Sunday, August 3, 2008

Physical Therapists in MainE are fighting for their livelihood against the ever-growing bravado in procuring profits by denying more on more services to subscribers and cutting reimbursements to providers. AFTER PT's in MainE signed on to be providers for Anthem BC/BS, Anthem UNILATERALLY cut reimbursement to those same PT's by 20%. Although that is bad in-of-itself, strong-arming providers into reimbursement agreements that are barely at a level (and sometimes below the level) allowing for a consistent profit margin, it is not new. There are two other developments from this action that I find interesting.

The first is what happened when Anthem forced this rate cut on the PT's in MainE. Unlike our long history of passivity, the PT's stiffened up and said "no!" and now have a lawsuit against Anthem that is moving through the courts. I see this as analogous to the terrorized finally pushing the bully back. We may get our asses kicked in the end, but it's finally a step towards standing up for ourselves and our profession.

The second event related to this is the response by our professional organization the APTA. It appears from my vantage point that the APTA is keeping to itself on this issue. In my opinion, this is the perfect opportunity for the APTA to help by flexing some muscle and stand up for what we know is right. It seems we are taking the stance that we don't want to "offend" anyone so we'll just make like Switzerland and play neutral.

We need to support our fellow PT's if not for anything but to avoid becoming bullied just as they are.

Jason Harris

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