King of Prussia, PA – Adapting to an environment where evidence-based data, controlled cost and coordinated care are key functions to success will enable physical therapy to assume a leading position in the future healthcare arena. This was the heart of the message that MedRisk’s Roger Nelson, PT, PhD, FAPTA, delivered during his Mary McMillan Lecture at the 2013 American Physical Therapy (APTA) Conference and Exposition, Salt Lake City, Utah. MedRisk is a leading managed care company specializing in the physical rehabilitation of injured workers.
An internationally recognized physical medicine expert, Nelson leads Expert Clinical Benchmarks (ECB), MedRisk’s research and academic arm. He has also served the profession and APTA for more than 45 years, developing national and international collaborations for education, research and patient care.
Nelson has also spent his entire career successfully positioning physical therapists as core members of the healthcare team. He continued in that vein during his McMillan Lecture, “The Next Evolution,” outlining four tasks the PT profession needs to employ to make its mark in healthcare’s future. This involves: delineating the value of PT intervention; emphasizing the importance of collecting data; understanding the role of costs in delivery of services; and recognizing the concept of entrepreneurship.
“We must run our clinics as businesses,” Nelson said. “We need to understand the cost of resources put into effective treatment programs for specific patient conditions and be prepared to negotiate, supported by data. Otherwise, we are in danger of accepting a payment that undervalues our services.”
Data collected on clinical, functional and patient satisfaction outcomes will form the basis for information provided to payers and healthcare policy makers. Collaborating with and sharing electronic health records with the patient’s other providers will make the value of PT services more evident, Nelson said.
“Electronic healthcare records will help unify the development and measurement of treatment goals across the professions,” he said. “It also enables other healthcare providers to assess the value of physical therapy services.”
Now in its 44th year, the Mary McMillan Lecture is the highest honor bestowed upon an APTA member. The award recognizes a physical therapist who has made distinguished contributions to the profession.
Source: MedRisk/King Knight Communications