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I hope everyone reading this had a safe and happy Christmas. Like many of you, I am looking forward to an exciting 2008. Let me take this time to extend my best wishes for a Happy New Year! Be safe during your celebrations.
The good news – President Bush recently signed a bill that will block the proposed 10% fee schedule cuts and keep the exceptions process intact for the Medicare cap on outpatient physical therapy services. What does this mean? Thousands of patients covered by Medicare will be able to keep their access to quality outpatient physical therapy AND the Physical Therapists will get paid for providing care.
Hopefully, 2008 will include many more good moments for Physical Therapists.
Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) has introduced SB2485 which will relieve student loans for Physical Therapists who work in rural areas of America. The bill (if approved) will add Physical Therapists to the National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program.
An article about this bill can be found here.
A house version was introduced in February and has wide, bipartisan support.
As a soon-to-be graduate who desires to return home and practice in rural West Virginia, I see the importance of providing students with loan relief. This will increase the access to Physical Therapy in rural area and improve quality by attracting young and excited new professionals.
Contact your representatives/senators today and tell them you support adding loan relief for Physical Therapists. Click here to find out more on how to do this.
As I mentioned in another post, the autonomy of Physical Therapists is under heavy attack from those practitioners who desire to fill their own pockets and disguise it as quality care. Yes, chiropractors fit in this group.
For years, chiros have spread mystical theories about vertebral subluxation and how the minor changes in alignment can cause all the world’s problems. By cracking your neck or back, they can cure all your pain, organ diseases, and my personal favorite – childhood bed wetting. Patients walk into their offices, are exposed to unnecessary radiation, then told that it will take 85 visits to fix their problems.
Chiros even offer a little “physical therapy” too! WAIT – only licensed PT’s can do real Physical Therapy. Not according to chiros. They claim they are trained to provide rehabilitation. That’s a laugher. Most chiros offer some nutritional supplements, some e-stim, maybe heat and ultrasound. This is Physical Therapy? Of course not, see the previous posts here.
So what’s the difference? Despite the effectiveness of spinal manipulation in some subgroups of patients, it is not the treatment for EVERY problem. Electrical stimulation, ultrasound, and a hot pack aren’t either. Physical Therapists are trained to provide manipulation to patients. In fact, it’s Physical Therapists who are putting out the research to identify the patients who are likely to benefit from thrust manipulation – funny that chiros aren’t leading the push huh? We (PT’s) also provide thorough therapeutic exercise to ensure you don’t have to come see us 85 times to get better.
Let me end with this, chiropractors hang their hat on the bogus theories of vertebral subluxation when the evidence clearly shows otherwise. They survive on one treatment (spinal manipulation) that they believe NO ONE but chiros should perform. There are many professionals that have been performing spinal manipulation for a long time and doing it well. More and more, it looks like Physical Therapists are able to combine quality therapeutic exercise with manual techniques such as manipulation to provide the BEST care for many musculoskeletal problems. Remember, only licensed PT’s provide Physical Therapy and chiropractors aren’t the only providers skilled and trained to perform spinal manipulation.