I was recently scouring facebook, when I came across an article shared by Harrison Vaughan, of In Touch Physical Therapy. This article highlights some key factors for Orthopaedic Surgeons, when recruiting Physical Therapists for employment. This article inadvertently demonstrates why a Physical Therapist should not accept employment by an Orthopaedic Surgeon. While I am a strong advocate for open lines of communication amongst practitioners and multidisciplinary care, this article evokes an heir of hierarchy that we should not accept. To read the article in full context go here.
Here are a couple of gem’s about their guidelines of hiring us.
Clarify the candidate’s position on working within a physician group. The American Physical Therapy Association has a long-standing policy against physician-owned PT and many therapists are under the mistaken impression that orthopaedic groups offer PT/OT solely to profit from referrals. Pass on candidates who express any objection or voice even a minor concern.
Don’t overpay therapists. You should not need to pay more than the prevailing compensation rate for therapists in your area, and those figures should be readily available.
Don’t (ordinarily) hire the owner of a local PT/OT practice. If these candidates had good clinical and managerial skills, they would have developed a successful private practice and would not be looking to work for someone else.
Update: Here are some additional articles on the AAOS regarding Physical Therapists:
Taking Direct Action on Direct Access
The Truth Behind APTA’s Campaign Against POPTs
Adding Physical Therapy to Your Practice (Cant ignore this quote: “Naturally, one of the primary benefits is financial. Profit in excess of $100,000 per therapist per year is not unreasonable, and in many areas of the country the potential upside is even greater. Current MGMA data (2010 Report; 2009 Data) indicate mean collections are $235,000 for PT and $199,000 for OT, with an average profit of nearly $160,000. Although potential diminishing returns limit how many therapists a clinic may hire, these additional revenues cannot be ignored in an era of declining physician reimbursement. Next to ambulatory surgical centers, therapy is often the most profitable ancillary tool orthopaedic surgeons wield.”)