"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, August 4, 2013

A Unique Legislative Update

Guest posted by Adam Geril, DPT, MS, Owner - Geril Therapy

Being part of an organization of medical providers who have banded together to face the challenges of a recovering economy and changing healthcare environment has its advantages.

The Medical Business Leaders Network (MBLN) has been in existence since 2008. This network was formed to share cost savings and revenue producing ideas that spanned topics that included:
  • tax law
  • human resource management
  • accounts payables
  • accounts receivables
  • marketing
  • group purchasing
As this organization has grown to include multiple physician and medical professionals, we have found an audience amongst law makers. Given the recent completion of the Florida Legislative session we were able to secure a legislative update with Representative Dennis Baxley, and Charlie Stone. In order to make it interesting to the MBLN, a list of topics were sent to the Representatives prior to this meeting.

I am happy to say that each and every item on our list (that was compiled by the MBLN board on behalf of its members) was addressed.

Representative Baxley is the immediate past chair of the Health and Human Service Committee and currently chair’s the Judiciary committee. Charlie Stone is newly elected and now co-chairs the Judiciary committee along with the Senior House of Representative Dennis Baxley. Together a summary of the legislative changes that occurred this session was discussed. They included the following:

Why the Governor decided to remove power from the insurance commissioner to control rates in premium hikes. This turned out not to be the case and in fact was related to the affordable care act,

Expansion of scope of practice – Representative Baxley discussed the expansion of the optometrist’s practice specifically to prescribe certain medications. He reviewed how this was a hotly debated topic however laws were passed specifically to benefit the public. CS/CS/HB 239

Medical Negligence Actions – This prompted a personal discussion from Representative Baxley which centered about his fear of more physicians leaving practice in the state of Florida and more attorneys coming to practice in our state. This later progressed to a discussion on tort reform.

Medicaid Expansion – Representative Charlie stone stated that much was discussed however no decisions were made in this session and it will be discussed in more detail in the next session..

CS/HB 413 - Physical Therapy – Pertained specifically to the ability of ARNP’s to prescribe Physical Therapy.

CS/CS/SB 1094 Home Health Agencies - reduces the mandatory fine amount levied against HHAs that fail to file the quarterly report to AHCA from the current fine of $5,000 to a fine of $200 per day up to a maximum of $5,000 per quarter.

CS/CS/HB 1159 - Health Care Facilities – Specific to Nursing Homes – The bill specifically was amended to expedite the Certificate of Need review process if certain criteria were met. The meeting ended with an introduction to Jorge Bonilla running against Alan Grayson’s seat in the State House of Representatives and discussion with Paul Hawkes who is a lobbyist specifically as it relates to Tort Reform. This reform was to keep cases out of the legal system and make compensation fair and equitable to all parties involved.

To gain further valuable input this discussion evolved into scheduling a forum on tort reform in the state of Florida to be co-sponsored by Representative Dennis Baxley, Representative Charlie Stone, and the Medical Business leaders network.

For a full review of the 2013 summary from the Florida House of Representative please see this House of Representatives website.

The MBLN is a group of providers concerned with our collective stake in the health care market place. If you care to learn more about our organization, join, or participate in our upcoming Forum on Tort reform (this month) in the state of Florida.

Please check our website for updates and specifics including date, time, and place.

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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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