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Is therapy worth it?

“Value is defined as cost divided by benefits”

 

This is very elementary in definition, but many of us in healthcare don’t do enough to sway this equation to make the benefits match the costs. When patients come to see me they receive multiple benefits during the session: educate, educate and over educate, personal care as much as possible staying within the realm of the evidence, and entertainment during the whole process. When I teach students, I make them tell me if they believe that they are worth $100/hour. Although we don’t get paid this much, that is the average payment to the clinic. We may have an excellent front desk staff and only have to provide the same amount of value as the cost of our salary, but I believe that we should be conveying the cost of the session, which may be up to 3 x the amount we actually receive in payment.

 

“What are the costs associated with the care we deliver? Co-pays, coinsurance, and deductibles question? ”

 

These are the basics to consider when treating patients. Patients sacrifice their times to come see us. Patients sacrifice time away from family to come see us. Are we providing the value, beyond the monetary value, to the patient? Human connection has value. I provide value to my patients not just through treatment, but also through that human connection.

 

“Now look at the benefits: what are the benefits we offer our clients through physical therapy?”

 

It’s easy for me to say functional outcomes. Patients at this point in time, do not know what that means. My job is to take the patient’s wants and needs and turn those into results. I have my own functional needs, but it would be wrong of me to impose my functional needs onto the patient. Some patients are quite content to sit in a wheelchair all day long instead of putting the work in to stand up. The best I can do is to educate the patient. If after education, I can’t motivate, then I can’t help that patient. We make the assumption that patients coming to therapy are ready to get better. This is not always the case. I see patients frequently that are only coming to therapy because their doctor told them to go to therapy. There was no indication as to what therapy would actually do to help the patient. If they are not ready to change, then it is very difficult to help that patient.

 

“patient’s assume they will get better when they see us”

 

Malarkey! At no point in time am I providing divine intervention. No one gets better simply by breathing the air I breathe (although this is one of the jokes in my repertoire). I am sure that my patient understands they will only get better when they take ownership over their problems.

 

If you are that patient, and you are ready to change, then there is help. When patients understand the problem and takes ownership of the problem and then performed the treatments in order to treat the problem, there very few patients that will not improve. Some physical therapist, such as myself, believe that we hold the answers to fix our patients. Robin McKenzie many, many years ago stated that the patient has the answer, our job is to bring that answer out. I would be arrogant of me to think that I am that answer.

 

Again, I went off on a tangent, but I did not believe that the rest of this article held any additional information that would be benefit to you.

 

Excerpts taken from

Quatre T. WHY THEY BUY: Because They Can Calculate Your Value. Impact. July 2016: 11.

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Categories: Physical therapy, PTs, Written BlogsTags:

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