Saturday, August 04, 2007

Re-Grounding Myself in the Physical Therapy World

Just spent a challenging, but rewarding 50+ hour week back in an ortho-sportsmed clinic. Talk about cobwebs....When was the last time I actually evaluated someone with a true L5/S1 myotome strength deficit or used parrafin? Everyday I was reminded how and why my practice patterns and ideas have evolved into what they are at this point. But I was also reminded by some wonderful patients that I am a pretty damn good therapist.

PTs in this country face some real barriers in typical outpatient clinic settings. The billing system is just one of them. Really, the current method of billing (CPT codes, time based) needs to be destroyed. Why can't we just bill a flat fee per visit--and do what we, as professionals, think is appropriate without any interference or question? That's what I do with my personal patients--they are all self-pay and I charge LESS than the average itemized PT visit, spending the full visit time, one-one-one with the patient. Why insurance companies refuse to accept a flat fee bill for patient reimbursement, is beyond me.

I've got more clinic work this week. More opportunities to learn and grow. I am grateful it is with a great group of professionals who value quality. One friend of mine recently had the pleasure of doing some PRN work for a large rehab company that required her to only spend 20 minutes per patient.


Jerimiah said...

I have a dream of opening a self-pay clinic, some day and have been preaching what you are saying to my colleagues for my entire 3 year career. Some in the profession are even so ingrained that I wonder if they would know how to treat if we did not use timed codes.

The Iron Maven said...

Keep on dreaming and working toward that day, Jerimiah! I'm with you. Some of us have to think outside of the bun, right?


Jerimiah said...

I am talking with one of my classmates about our thoughts on how we would like it run, but one difficulty is that we are assistants, and finding PT's that think the way we do and would be able to work for a PTA owner or co-owner.