"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

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Wellness Programs Are Not Poular Among Hopital CEOs

Hospital CEOs say that their wellness programs are "nice to have" but they are not getting paid for them.

As one hospital CEO puts it:
“I’m not getting paid for it so it goes to the bottom of my priorities.”

Hospital CEOs should pay attention to the practice of many physical therapist leaders who are positioning their organizations to impact patient health in a way that will impact population health.

Population health are the set of metrics that look at how physical therapists' interventions actually make a difference in peoples' lives:
  • Are patients happy with their physical therapist? (#4)
  • Can patients go back to work? Can they play with and lift their babies up? (#7)
  • Did the doctor/therapist ask about or measure the following:
    • their weight? (#31, #47)
    • their Blood Pressure? (#32, #41, #58)
    • their tobacco use? (#33, #38)
    • did the the PT screen them for depression? (#34)
  • Did their physical therapist screen for future falls risk and implement a plan of care? (#63)

As you can see, there are many of the 65 ACO Quality Measures that physical therapists can impact.

Payment may change as Medicare Accountable Care Organizations (ACO) begin in 2012 to pay providers based on outcome, not volume.

Wellness programs have great potential to impact some of the biggest, modifiable drivers of healthcare consumption:
  • obesity
  • smoking and alcohol consumption
  • activity avoidance
  • mood disorders.

Medicare Accountable Care Organizations have hospital CEOs fretting about their 2012 revenues since the new program gives hospitals the incentive to cut costs on some unnecessary procedures.

Medicare will reward hospitals that save from 2% to 3.8% of their prior year's revenues up to 7.5% of the "shared savings".

Forward-looking CEOs are aligning their organizations to achieve shared savings since the only alternative is steep, permanent cuts in Medicare and commercial reimbursement.

Forward-looking physical therapist leaders and clinic owners should also seek to align their organizations in a wellness model that impacts the biggest health care driver of them all:
Patient behavior
How can we help people who may not be able to help themselves?

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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"

Copyright 2007-2010 by Tim Richardson, PT.
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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.