Nitin Chhoda discusses the current patient healthcare system in the United States. He explains how the current system will change the status of physical therapy management, its transition to EMR, and its effect on patients’ security of information.
Physical therapy management healthcare reform has been a long time coming and President Obama’s initiatives represent a beginning with enormous possibilities.
At the core of healthcare reform is providing access to quality health care services to all in an affordable cost.
Health information technology for physical therapy management is essential in achieving that goal, but to realize its full potential, it’s important to understand the patient healthcare system in the U.S.
Healthcare costs and physical therapy management in the U.S. exceed those in many other countries, yet the quality of patient care can vary widely among providers and regions of the country.
President Obama has a goal of utilizing electronic medical records (EMR) by 2014, a move that can radically improve patient care across the board.
The Healthcare System
The healthcare system in the U.S. can be slow, ponderous and delay essential treatment due to a lack of patient records or availability of insurance. Coordination of care is one of the largest problems facing any healthcare provider and efficient physical therapy management depends on accurate records from all available sources.
Partial records and lost documents result in redundant testing and expensive procedures, when funds could be better utilized to treat patients.
Healthcare in the U.S. is a multi-tiered system administered by a variety of physical therapy management providers, facilities and reimbursement plans. It’s a reactive system that focuses on treating illness, ailments and conditions after they occur, rather than emphasizing ways to avoid problems before they happen.
Effective patient treatment and physical therapy management are built through ongoing relationships, but continuity of care is often broken when a client loses their insurance.
Information technology of physical therapy management, such as EMRs, provide physical therapists with a complete, integrated record for each patient that will significantly reduce costs on all levels by eliminating redundant tests, therapies and treatments.
The implementation of health care technology and effective physical therapy management are essential for better patient care and to meet the healthcare demands of a growing population.
Physical therapy clinics must remain profitable, but many patients seeking physical therapy management and services are those insured through Medicare, Medicaid and similar programs that dictate unrealistic reimbursement limits and caps.
Health information technology that includes electronic medical record systems allows therapists to offer an enhanced level of patient care and verify insurance coverage to expedite the treatment process.
Protection of Patients
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was signed into law on March 23, 2010. The law provides for increased access to healthcare services to many who had none before. It further seeks to limit expenses for consumers and move to a system of electronic medical records that offers extensive advantages for physical therapy management services.
EMRs represent the first generation of electronic records to manage patient health care more efficiently and assist in meeting the government’s goals of expanded access and overall savings within the healthcare industry.
For physical therapists, health information technology provides greater profitability through electronic billing submissions. Therapists have access to complete patient records, eliminating the need for costly physical therapy management and redundant testing that can delay critical treatments, while facilitating change in the patient healthcare system.