On June 6, 2019 FPTA leadership met with leaders from the Florida Occupational Therapy Association, the Florida Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists and the Alliance of Pediatric Therapies to discuss the ongoing issues with the third-party administration (TPA) of Medicaid. TPAs affect all patient populations- especially in the outpatient setting by decreasing reimbursement to providers by bringing them into their provider network. As a result the patients who need our care have to search for an approved provider which can be timely and may require a great travel distance for the patient. Members from each profession shared their experience in working with these groups as well as gave patient stories as to how proper care was challenging give the stipulations of being a network provider. All three disciplines agreed that these rules can go against ours guides to practice and our codes of ethics.
Pediatric SIG members Martha Bloyer, Lindley Westervelt and Amber Yampolsky along with FPTA President Jamie Dyson and CEO Tad Fisher represented FPTA. The group all agreed that the best approach would be a unified strategy with all four professional associations. The next steps will be to develop of a joint statement and letter to Medicaid requesting a meeting. The letter will be copied to appropriate elected officials from the house, senate and Governor’s office as well as the Florida Association of Health Plans with whom we will also request a meeting. The driving force behind this is one of our most vulnerable clients- the pediatric client. None of this will be able to move forward without real stories from real patients. The group is also going to develop a provider/Patient tool kit to help patients and providers file complaints.
Members of the three professions work so well together with patients so let’s work together to improve the care of the clients we serve. This was the first of what we hope will be many collaborations of these three groups over the coming years. Stay tuned for more updates on the effort as they occur.
PT for Pain is a project of the Florida Physical Therapy Association (FPTA), dedicated to improving the health, wellness and quality of life of people in Florida by advancing the practice of physical therapy.