"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, April 26, 2011

The Physical Therapist at the Intersection

I once had the misfortune to witness a traffic accident in an intersection while waiting at a stoplight.

The impact, noise and shock of the accident were over before I quite realized what had happened and, as the two people got out of their cars, I realized that both had legitimate sounding reasons for their actions and that neither had planned to get into an accident that day.

I am reminded of this unfortunate serendipity by these two notices I got today:

The first was an e-weekly from Becker's Orthopedic Spine Review titled 5 Ways for Orthopedic Surgeons to Increase Revenue of which #2 is "Add imaging services to your existing practice".

Becker's states...
"More and more orthopedic practices are offering on-site imaging services, including MRIs."
The second notice is a new study from Health Services Research called The Relationship between Low Back Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Surgery, and Spending: Impact of Physician Self-Referral Status.
"The study compared scan rates for Medicare patients from 1998 to 2005 for 1,033 primary care physicians and 1,271 orthopedists, before and after the physicians acquired MRI equipment..."
I'll bet you can see what is coming next...

"...acquisition of MRI equipment is a strongly correlated with patients receiving MRI scans.
Among patients of orthopedists, receipt of an MRI scan increases the probability of having surgery by 34 percentage points.

We're sitting at the intersection, watching traffic, wondering when we'll hear the impact, noise and shock of the accident.

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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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