Emerging Setting with Max Mahaffey

An emerging setting is the non traditional roles, athletics, an Athletic Trainer is employed in.

The Physician Practice Setting only makes up around 2% of Athletic Trainers currently.

About Max:

  • He played football and graduated from Louisiana College
  • Worked in Alexandria, Louisianna for 2 years with an independent minor league team and as a physician extender
  • Went back to Lousianna college to work as an AT
  • Went back to school and got his masters at the University of Houston
  • Worked as the Baseball AT after graduating
  • Got hired by Memorial Hermann to work with the Sugarland Skeeters

What do you need to work in the PPS? 

DME – Durable Medical Equipment – need to be able to communicate how and why to use these devices

Casting and splinting – both removal and application.

Communicating the goals and expected outcomes.

Physician Practice Value Model

  • Manual for what ATs do in this role

What does max do in this emerging practice setting?

  • HPI
  • Exam
  • Initial assessment / DDx
    • Answer questions
  • Confer with Doctor
  • Plan
    • Imaging
    • HEP vs PT
    • RTP protocol
    • Orthos referrals
    • In-office procedures

Pros and Cons of Physicians Practice Setting


  • Work closely with doctors
  • Set schedule vs athletics
  • Had freedom to pick “regular AT” per diem
  • Wide variety of patients
    • Pediatric
    • Youth
    • Geriatric
  • A lot of concussions 


  • Public’s lack of knowledge of an AT
  • Difficult/ rude patients
  • They are not there to see Max
  • A lot of concussions
  • A lot of the same stuff
    • neck/back

CPT Codes

  • ICD vs CPT
  • 97110 Therapeutic Exercise for 15 minutes
    • Codes are not profession-specific

Financial Impact

  • Worth and Value
    • Worth – the monetary cost of the service
    • Value – is the perceived worth
  • ATs can increase efficiency by performing the non-billable tasks and freeing up the Doc for the billable tasks.
  • Pecha et al study
    • Increase of $200-$1200 per day increase
  • In Max’s clinic study over 6 months, this value would have been about $16,000
    • Patient satisfaction survey

    Sugarland Skeeters experience:

    • He has been there since the inaugural season
    • Mostly veteran players trying to get back to affiliated ball

    Facebook video

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