"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

Sunday, July 13, 2008

APTA Endorses World Health Organization ICF Model

The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) recently endorsed the new World Health Organization (WHO) International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) Model.

I doubt most physicians consider disability when making a physical therapy referral.

Most medical doctors consider pathology first.

The first line intervention for pathology is usually pharmaceuticals.

Disability , and the physical impairments that lead to disability, is better addressed through physical therapy interventions such as Therapeutic Exercise (CPT 97110), Manual Therapy (CPT 97140) and other active interventions.

In the new model Impairments are replaced with 'Body Function & Structure'.

Functional Limitations are replaced with 'Activities'.

Disabilties are replaced with Participation.

Physical therapists are usually pretty familiar with the concept of disablement.

Medicare, in the United States, specifically pays physical therapists to treat disability, not pain.

The Orthopedic Section of the APTA is using the new ICF model to "Develop Evidence-Based Practice Guidelines for Treatment of Common Musculoskeletal Conditions".

The 'potential benefits of the project are to identify appropriate outcome measures'.

Currently, Medicare recommends the OPTIMAL scale for outcomes in outpatient physical therapy.

Watch OPTIMAL videos to use it for Medicare long term goal setting.

Free Tutorial

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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"

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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.