"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, February 18, 2009

Drugs, Surgery or Physical Therapy?

Drugs, Surgery or Physical Therapy?

On February 17th the New England Journal Of Medicine spoke about the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 ($787 billion economic stimulus package) in a column by Robert Steinbrook, M.D...
"On the medical research front, comparative effectiveness studies that directly compare the risks and benefits of different treatments for a particular condition are essential for improving practice and slowing cost escalation.

Such studies, however, have been controversial; the pharmaceutical and medical device industries may not fund them, and some are concerned that the government or insurers may use the results to mandate specific approaches to treatment or to deny coverage.
Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Industries wont pay?

Are they afraid of a side-by-side outcomes and cost-effectiveness comparison to physical therapy?

They are afraid of a mandate?

Should exercise or conservative care be mandated prior to spinal surgery for lower back pain?

The Act anticipates this concern by saying that the funds will not be spent to...
"mandate coverage, reimbursement, or other policies for any public or private payer."
Mandates or not, expect changes in health care policies and priorities from the sudden wave of money, most of which will be spent within two years.
"...the $1.1 billion in new funding for comparative effectiveness research dwarfs the current $334 million annual budget of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality."
But then, we should be used to change by now.

Are you?

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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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American Physical Therapy Association

American Physical Therapy Association
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.