Templates: Enlist therapist to document need

Q. What do therapists think about conducting exams?
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.