"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, March 9, 2009

Compliance and competence

Physical therapists wrestle with clinical competence the way teenage girls look at themselves in the mirror and ask...

"Am I pretty enough?"
Newly graduated physical therapists come armed with knowledge of tests and measures that can answer painful clinical questions and help patients get better, quicker.

We have available free resources - outcomes scales like OPTIMAL, DASH and LEFS that only 48% of us use...

We use validated and reliable performance tests (video) that predict function, such as future falls risk.

Yet we follow-up graduation with an often mad-cap rush to consume various 'flavors' of physical therapy techniques that promise to get the patient better and help us answer the question...

"Am I good enough?"
A new study in PT Journal found that physical therapists in the Netherlands preferred 'homegrown' methods of assessing, treating and diagnosing patients in place of government sponsored 'Guidelines'.

Compliance through competence

I am a big fan of standardization and EBP in physical therapy and I'd like to see more of it in clinical practice.

What I'd also like to see more of is a mindset that Medicare compliance should not be dictated to physical therapists by a self-annointed group of 'Medicare expert/auditors' whose livelihood comes from selling annual updates to physical therapists in the forms of seminars and webinars.

Where is that 'homegrown', self-sufficiency when it comes to Medicare compliance?

When will physical therapists find an innovative, cost-effective way to measure Medicare compliance the way we measure outcomes, performance and impairments in patients?

When will we take back our practice from the 'green eyeshades' in Washington DC who want physical therapy in 8-minute chunks?

What's the matter?

"Aren't we smart enough?"

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

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.