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Dissertation Abstract

The Effects of Managed Care on Professional Physical Therapist Education

Robert M. Dyer
Regent University

The imposition of managed health care has impacted the health care delivery system. The focus of this study is to evaluate the effect managed care has on professional physical therapist education. The primary study question was to determine if these programs had responded rapidly and efficiently in adapting curriculum to the new practice environments changed by managed care as seen through the attitudes and perceptions of the schools' program director. The study determined the extent managed care and business concepts are now integrated into the curriculum. The literature identified special skills now necessary for practice in managed care environments. The study reported the impact of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 on professional physical therapist education and findings concerning negative attitudes about managed care by faculty members and students. Surveying the 182 program directors working in professional physical therapist education and findings concerning negative attitudes about managed care by faculty members and students. Surveying the 182 program directors working in professional physical therapist education programs in the continental United States data was collected via electronic medium. Also, ten directors were interviewed in person to supply clarification and illumination of findings from the survey. The study concluded that while some efforts are being made to adapt, more effort to prepare students to work in managed care settings is necessary. The study also found a majority of program directors has a low knowledge of managed care and business skills as well as negative attitudes about managed care.