“New normal.” It’s a phrase we’re hearing more and more as the US begins to open up and resume operations—at least partially. This tentative move toward some sense of normalcy means many of us will face significant change in the weeks ahead.
COVID-19 has created the perfect witch’s brew of intense stress. People across the country are concerned about the health of themselves and their families; job security is shaky (and household incomes are dropping); and basic necessities like food staples and hygiene supplies are still—even after two months—difficult to find.
In this Q&A, Simon Hargus, PT, DPT, OCS, MBA, the owner of First Settlement Physical Therapy (FSPT), explains how he is leading his organization through the COVID-19 pandemic. He covers FSPT’s approach to continuity planning, the steps the company is taking to stay financially stable through the current situation, and the changes he plans to implement in the future based on what he has learned over the last few weeks (including an increased focus on telehealth and cash-based services).
Plenty of physical therapists have fantasized about working from home—especially after an especially hectic day with back-to-back patients. But, now that the coronavirus has rendered many in-person physical therapy models inappropriate (at least for now), quite a few PTs are taking the idea of remote work much more seriously.
For many of us, the past couple of weeks have been surreal—almost dystopian. We have gone from living our lives as normal—observing the freedoms and routines most of us take for granted—to considering every potential action and activity through a new, exceptionally cautious lens.
Physical therapists are at the forefront of modern musculoskeletal knowledge and expertise—and it’s no wonder why. PT and DPT programs drill into the finer points of neurorehabilitation and musculoskeletal disorders, and active clinical practice keeps those skills fresh—requiring PTs to tap their vast array of scientific knowledge with each and every patient.
The physical therapy profession has grown incredibly over the years—and it has evolved quite a bit in the process. From the early days of working with polio-stricken children and war survivors to the vast landscape of clinical and non-clinical positions that PTs hold today, the truth is that modern physical therapy would not be what it is without staunch advocates pushing us toward excellence along the way.
According to one 2020 Graham Sessions attendee, the PT field is facing a pretty grim future. “We have a pretty dire landscape,” he said. “It costs more to earn less.” PTs struggle, he argued, because we know what we’re worth—but that value is totally at odds with how the market values us.
The front desk of a PT, OT, or SLP practice is pretty much its control tower. When front office operations break down—and clinics fail to promptly return patient phone calls, schedule appointments at optimal intervals, check patients in and out, verify patient insurance information, or collect payment—then the efficiency and effectiveness of the entire organization suffers.
No matter where you are in your career—from bright-eyed new grad to experienced clinical leader—it’s natural to want to shine in your job. There are many ways to make a positive impact at work, from spreading good cheer to going above and beyond outside of your normal clinical duties.
How familiar are you with the Medicare guidelines for physical therapy documentation? What about for occupational therapy documentation? If you’re a PT or OT—and you’re anything less than 100% confident in your knowledge of the Medicare documentation rules that apply to your specialty—then you’ve come to the right place.