"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

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Sustainable Growth Rate Replacement On Sale at the #PPSFlyIn !

Like treasure-seekers at a sidewalk scavenger sale physical therapists can get a little excited about the potential for meaningful Medicare payment reform this summer. 

The flawed Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula is on sale for a limited time only and the Congress can buy this dusty artifact from the 1997 Balanced Budget Act with new legislation in 2013.

The Medicare Physician Payment Innovation Act (HR 574) will provide a clearly defined path to payment reform as well as a period of payment stability necessary for physical therapist and physician practices to transition to an alternative payment system, reports Jerry Connolly from the American Physical Therapy Association Private Practice Section Advocacy Fly-In in Washington DC.

The cost to replace the SGR has decreased over the last three years because the 2009 Great Recession and ObamaCare have both driven down healthcare cost growth. The decrease in cost growth, in turn, changes the 10-year estimate to replace the SGR.  This estimate is calculated by the Congressional Budget Office which announced that the new price is $139 billion, down from $330 billion.

Only in Washington DC is $139 billion seen as cheap.  It's like finding an old vinyl copy of Led Zeppelin's 1971 Stairway to Heaven for $2!

The SGR is used to calculate physical therapists' Medicare payments.  The SGR has also been a big distraction for the Congress every year as provider organizations lobby to prevent ever bigger Medicare cuts. 

The 2014 adjustment is projected to be negative 24%!  Now that's cheap!

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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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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.