I was recently in a series of very intense meetings with an orthopedic
practice’s CEO. I tried repeatedly to explain what it is that sets the
CO apart from a Physical Therapist and especially what sets the CO apart
from an ATC -athletic trainer. There are SO MANY MEDICAL professionals
– ORTHOPEDIC physicians who have NO IDEA why one would use a CO over an
ATC. If the medical practice does the billing themselves, why would
they need some outside CO to do the work?? Their PT’s can do it!! OR,
they can get an ATC to do it!!
The arguments went back and forth and despite having the SCOPE OF
PRACTICE document – the problem lies not just in getting a CO attached
to your name, or ABC to your facility or LICENSURE. The problem is that
while SOME docs get it – SOME of them have worked hand in hand with a
great CO – MOST have not. They send the patient to us and never hear
another word. The CO doesn’t go to talk to the doc, doesn’t stop by the
office, doesn’t send progress notes, video, pics, etc of their patient.
And the notes that DO get sent are rarely written in a true scientific
I talked about Licensure- they did not care. Unless it would affect
that THEY would not be able to bill directly for that Bledsoe their PT
put on a patient they did not care.
Getting licensure is truly not enough. None of it is. Unless we really
sell the reputation and value of it. And THAT, my friends, has to be
done EVERY SINGLE DAY. One patient at a time, one doc at a time, one
nurse at a time. Be sure the Physical Therapist knows your value! Be
scientific, act scientific. Inform the patient. Inform the nurses, the
aides – everyone you can — as to WHY you are proud of being an ABC
accredited facility, a CO and licensed. Have a handout that you give
your patients – put it on you website on the FRONT PAGE – WHY it makes a
difference. I hate having to argue why an ATC can do the same job. I
know the arguments, I know the facts. A Nurse Practitioner does not
have to argue the difference between them and an LPN. Why do you????
Joyce J Perrone
De La Torre O&P, Inc & PROMISE Consulting 300 Alpha Drive Pgh PA 15238