AT in the Capitalist Economy

Mike and Kathy exemplify the “AT in the Capitalist Economy.” Share in the discussion and consider if being an AT business owner is right for you.


Mike, what does “Capitalist Economy AT” mean to you?

What can an AT do and what is the value of our skillset?

Will people pay you for your services?

We are bridging the gap and speaking directly to the public.

Live the American dream

This is all about advocacy for me.

17 years ago I started my business D&D Sports medicine.

I am worth being paid for the services I am providing.

Part of our COPA committee is developing resources for the capitalist AT.

Kathy as a business owner where do you see us going?

We have become so diverse.

Pandemic has caused a lot of ATs to try running their own business.

Helping with reimbursement even though “cash is King”

Reimbursement opens the doors wider.

When the poop hit the fan and sports stopped the earth shook.

I made the decision 7 years ago to go out on my own.

I try to look at my business as telling the athletes how they can get better.

How can we do this to positively impact the profession?

This entrepreneur road is a great way to keep good ATS here.

Kathy – I have been a mentor each time I switched jobs out of a sense of duty.

I constantly get questions about how they can follow my path.

“First guy through the fence always gets a little bloody…I was that first guy” – Mike Stella

Knowing your “why” is crucial.

When I am faced with making a business decision I go back to my core values and see if it fits.

State practice ascites were written 20-30 years ago and when ATs were only in sports settings.

We need to update them to include a lot of the new settings.

READ your state practice act and have a good understanding of it.

Standing Orders: keep or trash them and why?

Kathy – What we are seeing is a result of a profession that has always worked under the supervision of a physician.

In the medical community, there are a lot of providers working under a physician.

Mike – Having the medical team in place is important.

Working under a physician puts the thumb on us and creates an automatic glass ceiling.

I was told, “You can not start a business because you can not hire my boss.”

The doctors I worked with decided they wanted a piece of the pie.

Now we have to jump through hoops that a massage therapist does not with one year of training.

“If we want a different solution or answer then we have to ask different questions.”

Access to insurance billing, does it hurt or help, and why?

CMS recognition helps as a sign of credibility

Do you lose some patients who want to bill insurance?

As it stands right now ATs are an expense item on the budget where as PT and Chiro generate revenue

Hypothetical: You are starting an AT-based/AT-oriented business next year what is it?

Product manufacture

Education business

But start with what problem are you trying to solve.

Consulting business because of where I am in my career.

From Innovate At Facebook Group:

Carrie Meyer – Does ATs engaging in capitalism increase health disparities – if the focus is on profit?

You will have some ATs in it for the profit and become revenue generators but most ATs are in it for the patient.

YOU CAN DO BOTH – create revenue and have great patient outcomes.

Ethics are Ethics palin and simple.

You can treat kids for only the reimbursement amount if you choose, but revenue keeps the lights on.

Kendall Selsky – What is happening in AT that should make prospective students consider AT as a career?

20 years ago I gave a business of AT presentation to 10 or 20 people at most across the country.

We are passing legislation

We WILL get California liscensed

Adam Halpern – What risk does AT as a profession face with athletic trainers entering the private market and infringing on other disciplines’ domains?

David Gallegos

Capitalism naturally balances a supply and demand imbalance in free markets so what is predicted of the profession was heavy in this model?  Too much supply? Too much demand?

If you want to hire an AT but can not since they are in other settings then institutions will need to pay more to get one and keep them.

Contact Us:

Dr. Kathy Dieringer:

Mike Stella: @mikestella_atc IG/Twitter

Jeremy – @SportsMedicineBroadcast on IG

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