"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

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Did error rates decline for physical therapists, too?

Modern Healthcare.com posted the news that the Medicare error rate declined in 2008 for fee-for-service providers.
"Improper payments to fee-for-service Medicare amounted to $10.4 billion in fiscal 2008, decreasing to a rate of 3.6% from 3.9% in 2007, the CMS reported."

FierceHealthcare.com reported that the lower error rate was due to the Medicare Recovery Audit Contractors (RAC).

You can read about the RAC impact on physical therapists here, here, and here.

AIS Health.com reports that the RACs will be delayed a few months (probably February 2009) while some of the government contractors work through a grievance process that is related to selection of RACs, not to health care providers.

As I've previously posted there is evidence to indicate that RACs preferentially targeted large, inpatient hospitals in the 'temporary' 3-year phase.

More restrictive audit rules for the permanent RACs increase the chance that the permanent RACs will continue to target large, institutional providers and leave small ones (eg: physical therapists) alone.

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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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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.