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Ridgecrest Physical Therapy will close May 24

Letter to the Editor

Ridgecrest Physical Therapy is deeply grateful to the Ridgecrest and greater Indian Wells Valley community for their integral role in our journey over the past 27 years. It is with a heavy heart that we announce the closure of our doors at the end of May 2024. We are committed to continuing the care for our existing patients, allowing them to complete their current treatment plans until either May 24th or May 30th. Please note, we will not be accepting new cases in the month of May.

Most of us have heard that the minimum wage for fast food workers in California went up to $20.00 per hour on April 1st, resulting in some workers being laid off, introducing food ordering Kiosks to reduce staff, raising prices, closing businesses, etc. I expect this will be a mistake in the long run, but the damage will have already been done by then.

Over the last four years, year after year, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services has been reducing the rate of payment for Physical Therapy services, while with inflation, the cost of our providing those services has dramatically risen, including a new requirement by the State of California taking effect on June 1st, 2024, of this year to raise the minimum wage for all medical support staff, including aides, secretaries, insurance billers, etc. to $21.00 per hour.

Other insurance companies have announced they will follow Medicare in paying less also, so, with insurance reimbursement going down and costs going up, we will be pushed into bankruptcy soon after June 1st, 2024. We will not wait for that to happen, but we will close after May 30th to pay all our staff and vendors what we owe them for a job well done. I am seriously concerned about the future of health care in Ridgecrest and the rest of California, especially in the smaller towns.

It has been an honor and privilege to serve the Ridgecrest and the greater Indian Wells Valley community, and we will continue to be a part of it. We remain hopeful that healthcare in Ridgecrest will improve to better serve the needs of our community, as your friend and neighbor,

Henry Frohlich, RPT.