"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

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Florida Representative is "...for the Docs"

"I'm for the Docs", said Vern Buchanan Florida's 13th District Republican representative in the Congress.

The Congressman was speaking at the Parrish Town Hall meeting on Saturday, March 12th 2011. His response came when I asked if he would support an annual, reoccurring 1% negative update to the Medicare Physicians' Fee Schedule (MPFS).

The Fee Schedule is set to be cut 29% on January 1st, 2012, unless the Congress again intervenes. Physical therapists and physicians are annually whiplashed by uncertainty to the size and the timing of the cuts.

While Vern Buchanan is in favor of aggressively cutting the 12% of discretionary spending that will have minimal effects on future years' spending, he is non-committal on Medicare.

Does the pattern of campaign donations from doctors in the 2009 - 2010 election cycle have anything to do with his voting record?

American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons$10,000
American College of Cardiology$2,500
American Dental Association$4,000
American Medical Association$2,000
American Dental Association$4,000
College of American Pathologists$3,000
National Community Pharmacists Association$2,000

A law stabilizing the size and timing of the annual Medicare cut at negative 1% would be, in effect, a cost of doing business - just like my annual 1-3% cost-of-living adjustments I pay my employees or my annual 15% increase in health insurance premiums I still provide. These are anticipated costs that I prepare and budget for.

Why not Medicare, too?

Vern Buchanan can act like a leader by cutting spending that will have a real effect on future years. He needs to cut discretionary and non-discretionary spending (Medicare) equally.

Don't just be for the Docs.


  1. Nice Post Tim.......How about if some of these people would start staing..."Im for Healthcare Providers".....you can be for them and the patients at the same time

  2. Hi Jerry,

    Vern's intent is to support the status quo which, unfortunately, only maintains the unsustainable Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula.

    As you can see from his supporters, Vern is heavily in debt to specialist medical societies who benefit from the current system.

    This system serves to widen the gap between the "haves" and the "have nots" - of which private practice physical therapists are increasingly finding themselves in the "have not" category.

    Vern is, by the way, the 4th richest person in the US House of Representatives and recently received appointment to the influential House Ways and Means Committee and is the new Republican Party Fundraising Chairman.

    Thank you for your comment.


  3. what did the FPTA give? here in is the problem.....


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