"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

Friday, March 11, 2011

Florida Representatives have Concerns about Telemedicine Bill

A new bill covering telemedicine services (HB 505/SB 1882) was read on the full Florida House of Representatives floor on Tuesday March 8th, 2011.

The bill requires health insurers, corporations, and health maintenance organizations issuing certain health policies to provide coverage for telemedicine services.

The new bill prohibits the exclusion of telemedicine cost coverage solely because the services were not provided face to face.

The bill provides coverage under the state plan without a condition that telemedicine services are restricted to health care providers licensed by the Florida Deptartment of Health.

If the telemedicine bill is passed in its present form it would require the insurer to reimburse for services provided by a health care provider not licensed within Florida

This would render the regulation of health care professionals by the respective professional boards, where telemedicine is concerned, moot with regard to out of state practitioners.

Similar telemedicine legislation is being debated in California, Oregon and Washington state right now.

Nurses have created "Nursing Compacts" with government grants that are, in effect, seperate licenses allowing them to practice across state lines.

Physicians have a "special license" that allows them to practice medicine across state lines and still retain the supervision of their state licensing boards.

Why should Physical Therapists be left out of the party?

A recent randomized, controlled trial in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery showed that telerehabilitation, in one setting, can produce superior outcomes than conventional Physical Therapy for Total Knee Replacement.

What do the readers of PhysicalTherapyDiagnosis.com think about telerehabilitation services, such as remote video monitoring?

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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.