As we are moving towards new payment systems, it is imperative that we are involved and offer comments when we are able to as this will greatly impact us as providers. We also need to stay informed so we can modify our policies and procedures to be reflective of the changes.
Providing the best care for our therapy patients has evolved and expanded over the past year. Our roles as therapists have broadened to include advocating for patients as well as providing services for them.
As providers, patients, and payers look for more cost-effective and efficient ways to provide health care, some are turning to telehealth as an option. Telehealth involves using electronic communication to provide healthcare information and services to a remote location. These services can include physical therapy.
Accountable care organizations were created to promote better care and better health for individuals and populations at a lower cost. They must identify providers that excel in areas not covered by ACOs themselves. In addition, providers must be accountable for their patients’ health, along with ACOs. That means providers have the financial incentives to do only what is absolutely needed.
How do skilled nursing facilities, clinics and hospitals think about therapy? Focusing on patient satisfaction and revenue is a good start, but it is not enough. As therapy continues to be scrutinized by the government and insurance companies, it’s a good idea for administrators, directors of nursing and compliance staff to become more familiar with therapy operations.
It’s no secret health care is changing and that we, as professionals, need to be a part of that change to improve the overall system. Part of this improvement involves helping patients quickly return home after a visit to the hospital, and doing all we can so they do not have to return. Therapy can help with both of these goals.