Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Health Care Policy and the Next US Administration

Very interesting lecture from the MIT World Distributed Intelligence program from Jonathan Gruber. His perspectives are interesting and based on much of the experience with the Massachusetts mandated health insurance program.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Treatment Exchange Part I, The “Unboxing” and First Impressions



Being the quintessential “early adopter” that I am I couldn’t resist the temptation to give Treatment Exchange a whirl particularly after a fairly impressive initial online demo. 

Treatment Exchange is a new online Application Service Provider (ASP) which provides an interactive home program management solution for Physical Therapists and Occupational Therapists.  We are all aware of the various home program systems available that consist of essentially basic line drawings or stick figures or the simply hand drawn pictures that therapists provide to patients.  We are also all aware that compliance with this system is extremely poor.

Treatment Exchange seeks to solve many of the inherent problems of Home Program Management.  First, instead of simple static line drawings, it uses color pictures, usually available as animated slide presentations or video, with accompanying instructions.  Second, all materials are fully customizable by the clinician.  Third and probably most important this system is fully an interactive experience between therapist and patient.  Integrated into Treatment Exchange is a two way messaging system that helps to insure compliance.  It also provides for ongoing contact which one can only imagine will not only improve compliance but also improve patient retention both over the short term and the long term.



Screenshot of the Therapist Home Page showing Message Log for all messages between Therapist and Patient.


Screenshot of Patient Database Listing

While we have only just “gone live” with this system, it has already been well received by my patients, the operation is fairly intuitive after a 90 minute initial online tutorial and the screens are easy to navigate.

I will continue with a further review of this product, but suffice it to say I am very impressed with the product and customer service.  Part II of this series will focus a bit more on the specifics of the product.

With dwindling reimbursement and looking for ways to make health care dollars go further this could be “The Next Big Thing”.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Physiopedia is Looking for Help

An ambitious project has been launched to create a Wikipedia style compendium of Physical Therapy articles and information at Physiopedia.  My colleague Rachel Lowe, PT is looking for ways to get our colleagues to contribute.  First step is to spread the word and take it viral and this is my contribution.

If you would like to help create a credible source of Physical Therapy information that will increase the visibility of our profession and our unique knowledge base the Physiopedia is the place to start.  Join them and help to spread the word.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Deja Vu All Over Again – Where Have all the …Gone?

As I was reading this article from the NY Times today and put it on Twitter earlier today I had a strange sense of Déjà Vu.  Probably because it reminded me of this earlier post on my blog.

I have an sense of impending crisis in healthcare that will be reminiscent of the recent bailout of the financial institutions and the possible bailout of the automotive industry.  The only question will be who will bailout medical providers?  Sadly this is a crisis that if not solved soon will require a much more lengthy period of recovery as the education and training of medical providers takes years so the recovery curve is likely to be extraordinarily lengthy.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Saying “Thanks!” a Little Differently this Holiday Season

My Partners and I have decided that instead of doing the typical holiday routine of delivering fruit baskets and treats to express our gratitude to our many referral sources, this year we will be making a cash donation to the local food bank or Toys for Tots in their name.  The choice of charity will be theirs. 

To our many referrers, thank you for the opportunity and privilege of serving our mutual patients in 2008.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Insurers Propose Universal, Centralized Healthcare

According to this story from the LA Times America’s Health Insurance Plans, a trade group representing the insurance industry has made a significant proposal regarding Universal Insurance.  As this debate ensues everybody is going to have to make sure that what inevitably arises doesn’t provide Universal Insurance accompanied by Universal Non-Coverage. 

Consumers should be assured that their benefits provide reasonable payment to providers so that providers will participate in the plans, that coverage determination will be based on necessary and appropriate provision of services without arbitrary and capricious caps or limitations based solely on the profit motivations of the private insurance carriers.

While there is tremendous even dire need for reform in Healthcare it needs to be accomplished by thoughtful, deliberate and circumspect means.  A rush to a final proposal will only complicate the already complicated and failing system currently in place.