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Author Notes:

Forrest Q. Pecha, MS, ATC, LAT, OTC, CSCS, St Luke’s Sports Medicine, 1109 West Myrtle Street, Suite 200, Boise, ID 83702 (e-mail: pechaf@slhs.org)

The following authors declared potential conflicts of interest: Forrest Q. Pecha, MS, ATC, LAT, OTC, CSCS, is a consultant for and received a residency grant from DJO Global, and is a paid speaker for the American Association of Orthopedic Executives; John W. Xerogeanes, MD, is a consultant for Linvatec, received fellowship supports from DJ Ortho, Linvatec, Arthrex, Smith Nephew, and Ossur, and received payment for lectures from Linvatec; and Spero G. Karas, MD, is a consultant for DJ Ortho, received grants from DJ Ortho, Linvatec, Arthrex, Smith Nephew, and Ossur, and received payment for lectures and royalties from DJ Ortho.



  • athletic trainer
  • collections
  • efficiency
  • physician extender
  • productivity

Comparison of the Effect of Medical Assistants Versus Certified Athletic Trainers on Patient Volumes and Revenue Generation in a Sports Medicine Practice


Journal Title:

Sports Health


Volume 5, Number 4


, Pages 337-339

Type of Work:

Article | Final Publisher PDF


Background: Research has shown increases in efficiency and productivity by using physician extenders (PEs) in medicalpractices. Certified athletic trainers (ATCs) that work as PEs in primary care sports medicine and orthopaedic practicesimprove clinic efficiency.Hypothesis: When compared with a medical assistant (MA), the use of an ATC as a PE in a primary care sports medicinepractice will result in an increase in patient volume, charges, and collections.Study Design: Cross-sectional study.Methods: For 12 months, patient encounters, charges, and collections were obtained for the practices of 2 primary caresports medicine physicians. Each physician was assisted by an ATC for 6 months and by an MA for 6 months. Eighty fullclinic days were examined for each physician.Results: Statistically significant increases were found in all measured parameters for the ATC compared with the MA.Patient encounters increased 18% to 22% per day, and collections increased by 10% to 60% per day.Conclusion: ATCs can optimize orthopaedic sports medicine practice by increasing patient encounters, charges, andcollections.Clinical Relevance: Orthopaedic practices can be more efficient by using ATCs or MAs as PEs.

Copyright information:

© 2013 The Author(s).

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