Our we worth it?

“First, we must actually prove the value of our services, ourselves, and our profession. And we must do so objectively – with outcomes data. ”
I agree to a certain extent, that we need to prove our value with outcome data. Patients, so need to be educated on what this data actually means. We are slowly transitioning to a point in which patients are paying for a majority of their healthcare when compared to insurance companies. Co-pays are rising. Outcome data needs to be measured, but explained to patients in a way in which it makes sense. We do need to prove our value, but proving our value to patients will be completely different than proving our value to insurance companies.
“That that that tracking patient outcomes… The demand for this type of data collection has amplified in the last few months…”
The demand for this type of data is increasing from insurance companies. Do you think insurance companies are demanding this data in order to increase our pay? I highly doubt it. They’re demanding the data to determine whether or not therapy in actually valuable. I, as the therapist, sometimes question the value of physical therapy. Not all therapists practice alike, so is there one best practice? As a profession, we have clinical practice guidelines. Not all therapists are utilizing clinical practice guidelines. Can we weed out those therapists that are not using the guidelines, or can we coach up these therapist to ensure that they are practicing in a way that is supported by the evidence.
“… The federal government is not wasting any time and it’s quest to reduce healthcare spending that ”
We all know that our country is broke! if we ran our household in the same manner that our government runs the country, we would all be filing for bankruptcy. The government is trying to find ways to reduce costs. Healthcare appears to be one way in which to reduce costs. I am not saying I totally disagree, because as a country we spend a great deal of money on healthcare, but do not get the results commensurate with the spending. We have to find a way in which to incentivize good care to ensure that patients are no longer getting sick at the same rate they’re getting sick currently.
“So, in all likelihood, most – if not all – payments will be linked to value within the next few years quote
This same line has been stated year-to-year for at least the last six years. At some point I am waiting for the boy to stop crying wolf. I welcome the day when pay-for-performance actually takes place. Therapy consists more than simply ultrasound,hot pack, electrical stimulation, and massage. The best evidence we have is regarding exercise. It’s sad because not all therapist coming out of schools are proficient at analyzing, providing, and creating exercises in order to address the limitations seen during the initial valuation. I spend a great deal of time with the students that I have teaching them how to create and how to analyze movement patterns. They do not learn this very well in school.
“… There is a big difference between merely recording numbers and generating meaningful, actionable insights, because when you do the latter, you can achieve three really important things: ”
As a profession, we need to start by “merely recording numbers”. I started as a therapist in 2007, and during those first few years recording numbers was not happening. We have come a long way in utilizing functional outcome measures, but this is because insurance companies have forced our hand in order for us to receive payment. I do not believe that our profession would have policed itself into using outcome measures.
Excerpts from:

Author: Dr. Vince Gutierrez, PT, cert. MDT

After having dedicated 8 years to growing my knowledge regarding the profession of physical therapy, it seems only fitting that I join the social media world in order to spread a little of the knowledge that I have gained over the years. This by no means is meant to act in place of a one-one medical consultation, but only to supplement your baseline knowledge in which to choose a practitioner for your problem. Having completed a Master of Physical Therapy degree, the MDT (Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy) certification and currently finishing a post-graduate doctorate degree, I have spent the previous 12 years in some sort of post-baccalalaureate study. Hopefully the reader finds the information insightful and uses the information in order to make more informed healthcare decisions. MISSION STATEMENT: My personal mission statement is as follows: As a professional, I will provide a thorough assessment of your clinical presentation and symptoms in order to determine both the provocative and relieving positions and movements. The assessment process and ensuing treatment will be based on current and relevant evidence. Furthermore, I will educate the patients regarding their symptoms and their likelihood of improving with either skilled therapy, an independent exercise program, spontaneous recovery or if the patient should be referred to a separate specialist to possibly provide a more rapid resolution of symptoms. Respecting the patient’s limited resources is important and I will provide an accurate overview of the prognosis within 7 visits, again based on current research. My goal is to empower the patient in order to take charge of both the symptomatic resolution and return to full function with as little dependence on the therapist as possible. Personally, I strive to be an example for family and friends. My goal is to demonstrate that success is not a byproduct of situations, but a series of choices and actions. I will mentor those, in any way possible, that are having difficulty with the choices and actions for success. I will continue to honor my family’s “blue-collar” roots by working to excel at my chosen career and life situations. I choose to be a leader of example, and not words, all the while reducing negativity in my life. I began working towards the professional aspect of the mission statement while still in physical therapy school. By choosing an internship that emphasized patient care and empowering the patient, instead of the internship that was either closest to home or where I knew that I would have the easiest road to graduation, I took the first step towards learning how to utilize the evidence to teach patients how to reduce their symptoms. I continued this process by completing Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy courses A-D and passing the credentialing exam. I will continue to pursue my clinical education through CEU’s on MDT and my goal is to obtain the status of Diplomat of MDT. Returning back to school for the t-DPT was a major decision for me, as resources (i.e. time and money) are limited. My choice was between saving money for the Dip MDT course (about 15,000 dollars) and continuing on with the Fellowship of American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapists (FAAOMPT) (about 5,000 dollars), as these courses are paired through the MDT curriculum or returning to school to work towards a Doctorate of Physical Therapy degree. I initially planned on saving for the Dip MDT and FAAOMPT, but life changes forced me to re-evaluate my situation. The decision then changed to return for the tDPT, as my employer paid for a portion of the DPT program. My goal for applying to and finishing the Dip MDT and FAAOMPT is 10 years. This is how long I anticipate that it will take to finish paying student loans and save for both programs, based on the current rate of payment. I don’t know if I will ever accomplish what I set forth in the mission statement, but I do know that it will be a forever struggle to maintain this standard that I set for myself.

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