"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, April 15, 2009

X-prize for physical therapy: $10 million for autonomous practice

The X Prize foundation announced yesterday the creation of a $10 million prize for a "bold, measurable and scientific" proposal that "results in viable, creative and achievable health care system changes."

Physical Therapists Take Note

This is your skill set!

The winning proposal will "improve care within communities and proactively assist individuals in optimizing their health in a way that reduces overall costs."

How to measure health?

Health can be measured differently: some measures are better than others.

For instance, rate of post-surgical bony fusion would not properly reflect the primary desired outcome from an instrumented spinal fusion.

Believe it or not, a validated questionnaire like the Oswestry scale is superior to imaging findings in measuring a construct like 'health'.

Physical therapists are getting better at using these measures.

The Criteria

The X Prize Foundation sounds like it is committed to a measure of health that is amenable to physical therapy interventions, namely
"good health based on better outcomes and an individual’s active participation.".
Proposals have to impact the lives of 10,000 people and improves their lives (health) by 50%. The measures used must meet the following criteria:
"...metrics will need to be at the community/ population level and objective and easy to track using validated tools, where possible...

We will weight the measures to place functional improvement at equal stature with sick care."
The Team Approach
Winning the X-Prize won't be cheap or easy but it may be worthwhile - are there any PTs up to the challenge?

Free Tutorial

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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"

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.