WebPT Blog - evidence-based practice
Apr 18, 2013| by Heidi Jannenga PT
Today’s blog post comes from WebPT Co-Founder Heidi Jannenga, PT, MPT, ATC/L.
Woohoo! On April 15, 2013, California’s Senate voted against SB381, the bill that would have prevented physical therapists from being able to provide manipulative care. This marks a huge victory for the physical therapists in California and for our industry as a whole. And that deserves some serious celebration. But, even though the bill did not pass, our work is far from over. The fact that this bill even made it to the Senate floor proves that people still do not fully understand the expertise of physical therapists. So we must increase our efforts to educate the public on the benefits of PT and why we are the musculoskeletal experts. When people—our peers, our patients, and our potential patients—think back (or knee, or pelvis, or foot...) pain, we need to ensure they absolutely think “physical therapy” as their solution. With that in mind, let’s turn this comment thread into a brainstorming session. What can we do to spread the word about the awesomeness that is PT?
Mar 20, 2013| by Mark Kats
Today's post comes from WebPT Community Manager Mark Kats.
Several news outlets reported on the recent New England Journal of Medicine study that finds physical therapy to be as effective a treatment for a torn meniscus as knee surgery. This is great news for patients and physical therapists alike. It's also another in a series of great arguments for direct access. Read the full article here.
Speaking of direct access, looks like Indiana will join the now 49 states that allow patients to access physical therapy services without a referral. HB1034 passed Indiana Senate this week and is expected to be voted into law on July 1, 2013.
Meanwhile, the fight to keep SB381 from becoming law in California continues. It's been encouraging to see physical therapists present a united front on this, and we hope you'll continue to put pressure on California Senator Leland Yee (Senator.Yee@senate.ca.gov) to kill this bill. Here is WebPT Co-Founder and PT Heidi Jannenga's take on SB381.
Nov 28, 2012| by Tom Ambury
By now, I hope most of you are using functional outcome measures. If you haven’t started yet, you might want to consider taking the next few weeks to get prepared and begin the process in January of 2013. Why? Let’s start with the fact that physical therapy documentation is coming under greater scrutiny especially regarding demonstrating the medical necessity of the treatments provided. You may have heard me say this before, but physical therapists are paid to treat the impairments identified in the initial evaluation and restore the patient’s ability to function. So, to get paid for the services rendered, medical necessity will depend directly on how much we are able to improve the patient’s ability to function. In 2013, the scrutiny of our documentation will be even greater than this year.
How do we do objectively document improvement in function?
We need to objectively measure function by using specific objective functional outcome measures consistently throughout the episode of care. This means that we will need to administer functional outcome measures at the initial evaluation, re-evaluation/progress report, and discharge.compliance, emr, evidence-based practice, functional outcomes, g-codes, medicare, outcome measures, physical therapy, physical therapy software, PT best practices
Nov 12, 2012| by Charlotte Bohnett
In an effort to improve quality of reporting in the healthcare industry, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) created the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS), which mandates that physical therapists, occupational therapists, and qualified speech-language therapists meet the criteria for satisfactory reporting. Beginning in 2013, not complying with PQRS requirements will result in penalties, which CMS will assess as fines (starting at 1.5% of your fee schedule) in 2015. However, if you are compliant, you will earn a 0.5% incentive payment on your total allowed charges during the reporting period.CMS, compliance, evidence-based practice, fee schedule, medicare, outcome measures, physical therapy software, PQRS, PT best practices
Jun 28, 2012| by Erica Cohen
Early this month, Charlotte talked about the importance of evidence-based practice and listed some tools, like Dartfish, that could help you with consistency, autonomy, and correctness. Here, I tackle another tool: FOTO.
Focus On Therapeutic Outcomes, Inc. (FOTO) is a medical rehabilitation company that has been providing patient evaluation tools and aggregate data management services since 1992. Almost 2,000 clinics across the US and Israel use the FOTO Outcomes Data Collection System today.
This national benchmark database and reporting service provides outpatient rehabilitation professionals with risk-adjusted national comparisons of treatment effectiveness and efficiency as well as patient satisfaction. It’s the largest and most valid external directory for rehabilitation that measures functional outcomes for orthopedic, neurological, work hardening/work conditioning, pain management, cardiovascular, and pelvic floor dysfunction patients.
FOTO’s data collection process for measuring outcomes is comprised of three main components:
1. Patient Intake
2. Patient Status
3. Staff Discharge
After the completion of each component, FOTO produces a patient-specific report allowing you to access individual as well as single and multi-practice performance. The system then rolls up this outcome data by care type, impairment, clinician, practice, and organization, and compares it, quarterly and annually, to similar risk-adjusted data from almost 2,000 clinics.
“By measuring our performance against providers all over the country, we can identify our strengths and improve on any areas requiring focus as it relates to functional outcomes and providing an exceptional experience to the patient,” says AthletiCo, a physical and occupational/hand therapy provider in Illinois, Milwaukee, and Northwest Indiana.
Jun 25, 2012| by Charlotte Bohnett
On June 25, 2012, WebPT copywriters Charlotte Bohnett and Erica Cohen sat down for a phone interview with Cindy Gibson-Horn regarding her patented Balance-Based Torso-Weighting® technique and equipment. Thank you, Cindy, for providing such valuable information on this PT innovation.
Eleven years ago, California-based practicing therapist and San Francisco Business Times Health Care Heroes Award Finalist Cindy Gibson-Horn had the biggest “wow” moment of her career. When she strategically attached weights to the torso of a 40-year-old multiple sclerosis rehabilitation patient named Mary to counterbalance directional loss, Cindy found better-than-expected improvements in balance and stability. The additional weight dramatically corrected Mary’s upright sensory input allowing her to walk, turn, and look at things without becoming unsteady. But it didn’t stop with Mary—or MS—the same technique helped patients with Parkinson’s disease, stroke, head trauma, ataxia, cerebral palsy, osteoporosis, brain surgery, and dizziness.balance-based torso-weighting, balancewear, BBTW, evidence-based practice, innovative technology, motion therapeutics, physical therapist, PT best practices, sensory input
Jun 25, 2012| by Ann Wendel
Recently, the APTA posted information proposing an Alternative Payment System (APS). The proposed system would have three evaluation codes and nine treatment codes for physical therapists to use. According to the APTA, their goal with APS is to “reform payment for outpatient physical therapy services to improve quality of care, recognize and promote the clinical judgment of the physical therapist, and provide policymakers and payers with an accurate payment system that ensures the integrity of medically necessary services.”
The APTA is proposing to “reform payment for outpatient physical therapy services by transitioning from the current fee-for-service, procedural-based payment system to a per session payment system. APTA believes that a system that categorizes patients based on the severity of their condition and intensity of the interventions required better reflects the professional clinical reasoning/judgment and decision making by the physical therapist, improves provider compliance, reduces administrative burdens surrounding current payment models, and is consistent with and enhances payer recognition of the value of physical therapist-directed care.”
While I believe that all physical therapists would agree that a simpler coding system is desirable (especially if it improves quality of care, promotes the clinical judgment of physical therapists, and enhances payer recognition of the value of physical therapist-directed care), not all physical therapists believe that the APS as proposed is the best system to adopt.#solvept, alternative payment system, APS, APTA, autonomy, direct access, evidence-based practice, physical therapy, PTBA
Jun 20, 2012| by Charlotte Bohnett
therapy is, and always will be, about exceptional patient care. Therapists want to improve the lives of their patients. From Ancient Greece to World Wars I and II to today, physical therapy has been about treating people, not research methods. It’s no surprise, then, that the profession isn’t as evidence-based as other medical professions.
But times are a-changin’, and everyone from insurance companies to the educational and medical fields are craving uniformity, autonomy, and validity. Evidence-based practice has become essential. WebPT owner Heidi Jannenga, PT, MPT, ATC/L, puts it quite succinctly: “It’s time to prove what we do works.” How do we do that?
What better way to prove what you do than to set up and complete studies within your own facility? Easier said than done, sure, but you can enlist help. Find nearby schools with therapy programs. Students typically must complete capstone projects for their doctoral degree, and a study within your clinic makes a fine final project. Plus, college students totally understand that whole research methods thing. For an example of a therapy student study, check out Lauren Baier’s undergraduate thesis. She studied how video and photos in WebPT’s Home Exercise Program influence patient compliance.best practices, clinic, evidence-based practice, heidi jannenga, physical therapist, physical therapy, research, technology
Jun 19, 2012| by Charlotte Bohnett
Today’s post comes from WebPT copywriters Charlotte Bohnett and Erica Cohen as well as WebPT co-founder Heidi Jannenga, PT, MPT, ATC/L.
Have you been following #SolvePT? Lots of participation, awareness, and most importantly, action. It’s grown from a Twitter conversation to an entire movement, and we wholeheartedly support the cause. So, we’d like to dedicate today’s blog post to the kickass therapists who have led, joined, and gotten involved to build the physical therapy brand and increase the profession’s visibility. You are the musculoskeletal experts, and the world needs to know it!