Disorder in the System
The value of our service seems to be declining. I base this statement on several observations, beginning with how many times we're interrupted during a therapy session. As I'm working with a patient, the lab will come in and need a blood draw. So I stop what I'm doing and allow them to do the procedure. When I continue to treat the patient, a nurse will come in and need to do vitals, then the X-ray person will need the patient; it never ends. I wonder what those other professionals would do if I decided to work with the patient when they are in the middle of a treatment or procedure?
Our value can also be measured by what we are reimbursed for our service. Like our pay rate, we are worth something to an employer. What would happen if our employer paid in full our first hour of treatment, then cut our pay by 20% every hour after that? This is similar to what Medicare Part B does but on a larger scale.
Facilities value therapy but equate us to dollar signs and reimbursements. In some facilities, we're not allowed to take a patient to the therapy gym if he's already engaged in another activity, such as a bingo game. We are expected to see the patient, but not to inconvenience the other departments in the facility. When the patient is not seen for therapy or the patient misses a RUG level, we become the target of wrath because the facility missed out on some money. How are we supposed to see the patient if he's in activities all day?
There is a disorder in the therapy system. It begins with how we're treated in a facility and ends with how we're reimbursed for a skilled service. I only have this to say about it all and I quote Chuck D from the rap group Public Enemy, "Fight the power."