Prevention and Wellness

What’s New in Health Care

Premier Physician Network doctors answer frequently asked questions about what’s new in health care.

How is health care being transformed today? 

Health care today is being transformed in a variety of ways to ultimately focus more on a patient’s point of view, Premier Physician Network (PPN) physicians say.

Those transformations include the areas of patient satisfaction, patient outcomes and cost efficiency.

Talk to your doctor for more information about how health care is being transformed.

How does health care transformation benefit patients? 

Health care transformation benefits patients by trying to provide the most positive and beneficial experience possible from the patient’s point of view, Premier Physician Network (PPN) physicians say.

Benefits of this include:

  • Adding extended office hours
  • Creating consistent office hours
  • Having appointment times available
  • Having more communication options
  • Increased use of technology
  • Timely results on testing and lab work

What role does technology play in health care transformation? 

Technology gives patients faster access to their health information, Premier Physician Network (PPN) physicians say.

It also gives patients and health care providers easier, faster communication options.

Technology also gives providers better options for analyzing patient lab and test results and data over time. This can help improve quality of care and patient outcomes.

Talk to your doctor for more information about the role of technology in health care transformations.

What is patient-centered care, and how does it play a role in health care transformation? 

Patient-centered care is the idea of providing patients with the care they need in the way they want, Premier Physician Network (PPN) physicians say.

Patient-centered care is the driving force behind health care transformation. The process of transforming health care is based on providing care that is positive from a patient’s point of view.

For more information about patient-centered care, and how it plays a role in health care transformation, talk with your doctor. 

What is direct access for outpatient physical therapy services?

Direct access for outpatient physical therapy services allows individuals to be evaluated and treated by a physical therapist without requiring a referral from a physician or other referring provider.

What are the benefits of direct access for individuals?

Direct access provides individuals with convenient, easy, and early access to physical therapy services while also reducing costs for individuals by not requiring a physician or referring provider office visit to obtain the referral.

Who is eligible to obtain outpatient physical therapy services without a physician or provider referral at Premier Health?

All patients are eligible for outpatient physical therapy services without a referral.  

Are outpatient physical therapy services without a provider referral covered by insurance?

Many insurance companies do not require a provider referral to be eligible for payment of physical therapy services.  Premier Health registration staff will verify if a provider referral is necessary for payment of physical therapy services prior to an individual’s evaluation.  If a physician or provider referral is necessary for payment of physical therapy services, the individual will be notified so that a referral can be obtained.

Will an individual’s physician or healthcare provider be informed that physical therapy services are being provided?

The individual’s healthcare provider will be informed of the physical therapy evaluation no later than 5 business days after the evaluation.

What happens if a physical therapist performs the evaluation and is concerned that physical therapy may not benefit the patient or that a physician consult or additional testing may be recommended?

After the initial evaluation, the physical therapist may refer an individual to his or her physician or provider if the physical therapist believes the condition is beyond the scope of physical therapy practice or requires a physician consult or additional testing.

What happens if an individual does not see improvement with physical therapy services provided through direct access?

If an individual does not make progress within 30 days of the initial physical therapy visit, the physical therapist will consult with or refer the individual to his or her healthcare provider.

Which Premier Health physical therapy sites provide direct access for outpatient physical therapy?

Direct access is available at all the outpatient physical therapy sites.

Source: Daniel Elshoff, MD, Stillwater Family Care

Content Updated: May 20, 2019

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