"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

Monday, February 23, 2009

Physical therapists still get to decide!

I want you to get the message from this new Medicare Transmittal 1678.

It came out February 13th, 2009.

Scroll to 'page 9' - find the new text (usually in red).

Here you will find the following:
"There are a number of sources that suggest the amount of certain services that may be typical, either per service, per episode, per condition, or per discipline."
The Transmittal references the Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) Therapy Cap Report and the Edit Tables.

What are these reports?

CSC mines Medicare data to help government analysts understand their own data.

Then, since you and I pay for this data, they make it public.

Transmittal 1678 is the first time Medicare has specifically referenced these CSC reports to give physical therapists guidance on how much therapy to give our patients!

For example, this table (zipped file) says that, on average, Physical Therapists in Private Practice (PTPP) charge four (4) Therapeutic Exercises every session and that the range is 4-6 units.

How much Therapeutic Exercise do you do? More? Less?


Shouldn't the physical therapist decide, based on findings from the evaluation, how much therapy the patient needs?

Why are governement bean counters in green eyeshades deciding for physical therapists how much therapy to provide?

Because we let them.

You decide.

If you go over (or under) the statistical ranges in the CSC reports you need to show why your patient needs more (or less) than the average amount of therapy.

Why are you different?

Are you better?

If you are then show it! Say it! Measure it!

Use new measurement tools to show Medicare the numbers - they love numbers!

Use validated outcome measures to show need and progress.

Who gets physical therapy?

Physical therapy happens between your patient and you - not in Washington DC!

I want you to get the message - you decide.

Free Tutorial

Get free stuff at BulletproofPT.com

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"

Copyright 2007-2010 by Tim Richardson, PT.
No reproduction without authorization.

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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.