Lessons learned during the first year of private practice.
By Jeanette M. De Witt, PT, MPT, LAT, ATC
From July 1998 through January 2012, I practiced in a wonderful hospital system in Ohio that allowed me to gain experience, attend educational seminars, and advance my career from a staff physical therapist to a supervisor. Although I was content with my position, I always held high hopes that I would own my own clinic “one day.” After a family vacation to Wisconsin and falling in love with the state, my family decided to move, and I returned to a staff physical therapist position. However, after seven months, I found myself missing the supervisory responsibilities I had once enjoyed at the hospital. I elected to give private practice a whirl and reached out to a company that assists therapists in opening their own clinics and decided to pursue my dream. After a month of interviews, I joined the company’s network and embarked on my first year as a clinic director. This was a large leap of faith from which I have greatly benefitted. My practice was truly built from the ground up as at the time of signing, the clinic location was not even confirmed yet!
Bundled payment for post-operative physical therapy services.
Rob Worth, PT, DPT, OCS, ATC/L, MTC
“The times, they are a changin’.” These iconic words sung by Bob Dylan ring true today in many aspects of physical therapy private practice and health care payment. I believe that the changes in health care and health care payment may actually be good for high-quality physical therapy providers who are able to adapt to the new environment. For physical therapists to be leaders in providing cost-effective, expert musculoskeletal care in an evolving health care system, we must dedicate ourselves to innovation and collaboration. This will require us to contribute to managing the total cost of care for patients, their conditions, and their overall health care management. The days when we were paid for treatment units rather than for producing outcomes are numbered. This shift from volume-based payment to value-based payment has already started to occur and will benefit the physical therapy practices that are dedicated to providing the highest quality of care at a reasonable cost. One component of value-based payment is the bundled care model.
With all of the uncertainty facing health care in the coming years, the concept of change is inevitable.
Michael Connors, PT, DPT, OCS and Janey Evans, RN, BSN, CPCC-ACC
In the current health care environment, we continually adapt to the changing demands in our physical therapy practices. As clinicians and practice owners, we face challenges and changes from payers, regulatory agencies, and patients. The shift toward utilizing electronic medical records in outpatient therapy practices has placed an undue amount of stress and uncertainty on many owners and practitioners who have not yet made the transition from paper. In many situations, a practice may switch from one EMR to another in search of enhanced efficiency or management capability. With every change, regardless of the nature of the transition, an individual must prepare.
When is it time to make the transition to EMR?
Michael Connors, PT, DPT, OCS
Health care is at a crossroads. Daily, we face increasing pressure to maximize efficiency and create a more streamlined method of care delivery. Along with advances in the practice of physical therapy, there is a push to migrate toward an electronic platform for medical records. As a practice approaches making a smooth transition from paper to electronic medical records (EMR), one must consider many factors.
A glimpse into the next 20 years—will advances be game changers?
By Jean Darling, PT, LAT
Health care is changing at a faster pace than any of us could have imagined. Over the next 20 years, accelerated advances in medicine and technology will allow the industry to recalibrate its focus and hone in on health and wellness strategies. Physical therapists must have front row seats for these game-changing trends. Prevention, health coaching, personalized medicine, personal technology, and a team approach must all have time on the playing field.