"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, February 8, 2012

Why Outpatient Physical Therapy Will Survive and Thrive

This bears repeating...

The following is a response to a comment thread on Peter Kovacek's PTManager.com . You need a username and password to access Peter's site (which I highly recommend - its no cost and there's a TON of great information).
The author is Larry Benz, DPT of EvidenceinMotion.com who I also recommend. Larry's site not only provides you with information but Larry (and others on his site) can distill that information into a vision that can lead physical therpists towards the future.

Here's why outpatient physical therapy is still a good bet, going forward...
  • ...I would put the responsibility of "survival" on the backs of our own rather than externalities.
  • Yes, we can thrive provided we resist the natural urge to become a rule-driven profession that is guided by prescription rather than permission.
    • One that is dedicated to being collaborative rather than subordinate.
    • One that is dedicated to research rather than self-policing.
    • One that seeks legislative changes rather than be victim of political inactivity.
    • One that puts the physical therapist back into physical therapy.
    • One where the physical therapist is the force multiplier in musculoskeletal medicine.
  • ...Outpatient PT will be fine.
Although Larry nailed the essence of what physical therapists in private practice need to thrive I'll just add my two cents...
  • Let's not ask what the "government" or the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) can do FOR us. They have their role but its not to protect private practice from market forces.
  • Let's not trust in physician referrals to be the source of our livelihoods and our revenue.
  • Let's go straight to the patient when we ask "How can I help you today?"

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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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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.