"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, May 14, 2011

Comparative Effectiveness Research Under Attack

A cornerstone of the healthcare overhaul and a vital tool outlining the value of physical therapist practice is under attack.

Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER) will cost the United States $4 trillion in economic activity, according to a new report from the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest (CMPI).

The report argues that investment in new drugs and medical devices would suffer:
"Investments in medical research provide among the most productive uses of capital in the economy.
Americans will suffer economically and physically if the government forces CER on the U.S. healthcare system"
, said Robert Goldberg, vice president of CMPI and a study author.
Investments in one of the most lucrative medical devices, pedicle rods and screws, made by publicly-traded firms like Zimmer, DePuy and Stryker are a major cost driver in healthcare cost inflation.

These firms have driven the rate of dangerous, complex spinal fusion surgery up 20 times since 2002. These patients have three times the risk of dangerous complications and twice the risk of a rehospitalization.

Oh, and by the way, the new surgeries sponsored by the medical device "investors" cost at least $80,888, compared to $23,724 for regular back surgery.

Physical therapists treatments for similar conditions don't carry these hefty price tags and dangerous risk profiles.

A survey of 111 major stakeholders in drug and device manufacturers believe that, in the long run, CER will improve healthcare outcomes and "expressed tempered optimism" about its implementation by the government.

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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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American Physical Therapy Association

American Physical Therapy Association
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.