"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

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

New MedPAC report rough on Physical Therapy home health

Just when your payment problems couldn't get any worse...

The new Medicare Payment Advisory Commission report issued today (March 3rd, 2010) recommends some troublesome actions for home health agencies:
  • ...The number of agencies continues to increase, with about 500 new agencies in 2009...(p. 21)

  • ...the Commission has concluded that home health payments need to be significantly reduced.

    To start with, the Commission recommends a zero update for 2011...

  • ...the Congress should direct the Secretary to review home health agencies that exhibit unusual patterns of claims for payment...
Some encouraging findings...
  • The Home Health Compare measures for 2009 are similar to those for previous years, showing improvement in the functional measures and mostly unchanged rates of adverse events.
More to come...

Unlike Congress, MedPAC is trying to reduce overall Medicare costs. "Payment adequacy" means that you're making enough money this year and next year you can afford to make less.

One proposal in Health Care Reform was to make MedPac a cabinet-level, administrative body, like the Federal Reserve. Now, MedPAC only makes recommendations to Congress.

Maybe we need to keep it that way.

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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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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.