"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

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Urologists Self Refer Cancer Patients and Drive up Medicare Costs

Physical therapists will be familiar with the downside of physician self referral since medical specialties which use lots of physical therapy started bringing therapy clinics in-house in 2006 when clarifications to the Stark 2 "In-Office Ancillary Services Exception" were published in the Federal Register.

Now its urologists turn to stand in the spotlight thanks to this Wall Street Journal article and video interview exposing these self-serving practices.

The article focuses on a $40,000 treatment known as Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) which is an aggressive and expensive option for a disease that may not kill you until you're 120 years old.

Unfortunately, by then Medicare will be insolvent - perhaps due in part to the rapid rise in costs from IMRT treatments.

This video describes shows the sales pitch delivered by a company marketing the technology to urologists:

Dr. Gerald Chodak of Medscape speaks out against urologists' practice of self-referral.

I wonder why we don't see any orthopedists or neurosurgeons speaking out against self-referral?

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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.