and effective patient engagement technology to monitor patient compliance, satisfaction and outcomes will all become more critical tools in 2018 and beyond. I am really looking forward to working with our partners at Keet Health to prepare for this bright new future.

Karen Litzy, PT, DPT

What I am looking forward to this year is the profession of physical therapy being recognized as a leader not only in rehab but in prevention of disease. I am hopeful that more physical therapists will become partners with the medical and fitness communities to be partners in health for the betterment of society. For this to take place we need to be open minded, empathetic and collaborative. All qualities that I know exist in our profession from students to seasoned professional to APTA leadership.

Mike Laviolette, PT

Going into 2018, I’m inspired by the growth I have seen take place in some of my friends and colleagues in the past year. People like Rachel Jerrman, Alex Engar and Joe Lipsky (to name a few) are doing some really amazing things. Following what they are doing and seeing their growth gets me excited and keeps me motivated to keep going.

As a Massachusetts native who lived on the border of Connecticut but has recently relocated to California, I am excited about the possibility of additional states taking on legislation for the physical therapy licensure compact in 2018. I’m also excited about the potential the compact holds for telehealth.

Lastly, I am looking forward to finishing the NorCal Kaiser Permanente orthopedic residency and preparing for my OCS. It has been a great experience so far, as I have been able to learn from some of the top researchers and educators in the field, other therapists in the clinic, and from my fellow residents. It’s exciting to look back to even a few months ago and see the clinical development that has taken place.

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Nancy Beckley, MS, MBA, CHC

So you ask, “What is inspiring?” For me, it is more acknowledgement and recognition that I see in the therapy community in embracing the value of compliance. I started my career as a recreational therapist in a spinal cord rehabilitation center. I was inspired by the patients who were joyed at their first outing in a wheelchair, their first wheelchair 10k race, and coping in a movie theatre or restaurant on a therapy outing. I often felt joy beyond belief at being part of spinal cord patient’s transition to living life fully in a wheelchair. I’ve been fortunate enough to have my entire career center around therapy, and continue to be inspired by therapists doing great work.  Often I am inspired by the therapy notes that I review in audits – and see the therapist’s passion for their patients.  For me, every vacation is also a busman’s holiday – I pop into clinics wherever I am and introduce myself.  There always seems to be someone who will take a few minutes to tell me their clinic’s story.

This year I continue to “give back”, and for me that means volunteering as I have for the past 6 years to do complimentary webinars with Clinicient that are open to the entire therapy community.  I want to help providers see compliance as an asset – both as a financial asset, and as an ethical asset.  I develop a theme each year for my presentations, training and speaking.  This year it’s “The Year of Living Dangerously”.  You can start by mitigating your risk – sign up for Compliance Alerts (my compliance newsletter).

Jarod Carter, PT, DPT

As deductibles and PT copays continue to rise for the average healthcare consumer, it’s actually becoming easier to have success in the cash-based practice model.  This, combined with the continued fall of reimbursement for our services, will likely compel even more practice owners to make the transition out-of-network; and many new practice owners creating practices that are out-of-network from the start.


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