"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

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Destroy Healthcare in order to save it

Medicare wants to save healthcare providers by changing the system.

Ironically, Medicare and Congress are trying to save Medicare by making adjustments that threaten to destroy the health care system.

In order to give congress more time to act to prevent the 10.6% cut in the Physicians' Fee Schedule, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will pinch the cash-flow pipeline until at least July 15th.

Cash flow is the lifeblood of any business and represents the majority of payments to medical practices in retirement areas, such as Florida.

Kevin Schweers, a spokesman for the Department of Health and Human Services, said Monday the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will hold doctors' Medicare claims for services delivered on or after July 1. Claims for services received on before June 30 will be processed as usual, he said. By holding claims for health care services that are delivered on or after July 1, CMS will not be making any payments on the 10.6 percent reduction until July 15 at the earliest," Schweers said.
The CMS action seems reminiscent of a statement attributed to an American major during the Vietnam war...
"After the village of Ben Tre was virtually destroyed, an American Major said to journalist Peter Arnett (who would become famous for his work on CNN during the Gulf War),
"It became necessary to destroy the village in order to save it."

The CMS freeze is designed to prevent providers' accounting workload from going up since retroactive changes to the fee schedule necessitate billing small amounts that increase billing volume without increasing provider revenues proportionally.

Local groups across the nation, such as the Manatee Medical Society, are mobilizing support to encourage the Senate to get behind HR 6331 the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008.

When the Senate re-convenes on July 7th the Senators will have another chance to vote to prevent the 10.6% cut to the Physicans' Fee Schedule.

Everyone knows the direction Medicare and social security must go down in order to supply the Baby Boomers with pension and health care services and funds.

Why not a 2% cut every year, scheduled and anticipated, rather than a draconian 10% that prompts a PAC funding and lobbying bonanza every six months?

As a physical therapist, I make a physical therapy diagnosis on every patient I treat.

A healthcare policymaker would diagnose the financing of the Medicare system as broken.

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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 .

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