"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

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

California POPTs Job Loss Differential

In 2005, in Manatee County, Florida a POPTs clinic opened which eventually grew to 17 interventional pain medicine and orthopedic surgeons. I was asked to run the POPTs clinic. I declined.

The clinic grew to employ at least 15 physical therapists in 3 separate locations - in some cases with no full-time physician oversight because they couldn't keep track of who was supposed to be where, when.

In the subsequent two years, 23 independent clinics closed in Manatee-Sarasota county. Each of these clinics employed at least one physical therapist. Many of these clinic employed more than one therapist and 1-3 additional support staff. I closed one of my clinics that employed seven people!

I estimate that with the closing of these 23 independent clinics the job loss differential was probably close to 50 jobs in Manatee-Sarasota counties in that two year period.

Back then, no one complained about jobs. Those were BOOM times in Bradenton. We trailed only Las Vegas in the growth rate of new home construction.

The situation in California now is different. Jobs are scare. If POPTs proliferate they will destroy more independent physical therapy jobs than they create.

My evidence indicates that a 50-to-1 job loss differential is not an unreasonable number.

Comment at the NBC/Los Angeles news website that has run many of the breaking stories on physician ownership/overutilization of physical therapy services in California.

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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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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.