Florida Senator Mike Bennett (R-Bradenton) came to Medical Arts Rehabilitation, a private practice physical therapy clinic in Palmetto, Florida from 4-6pm on Tuesday May 18th.
The Senator is the fifth from the left.
He gave about 20 physical therapists and physical therapist assistants a wide-ranging tutorial on the political process and how physical therapists can create change for our patients, for our practices and for our future.
Making political friendships along common interests and combining their money and number of voices was the overall theme of Senator Bennett's talk.
Some of the highlights of the Senator's talk:
- He was surprised to find out that orthopedic surgeons can still legally operate POPTs, imaging facilities and clinical laboratories in Florida since the passage of the 1992 Florida Statute 456.053 Financial arrangements between referring health care providers and providers of health care services.
Doctors are exempt from the 1992 self-referral law if they meet two simple criteria:
- They employ the physical therapist and only treat the doctors' patients - no outside referrals.
- They are physically on-site at all times when patients are being treated.
- Free Money!
One of the only pieces of healthcare legislation to pass the 2010 session was the Medicaid Anti-Fraud bill that promises to save 25% of the entire Medicaid budget.
To legislators worried about a state budget with falling revenues and no chance of raising taxes the thought of putting bad guys in jail and GETTING PAID to do so is very attractive.
One provision of the Anti-Medicaid Fraud legislation prevents close financial arrangements between physicians and home health agencies.
- One suggestion was to revisit the 1992 legislation with the intent of preventing close financial arrangements between physicians and other providers like PT, imaging and labs, similar to the 2010 Anti-Medicaid Fraud law.
- The Senator suggested creating alliances with like-minded constituencies that face similar challenges from physicians, eg:
- Radiology services
- Insurance companies (surprise, surprise!)
Imagine that, a state Senator teaching physical therapists how to lift correctly.