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PTA Blog Talk

Parsimonious Care

Published January 18, 2012 9:27 PM by Jason Marketti

The American College of Physicians' ethical manual was recently in the news. The debate involved parsimonious care in the delivery of services. I can understand the debate and reasoning behind it but if those same manual writers visited a restaurant and parsimonious steaks appeared on their plate I am sure they would complain, ask for a refund and probably not return to that place for service again. They would most likely leave a parsimonious tip too.

Now the question is, can we be frugal in the delivery of physical therapy care? It could be something as simple as not giving out HEPs, limiting how long the elastic exercise bands should be, or not setting up a TENS unit on a patient even though the benefit is there. How about providing healing prayer? ( I was asked to perform this recently on a patient because the last therapist had).

Limiting costs in a facility is paramount for survival, especially if the reimbursement rates have declined or services are not being paid for. Where does that leave the patient who expects to be taken care of by high-level professionals who are being pressured to cut costs? I think some diagnoses will be missed, benefits of tests lost, and either an increase in mortality or more returns to the hospital because someone wanted to keep track of all the beans in one pile.

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About this Blog


    Jason J. Marketti
    Occupation: Physical Therapist Assistant
    Setting: San Jacinto, CA
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