"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

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Financial Evaluation and Treatment

How to fix the financial crisis...

...and help private practice physical therapists at the same time.

These recommendations by James K. Galbraith, a scholar at the University of Texas at Austin to the U.S. House of Representatives on February 26, 2009 make a lot of sense to a private practice physical therapist like me...

  • a permanent increase in Social Security benefits would help offset the losses that the elderly population, as a group, is suffering on its equity investments and its cash holdings. A thirty percent increase in Social Security benefits would not repair individual losses, but it would keep the elderly out of poverty as a group, and relieve severe difficulties in many individual cases.

  • a payroll tax holiday would powerfully ease the financial situation of America's working families, giving them roughly an 8.3 percent pay increase and their employers a comparable reduction in the cost of keeping them on the job. Many mortgages would be paid, and many cars purchased, that otherwise would default or go unsold.

  • a reduction in the age of eligibility for Medicare would be a powerful response to the industrial crisis, permitting many older workers who would like to retire but who cannot afford to lose health insurance to do so. This would relieve health burdens from private industry, while not infringing on the employer-insurance systems still in effect for the prime-age workforce. Note that transferring workers from private health care to Medicare in this age bracket has no real economic cost: the same health care is provided to the same people. In fact, the reduction in private insurance claims and bookkeeping constitutes a real saving.

Read Point #4 to get Mr. Galbraith's preface and conclusion - better yet, read his whole speech.

Now, getting all of this done without raising taxes... Impossible?

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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.