Archive May 2017 XVIII, No. 5

Ideas That Work: Make Early PT Visits Mandatory for Total Joint Patients

home visit by a PT SCOUTING REPORT A home visit by a PT can help weed out poor candidates for outpatient total joint surgery before expenses start to pile up.

Make Early PT Visits Mandatory for Total Joint Patients

Here's a way to help weed out total joint patients who won't be good fits: Send a physical therapist to the patient's home as part of your admission criteria. Payers won't pay for it, and it isn't cheap, but in the long run, it will be money well spent. Remember, once you sign up a patient, your expenses start adding up. Your staff will be spending a lot of time gathering information, and if you're in a 23-hour, 59-minute setting, you may be scheduling overnight nurses. You don't want to invest that time and money only to find out later that a particular patient isn't going to cut it.

For example, a while back, one of our PTs visited a potential patient, and came back with photos. It turned out the patient was a hoarder and the house was filthy. Magazines and trash were piled up knee high. Obviously, this was a patient who needed a social worker and who needed to go to the hospital to have her knee done. So we didn't waste any more time and ultimately the patient got the help she needed.

You can even get a lot of information by having your PTs Skype with patients who live too far away to make visiting practical.

Jessie Scott, MBA
Presidio Surgery Center
San Francisco, Calif.

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