Previous Next

Resources for Other Medical Professionals



Athletic Trainers improve patient functional and physical outcomes:

Physicians, hospitals, clinics and other employers demand Athletic Trainers for their versatile wellness services, and injury and illness prevention skills.  Employers demand Athletic Trainers for their knowledge and skills in manual therapy and similar treatments for musculoskeletal conditions, including back pain.  Athletic Trainers commonly supervise obese clients and patients to safely improve their health and fitness.  Athletic Trainers commonly work with patients with asthma, diabetes, heart disease and other health conditions


Athletic Trainers specialize in patient education to prevent injury and re-injury, which reduces rehabilitative and other health care costs:

Athletic Trainers specialize in patient education to prevent injury and re-injury, which reduces rehabilitative and other health care costs.  In a patient-centered delivery system, adding Athletic Trainers to the team does not cost the health care system money.  Studies demonstrate that the services of Athletic Trainers save money for employers and improve quality of life for patients. According to two independend studies, for every $1 invested in preventive care, employers gain up to a $7 return on investment.  In a study to determine the efficacy of an internal employee health program with early, in-house access to physical medicine and rehabilitation provided by athletic trainers, the researchers reported a decrease in lost workdays by more than 50 percent. Additionally, the odds of returning to work within three weeks more than doubled. The study was on health care workers (nurses, physical therapists, others), approximately 70 percent of whom were female with a mean age of 44 years. (Larson, Matthew C., et al. "Reducing Lost Workdays After Work-related Injuries." Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine 53.10 (2011): 1199-204.)


Many athletic trainers work outside of athletic settings; they provide PMR and other services to people of all ages.  Athletic Trainers work in:
  • Physician offices as physician extenders, similar to nurses, physician assistants, physical therapists and other professional clinical personnel
  • Rural and urban hospitals, hospital emergency rooms, urgent and ambulatory care centers
  • Clinics with specialties in sports medicine, cardiac rehab, medical fitness, wellness and physical therapy
  • Occupational health departments in commercial settings, which include manufacturing, distribution and offices to assist with ergonomics
  • Police and fire departments and academies, municipal departments, branches of the military
  • Public and private secondary schools, colleges and universities, professional and Olympic sports
  • Youth leagues, municipal and independently owned youth sports facilities

Athletic trainers have designated CPT/UB codes:

The Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes are athletic training evaluation (97005) and re-evaluation (97006); these codes are  part of the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation  (PMR)  CPT  family of  codes. The American Hospital Association established Uniform Billing (UB) codes – or revenue codes – for athletic training in 1999. The term “qualified health care professional,” as found in the CPT code book, is a generic term used to define the professional performing the service described by the code. The term “therapist” is not intended to denote any specific practice or specialty field within PMR




Where the Athletic Trainer Fits into the PCP ACO Model: 

  • Capabilities for population management and coordination of care
  • Resources for patient education and self-management support
  • Culture of teamwork among staff
  • Athletic Trainers have shown to increase throughput by 15% to 22%
  • Athletic Trainers’ first domain of practice: Prevention
  • Athletic Trainers develop Home Exercise Programs
  • Lower cost alternative to Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation


Where the Athletic Trainer Fits into the Hospital System(s) ACO:

  • Athletic Trainers are already employed in many Hospital Systems
  • Athletic Trainers’ ability to provide a wide range of services positions the profession to play a larger role in this setting
  • Athletic Trainers’ training in musculoskeletal evaluation and treatment is already used in the ED, OR, Orthopedic Clinics, Rehab, and DME


Not Fully Realized or Untapped Areas for Growth:

  • Physician Extenders
  • Emergency Medicine Support (especially in fast track programs)
  • Hospital inpatient/outpatient DME and floor management and discharge planning
  • Concussion program development
  • Community outreach and service
  • EMR scribes
  • Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation care


What Qualities and Skills do Athletic Trainers hold that are attractive to the New Healthcare Paradigm?

  • Injury Prevention
  • Musculoskeletal assessment
  • ‘Swiss Army Knife’ of the healthcare community
  • Occupational Injury Evaluation and Treatment
  • Acute Care training


Athletic Training can provide the Healthcare System:

  • Athletic Trainers working in physician offices have been shown to increase throughput by 17% to 22%.  1
  • 83% of industrial worksites surveyed indicated the ROI was more than $3 per $1 invested in an athletic trainer.  2
  • “46% of the companies that provided on-site physical rehabilitation indicated that health care costs had decreased by more than 50%”.  2
  • Revenue from Sports Medicine programs are considerable.  One program profited over $9M in a 5 year period.  3

1. Pecha, F. (2008) Unpublished data for Emory University Throughput Study.

2. Halls, C. (2008) downloaded 5.25.12

3. Hajart, A., Pecha, F., & Greene, J. (2012). Financial Impact of Athletic Trainers on Physicians, Hospitals, and the Community. 2012 Annual NATA Symposium. 6/29/2012


- Healthcare Reform and its Impact on Athletic Trainers; Aaron F. Hajart MS, ATC; Sr. Director of Administration, Neurological Institute of New Jersey, UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School 



Athletic Trainers are one of very few providers who have direct access in every state outside of MD/DOs, DCs, and PA/NPs






Referring the Patient to the Athletic Trainer


Once the role of the athletic trainer is understood, physicians can feel confident that once they have seen a patient in the office for an injury, follow up care can be managed by the athletic trainer.   If a patient has access to an athletic trainer at school or at work, injury management can be achieved daily or as prescribed by the physician.  

Since athletic trainers are employed in many settings, it is very likely that patients have free and unrestricted access to the services of an athletic trainer.  

Ask your patients if they have access to an athletic trainer.  If so, refer the patient to the athletic trainer for follow up care.  





Educational Material for Patients regarding Common Sport Conditions that Physicians See


Physicians should feel free to reproduce this material to provide patients that are seen in their office: 



Taylor Hooton Foundation


Sudden Death


Heat Illness


Heart Issues


Disordered eating

Female Athlete Triad Coalition 


Safe Weight Loss


Pediatric Overuse Injuries 

Look up NATA position statement regarding:  Endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics



Overuse Injuries, Overtraining, and Burnout in Child and Adolescent Athletes 


Athletes with Diabetes


Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries/Concussions



Catastrophic Brain Injury


Head Down Contact & Spine Injuries




Management of Asthma in Athletes power point available at


Fluid replacement 

Fluid Replacement for Athletes power point available at






Skin Disease 


Sickle Cell


Managing Prescription and Non-Prescription Medication in the Athletic Training Facility




Athletic Training Publications




Journal of Athletic Training 


Athletic Training Educators’ Journal 


American Medical Association – Athletic Trainer Profile


National Athletic Trainers’ Association - Resource Materials


National Athletic Trainers’ Association - Position Statements


National Athletic Trainers’ Association - News Releases


Board of Certification - Regulatory Map


Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education - Entry Level Accreditation Documents