A new survey of thousands of health care workers across the country found that while a majority of employers said they had a policy to cover the treatment of medical and psychiatric illnesses, they didn’t have a single one that covered physiotherapy.
The survey, conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Boston University Center for Healthcare Quality and Efficiency, was released Thursday.
It found that more than 70 percent of employers covered physical therapy, massage therapy, acupuncture, chiropractic, massage, physical therapy or physical therapy equipment, and nearly half covered physiotherapists.
Only about a quarter of workers reported they had health insurance that covered a full range of treatments, according to the survey.
The Kaiser survey found that of the 1,500 respondents who said they were covered by a policy that included physiotherapy, less than half had the full benefit.
Only 36 percent said they could access physiotherapy and massage therapy equipment.
The American Academy of Family Physicians and the American Medical Association have said they oppose physiotherapy in their guidelines, which include cautions against the use of any type of therapeutic equipment.
“Physiotherapy equipment, which can include a physiotherapy chair or massage table, is a poor choice for use in the medical setting,” the American Academy said in a 2016 policy statement.
The Associated Press/Kaiser Family Foundation survey found, however, that nearly two-thirds of the respondents who reported having insurance that included health insurance plans that covered health care for physiotherapy said they did not know of any policy that did.
Some of the companies surveyed said they only provide equipment for the care of a physical condition, and that they did so only in limited situations, like during emergencies or when there was an emergency.
The companies that responded said they typically offered the equipment to workers who needed it and were not aware of any other policies that covered it.
Kaiser said that about 70 percent said their company’s policy covers a wide range of services, including physiotherapy equipment.
But, the survey found the companies’ policies are often inconsistent, and sometimes the policies do not even list which treatments are covered.
A spokesperson for the Kaiser survey said it was unable to provide an estimate of the total number of employees who were covered.
The AP/Kauster Family Foundation report said that as of last year, about one-quarter of the workers surveyed said that they were in their third or fourth year of working for a health care company.
The vast majority of workers said they didn, or planned to, start working for another health care provider, Kaiser said.