Templates: Enlist therapist to document need

Q. What do therapists think about conducting exams?
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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

 Q. What do therapists think about conducting exams?

A. Many physicians choose to defer to a physical or occupational therapist to conduct an appropriate mobility evaluation.  

I often ask PTs/OTs what they use to successfully document a comprehensive mobility exam. It seems there are five distinct answers yielding different outcomes and results.

1. The therapist is not comfortable conducting a specialty mobility exam or it is not part of their regular practice.

2. The therapist uses a word document they backfill with the information needed by the specifics of the patient.

3. The therapist is part of a healthcare system that provides its own exam parameters.

4. The therapist uses a system that pulls different types of equipment into a document and then associates the item/equipment with possible justifications.

5. The therapist uses a comprehensive PT/OT mobility evaluation system designed by therapists to specifically assist clinicians with completing the evaluation.

Finding therapists to appropriately document the need for a particular mobility device varies in different areas of the country. 

For example, one supplier that serves multiple territories has no trouble finding a therapist to conduct an examination in one area, while in other areas, it struggles.

In the end, it seems the best of both worlds would be having a tandem system that would tie the physician’s documentation to the therapist’s documentation, thereby creating a comprehensive package available to the supplier to support their claim. hme

Reid Bellis is director of marketing & media relations for PMDRX. He can be reached at reidb@pmdrx.com.