MED eases journey for ATP hopefuls

Thursday, June 23, 2011

LUBBOCK, Texas – Complex rehab providers searching for ATPs face a number of problems, according to Reid Bellis, director of The MED Group's National Rehab Network.

One big problem: There was no comprehensive program that meshed online education with hands-on clinical and sales training to get rehab professionals ready to become an ATP. They would just study and cram to pass the test.

"That's essentially like studying the driver's training manual and getting license to drive a carbut you've never been in a car," Bellis said.

A class of 38 about to complete the ATP Journeyman program will be the first to have hands-on knowledge and sales experience to complete their education. 

As part of the program, MED business partners offer functional clinical training and product-specific training. They also offered a 10-hour hands-on session during Medtrade Spring, letting participants work with custom molds, electronic systems, bariatric seating and pediatrics. 

"Folks that leave this program are really ready to go and start taking care of patients as soon as they pass the test and meet the requirements," said Wayne Grau, vice president of supplier relations and government affairs for The MED Group, who came up with the idea for the program. "It puts together the book smarts and the street smarts."

The program also comprises a six-month curriculum developed by Dr. Gary Schwantz, who combined Cook and Hussey's textbook and Michelle Lange's coursework. Additionally, Mike Sperduti, president of Emerge Sales, works with students over the course of the program on sales tactics. 

"In today's market, with shrinking margins and the cuts to reimbursement, they really have to be taught to sell," said Bellis. "It's the ATP that drives the revenue." 

The next session of the program begins in July.