Wingate University’s pro bono physical therapy clinic continues to save local patients thousands of dollars while providing invaluable experience to doctoral students. This spring the 2-year-old Wingate Rehabilitation and Performance (WRAP) clinic, operated out of the Burnside-Dalton Building, provided nearly $15,000 in services, bringing its lifetime in-kind contribution to the community to $85,164.25.
“Our year-to-year numbers show continued growth via the number of new patients, number of total visits and total dollars saved to our community members,” says Karen Friel, director of the Doctor of Physical Therapy program. “Our value is seen in the low cancellation rate, which indicates, generally, that patients are satisfied with the product we are delivering.”
During the spring semester, the clinic scheduled 157 patient visits, saving insurance companies an estimated $11,969 and patients $2,992.38 in co-pays. The estimates are based on fees set by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and would have been even higher were it not for recent fee changes.
“The cuts CMS has made to the 2023 fee schedule reduced our estimates by about $8 per patient per visit,” explains Tyler Shultz, who spearheads the program. “Despite that, there was still positive year-to-year growth.”
Over the past two academic years, physical therapy students, under the watchful eyes of professors, have treated patients during 736 clinic visits, helping them recover from injury or illness, improve mobility and manage pain.
Friel says they’re learning plenty in the process.
“Our DPT 2s, who were the first cohort to experience the WRAP clinic fully post-Covid, have performed exceptionally well on their first rotation,” Friel says. “Our students continue to say that this integrated clinical experience is one of the most influential aspects that drew them to Wingate for their PT education.”
She commended Shultz for his leadership and the rest of the faculty for contributing their time and clinical expertise to the endeavor.
“We are proud to be able to live our motto of being a lab of difference-making in a sustainable way,” Friel says.
Learn more about the WRAP clinic by visiting wingate.edu.