"Physical therapy is not a subspecialty of the medical profession and physical therapists are not medical doctors; we are a separate profession that provides a unique service that physicians are unable and untrained to provide."

Letter to the AMA from the APTA, Dec 2009

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Tools for the Tool Box

The SIMPLE system of diagnosis was born as a Medicare compliance program for a Medicare Part B Physical Therapist in Private Practice.

I was the Compliance Officer and I was in the bulls-eye when the Medicare auditors would come knocking (they haven't yet, knock wood).

After surveying the current marketplace I felt that there were not sufficient tools that I could bring back to my staff to help them get to where I thought we needed to be.

At that point in time my main goal was to get a good nights sleep without worrying about a Medicare audit.

I wanted a tool that would enable my physical therapists and physical therapist assistants to become able note writers, goals-setters and intervention selectors without having to memorize all of the Medicare Benefits Policy Manual, Transmittal 63 (~ 45 pages).


The physical therapist's clinical decision-making and critical thinking skills should be focused on patient care, not on how to best write a legal note in the chart.

I developed the SIMPLE system as an answer to this problem.

The SIMPLE system allows the therapist to spend time with the patient collecting data and building the therapeutic relationship. Once data collection is completed selecting interventions and goal setting are automatic.

Diagnosis is the first step in the system that derives naturally from data that is easily obtained using skills familiar to the new graduate as well as the seasoned expert.

Diagnosis is communicated in standardized language that is familiar to the doctor, the nurse, the PTA and to the patient.

The SIMPLE system helps the physical therapist arrive at a diagnosis by measuring a standardized set of movements that reflect the patient’s ability to generate strength and move through a range-of-motion.

SIMPLE tries to capture data about the lower extremities and the lumbar spine.
Physical therapy diagnosis may include other body parts. The final section of Part 1: Clinical Skills describes Supplementary Positions and Measurements that can be used to diagnose other conditions commonly seen in physical therapy practice.

To study the SIMPLE system for free go to www.SimpleScore.com and view the videos.


Free Tutorial

Get free stuff at BulletproofPT.com

Tim Richardson, PT owns a private practice at Medical Arts Rehabilitation, Inc in Palmetto, Florida. The clinic website is at MedicalArtsRehab.com.

Bulletproof Expert Systems: Clinical Decision Support for Physical Therapists in the Outpatient Setting is a manager's workbook with stories, checklists, charts, graphs, tables, and templates describing how you can use paper-based or computerized tools to improve your clinic's Medicare compliance, process adherence and patient outcomes.

Tim has implemented a computerized Clinical Decision Support (CDS) system in his clinic since 2006 that serves as a Reminder, Alerting, Prompting and Predicting CDS using evidence-based tests and measures.

Tim can be reached at
TimRichPT@BulletproofPT.com .

"Make Decisions like Doctors"

Copyright 2007-2010 by Tim Richardson, PT.
No reproduction without authorization.

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Consistent with the American Physical Therapy Association Vision Statement for Physical Therapy 2020, the American Physical Therapy Association supports exclusive physical therapist ownership and operation of physical therapy services.