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Tatum Lott Ms. Hollingsworth Senior Project 18 Oct. 2012 Physical Therapy: Good or Bad?

When there is a problem, there is most likely some type of theory or a solution. Physical therapy is for the most part a pleasurable occupation. Although I ended up choosing a different occupation. However, the physical therapy field has problems such as insurance, and a doctor’s availability, but the most difficult challenge in the field is noncompliant patients. Office-Insurance interaction can be a large dilemma for a physical therapist because some patients may not have insurance or their insurance does not cover enough therapy visits. Luckily, my parents have Aetna as our insurance company; Aetna allows an unlimited amount for physical therapy as long as the therapist sends a note to the insurance company. However, a number of insurance companies only allow twenty-five visits and only cover some physical therapy procedures. A majority of insurances cover only eighty percent of approved procedure charges after the patient has met the deductible. Once a patient has paid five thousand dollars out of his or her pocket, some insurance will cover up to one hundred percent of charges. Even though partial insurance coverage can amount to large problems, it is not as large of a problem as not having insurance coverage at all. A large problem is physical therapist losing patients because they cannot pay. Physical therapy visits are expensive and patients who do not have coverage suffer. Patients may have a circumstance where therapy is a necessity. Therefore, a lack of insurance can be a large predicament when a person receives an injury.

Lott 2 A person who does not have insurance may look for plans that could help him or her offset healthcare costs. People without insurance need some type of help on physical therapist payments. In China, the country is testing the new rural cooperative medical insurance, which has benefited rural medical facilities. In the article, “The Problems And Solutions To The Building Of The New-Type Rural Cooperative Medical Workforce,” the author explains that “the farmers obviously have got the benefits to see doctors and to get medicine. The whole newtype cooperative medical service system has been well received and welcomed. But during our research, we found a central question which is extant and needed to be solved: the construction and development issues of the rural cooperative medical and health team” (Mo Chunyan 78). Rural insurance could help America if China found that it assisted the citizens without insurance. Rural insurance could benefit many people that are suffering in the United States from insurance difficulties. Although insurance is a problem for many Americans, patients also have problems communicating with physicians. When a patient is trying to contact a doctor about a situation, the doctor may not be available at the time. The doctor’s work hours can be a major conundrum although the doctor may rush a patient in and out. In Shannon Brownlee’s article she explains “doctor-patient relationship due to rushed appointments, a decline in income for many physicians, and the refusal of insurance companies to pay for treatment that doctors recommended” (Brownlee 1). Doctors become enthralled in their work and forget that their patients are an actual person with feelings. Doctor’s hours are very busy, but they still need to take time to give their patients the correct care. A doctor must create a relationship with patients to be able to contact an employee at all times. Patients benefit from knowing that the doctor cares about them and wants to help them.

Lott 3 Professors and doctors should be looking for students that have enhanced social skills. In the article, “The Doctor Will See You –- If You are Quick,” the author acknowledges that “Medical schools have traditionally put a premium on recruiting students who test well, but testing well doesn't guarantee the social skills to listen to patients” (Brownlee 1). If physical therapists look for specific social qualities in another student, then the physical therapist should have no problem with patients who feel unwelcome. The physical therapist needs to be able to communicate with a patient even if the patient does not do what they are told. Noncompliant patients are the most difficult patients to cope with as a therapist. Noncompliant patents bring the fault on themselves. Patients who are not doing their at-home therapy can cause long term difficulties. In the article, “Why Treat Noncompliant Patients?,” Nir Eyal explains that “[p]atients’ medical conditions can result from their own avoidable risk taking. Some lung diseases result from avoidable smoking and some traffic accidents result from victims’ reckless driving” (Eyal 572). Eyal explains that some noncompliant patients may cause themselves the problem, and this can cause the physical therapist to look bad. Although noncompliant patients are the worst to manage, they are still patients and should be respected. Most doctors care about their patients who do what they are told; however, the ones who do not do their at-home therapy doctors will only worry about the patient of that patient. The decent minimum is the manner most therapists agree to be the best way to treat a noncompliant patient. In “Why Treat Noncompliant Patients?,” Eyal explains that the“popular account is that protecting everyone’s “decent minimum,” their basic needs” (Eyal 572). Patients that are not willing to help themselves can only be helped so much, enough to address their “basic needs.” However, noncompliant patients should not be ignored because of their own laziness.

Lott 4 Physical therapy is a field of many advantages; however, there are also a few faults. Physical therapists have problems with insurance, doctor availability, and the largest problem, noncompliant patients. Physical therapists should not have to deal with and cope with patients who are noncompliant patients, but they do. However, insurance is a different story. Physical therapy is a great field for a people who enjoy hands-on activities and people who enjoy a persons company.

Lott 5 Work Cited Barbara A. Leggett, et al. "Intergroup Communication Between Hospital Doctors: Implications For Quality Of Patient Care." Social Science & Medicine 69.12 (2009): 1732-1740. Academic Search Premier. Web. 13 Sept. 2012 Brownlee, Shannon. "The Doctor Will See You--If You're Quick." Newsweek 159.17/18 (2012): 46-50. Academic Search Premier. Web. 13 Sept. 2012. Eyal, Nir. "Why Treat Noncompliant Patients? Beyond The Decent Minimum Account." Journal Of Medicine & Philosophy 36.6 (2011): 572-588. Academic Search Premier. Web. 13 Sept. 2012 Mo Chunyan, et al. "The Problems And Solutions To The Building Of The New-Type Rural Cooperative Medical Workforce." Asian Social Science 7.9 (2011): 78-85. Academic Search Premier. Web. 13 Sept. 2012.