2803 – Business Side to Aquatic Therapy

Intermediate / 3-hour Lecture


Faculty: Beth Scalone, PT, DPT, OCS, ATRIC


COURSE DESCRIPTION: Running an aquatic therapy program or business requires skills and knowledge not often taught in therapy school. Components to marketing, safety and staffing are discussed. This course is designed to provide key ideas, checklists and resources to guide the aquatic therapists in marketing their program. Safety and staffing issues are also presented.


Good documentation is essential in running an aquatic therapy business. It affects reimbursement, liability and overall professionalism of the program. Reimbursement and documentation will be discussed, along with the key aspects for effective documentation, reimbursement issues and Medicare requirements. This portion of the course is geared more towards the licensed therapist billing insurance, however, anyone who documents their sessions can benefit from the information. There will be opportunity to share experiences and ask questions.  



1)    Examine marketing strategies to effectively promote an aquatic therapy program.

2)    List at least four things to consider with social media and marketing a healthcare business.

3)    Determine key safety components to an aquatic therapy program recognizing areas of risk and ways to reduce those risks. 

4)    Determine the pros and cons of various staffing/pool scheduling combinations to determine best-case scenario for various types of programs.

5)    Identify key components to effective documentation.

6)    Provide justification and rationale for use of aquatic therapy to insurance companies and physicians.

7)    Recognize and correct common mistakes in documentation that leads to insurance denial.

8)    Determine local Medicare coverage and limitations for aquatic therapy.


FACULTY: Beth Scalone, PT, DPT, OCS, ATRIC, is a licensed physical therapist with many years of experience in orthopedic and aquatic therapy. As the owner of North County Water and Sports Therapy Center in San Diego (www.waterpt.com), she continues with hands-on clinical care in addition to her role as educator. Since graduating from the University of Connecticut in 1991, Beth has belonged to the American Physical Therapy Association and has achieved certification as a Clinical Specialist in Orthopedic Physical Therapy. In January 2006, she graduated from Boston University with a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree. Additional certifications include Certified STOTT Pilates™ instructor and Master Instructor for the Burdenko Method.


Beth not only provides continuing education for health care professionals, she is an adjunct faculty in the San Diego Mesa College PTA program, teaching Orthopedic Rehabilitation and Introduction to Pathology courses. She also provides the learning module/instruction on aquatic therapy to the University of St. Augustine San Diego Campus DPT program.