My last post was regarding #APTACSM and an encouragement for our profession to not “screw up the whiskey” with respect to making sure we fulfill the dreams and aspiration of our next generation of physical therapists and physical therapy assistants. This post will focus on one way we can all agree with-cut the red tape!
I had a conversation with a young PT at #APTACSM who was considering residency and had some questions. He had been working just short of a year in an outpatient clinic and also did home health on weekends of course to help pay off debt from the ridiculous cost of graduate school. I asked him about his work, interests, and very specifically if the position and the company that he worked for matched his perceptions and aspirations. He proceeded to tell me that he never anticipated the amount of paperwork, rules, requirements, and insurance idiosyncrasies. In regards to paperwork, it was 25 min on most new patients and even longer on medicare patients. His employer provided good systems and training and he was optimistic about the future but his enthusiasm for healthcare generally was suppressed by external demands. In remarkable insight, he tells me initial paperwork is so voluminous that most PT’s at his center don’t want to see new patients because of the additional work it entails.
He loves the profession but hates his job.
Which reminds me, in 31years, I have yet to meet the PT who entered the profession to do paperwork instead of patient care, the PT who wanted to become an expert in compliance and medicare regulations, the PT who gets jazzed up about plans of care, 8 minute rule, modifiers, and discharge summaries.
Regardless of your political persuasion, it is time for all of us to unite in a campaign to kill regulations. Last week, President Trump signed an executive order directing federal agencies to create reform task forces which will evaluate federal rules and recommend whether to keep, repeal, or change them. In effect, the administration wants officials to reduce expensive or unnecessary rules. When he signed the executive order, Trump claimed “excessive regulation is killing jobs”. With respect to #physicaltherapy, it is likely more of “killing job joy” through frustration, burnout, exasperation, and dismay for the externalities that remove care from healthcare. We have to get this pendulum swinging the other way.
Isn’t this something our profession can rally behind? We should push APTA and our other trade organizations to jump on this bandwagon and positively impact providers who are are overbudened. Let’s get rid of plans of care, rues that block direct access in medicare, obliterate most to the technical compliance requirements, and derail excessive documentation mandates. Lest you think the chances of success are low, I would point out a similar campaign in our Commonwealth of Kentucky called the “Red Tape Reduction”. Led by Gov Matt Bevin, you simply go to this website and make recommendations. Have to applaud our OT counterparts in KY as they are on the next agenda and you can see the progress this initiative has had. Yes, I submitted to get rid of CON requirements for #physicaltherapy, juris prudence exams for licensure, and CEU requirements (another post for another time but there is zero evidence of their impact).
Let’s make the PT job great again!!