"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, November 4, 2011

Health Lobbyists Seek Political Advantage with Supercommittee

Health care lobbyists make up the biggest spenders among organizations trying to gain political influence on the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, aka: the Supercommittee.

About 30 percent of these organizations, 118 groups in total, were from the health sector, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Among these 118 organizations were deep-pocketed groups such as the American Medical Association, the American Hospital Association and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.

The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) is also lobbying the Supercommittee to prevent cuts to Medicare.

Some groups, such as the American Osteopathic Association, have taken straight to the airwaves and the internet with informational and rhetorical appeals, in addition to lobbying their members of the Congress.

This chart shows where the oft-quoted "$300 billion" cost estimate to repeal the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) comes from. This estimate is also quoted as a savings estimate, if you're credulous enough to believe Washington budget math.

Some commentators believe that NO decision by the Supercommittee, and the attendant, automatic 2% across-the-board Medicare cut, is better than their "Go Big" scenario that may leave certain sectors within Medicare, such as Rehabilitation, financially devastated.

Members from both houses of the Congress wish for Supercommittee success but are vague of how to achieve that success, especially in regards to Medicare cuts:
"Similarly (they) did not give specific prescriptions on how to come up with major savings from programs like Medicare and Medicaid."
What do you think?

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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.

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TimRichPT@BulletproofPT.com .

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