"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

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Task Force Recommends Physical Therapists Use Clinical Intuition to Screen for Fall Prevention

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) Recommendation Statement for Prevention of Falls in Community-Dwelling Older Adults was published May 28th, 2012 in the Annals of Internal Medicine and the author's found new evidence promoting...
"...exercise or physical therapy and vitamin D supplementation to prevent falls in community-dwelling adults aged 65 years or older who are at increased risk for falls. (Grade B recommendation)"
An extensive evaluation or high-tech balance assessment is not necessary:
"In determining whether this service is appropriate in individual cases, patients and clinicians should consider the balance of benefits and harms on the basis of the circumstances of prior falls, comorbid medical conditions, and patient values. (Grade C recommendation)"
Physical therapists should be able to use their clinical intuition to determine which patients are at high risk for falls and for whom physical therapy is medically necessary.

Medicare will pay for physical therapy that is medically necessary to prevent a future adverse event.

In some cases, the physical therapist may be able to apply the -kx modifier attesting that services are medically necessary over and above the 2012 $1,880 combined cap on speech and physical therapy.

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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.
No reproduction without authorization.

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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.