The Little-Known Physical Therapy Problems That You Ought to Know

The Little-Known Physical Therapy Problems That You Ought to KnowPerhaps it would be safe to say that this year is the time when there have been a lot of problems, not just in the physical therapy sector but in the whole health care system. It is not just politics working in this part; there are a lot of factors that play around the fact why the health sector is bombarded by issues currently.

Being physical therapists, not only would you have to deal with Obamacare, but also the modification of the classification system, among others. The way Medicare deeply affects the physical therapy practice, it is not surprising that physical therapists may be having a hard time keeping up with things, considering that the changes are being implemented fast.

Being a physical therapist, are you familiar with the Sustainable Growth Rate? Are you bothered by how it is related to the payment rates being implemented? How about the therapy caps and the limitations it imposes on patient health care accessibility? These are the little-known physical therapy problems that you ought to know, whether you are just starting your physical therapy career or you have been in the profession for quite some time.

Medicare seems to be rallying against the physical therapy profession, or perhaps the whole health care sector, for this matter. True, this statement might be controversial for many, but all the more that this should be given light. For a fact, Medicare may be against the physical therapy profession since the reimbursements required under the Medicare program is a bit harsh for the profession, if you ask some PT specialists. Not trying to give a reason for this, but only trying to speculate, the harsh reimbursement strategies may be partly due to the general decline in the economy as well as on the recession being experienced by the country.

It seems that these problems are just all across the board, from those who provide healthcare to the ailing and the elderly and to those who prefer cost-efficient with high quality physical therapy treatment. But there is still light at the end of the tunnel for once these issues are resolved, everyone will definitely benefit from the changes. Are you ready to know these PT problems?

  • Fraud and Abuse Restrictions

This kind of problem is the most common- and perhaps been present the longest. Many physical therapists believe that their practice and service are over-utilized. What many physical therapy movers suggest is that the government should provide measures that would curb these over utilization of physical therapy services in such a way that there should be cost-saving strategies implemented.

  • The Substitute Therapist Policy

Did you know that physical therapists like you are not allowed to take another licensed physical therapist in your place temporarily if in case you wish to take a break from the practice or work? The substitute physical therapist can only work  for some specific amount of time needed by the actual PT in the private practice. In addition, substitute physical therapists can only work in a specified short-term or long term time frame.

  • Medical Therapy Cap

Another issue that a lot of PTs would like that the government to address is the medical therapy cap. Many physical therapists believe that instead of this, it is better that Medicare Access to Rehabilitation Services Act be acted upon for this would cancel the obligatory annual per beneficiary cap for the PT and others concerned in the health care sector. Furthermore, this would also allow better and higher quality care services be given to the patients by the physical therapists. Also, this bill would reduce the amount of time spent by each physical therapist on paperwork and more time on the actual patients so the said patients can function better in no time.

  • Medicare Opt-Out

This is another one that has been an issue for quite some time now. Physical therapists, sad to say, are one of those health professionals who are not able to choose the opt-out alternative for Medicare. Inasmuch that patients who are members of Medicare would also like to do so, they are not able to opt-out of the allied health system because of the by-laws of Medicare which prevents them from doing so. Similarly, the physical therapists have it worse. They cannot suggest that the patient seek help from the private practice sector. Being physical therapists and understanding that the patient welfare in terms of better service is the utmost priority, there limits what the physical therapy can do for such patients because of this condition.

  • Sustainable Growth Rate

This is perhaps the most controversial of it all. Many believe that SGR is flawed and outdated. This was first implemented in 1997 and it has changed little since. Within that 20-year span, a lot of new illnesses have been discovered and the needs of the patients are getting more and more diverse. Having said that, with such an outdated system, one can say that money may have been spent unwisely. There is no better time to amend this but now.

  • Multiple Procedure Payment Scheme

It is so taxing to be bothered by multiple payment schemes. This may be even cause inaccuracies in the data, especially those that the physical therapists are concerned. Because this is used congruently with the SGR, also a flawed system, these two can be the causes why money has been used inappropriately.

A lot has been discussed on the patient-focused physical therapy. More PTs are trying to adapt to the changes but if the system is still flawed, the goal of providing high quality services topped with cost-effective strategies may seem impossible. What do you think?

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