National Physical Therapy Month

National Physical Therapy Month

Physical therapy is used to treat people of all ages, from newborns to the very oldest, who have medical problems or other health-related conditions that limit their abilities to move and perform activities in their daily lives. This month, it is National Physical Therapy Month. We would like to recognize all the health physical therapist’s provide for people that need it. Here is some information on what the physical therapy profession is all about:

Role of a Physical Therapist:

Physical therapists examine each individual and develop a plan using treatment techniques that will promote the ability to move, reduce pain, restore functions, and prevent disability. Also, physical therapists work with people to avoid the loss of mobility before it even occurs by developing fitness and wellness-oriented programs for more active and healthier lifestyles. They provide the care for people in a variety of different places including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, home health agencies, schools, sports and fitness facilities, work settings, and nursing homes. A state license is required in each state in which the physical therapist practices.

The Physical Therapy Job:

It is a dynamic profession with an established theoretical and scientific base. It uses a widespread of clinical practices in the restoration, maintenance, and promotion of physical function. They take on leadership roles within professional and community organizations that promote rehabilitation, prevention, health maintenance, fitness, and wellness. They also play a crucial role both in developing standards for physical therapist practice and in improving healthcare policies to ensure availability, accessibility, and optimal delivery of health care services. Physical therapy is covered by federal, state, and private insurance plans. As clinicians, physical therapists engage in an examination process that includes taking the patient/client history, conducting a systems review, and performing tests that measure to identify potential and existing problems.

Establishing Diagnoses:

To develop plans of care, prognoses, and diagnoses, physical therapists perform evaluations, synthesizing the examination of data, and determining whether the problems to be addressed are within the scope of physical therapy. Based on the physical therapists’ judgments and the patient goals, they provide interventions (the interactions and procedures used in managing and instructing patients), conduct re-examinations, modify interventions as necessary to achieve anticipated goals and expected outcomes, and develop and implement discharge plans.

Educational Requirements for becoming a Physical Therapist

They must receive a graduate degree from an accredited physical therapist program before taking the national licensure exam that allows them to practice. They have the most specialized education to help people restore and improve motion. Today, physical therapists are required to complete a graduate degree, either a masters or clinical doctorate from an accredited education program. A growing majority of programs offer the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree. Currently, 199 colleges and universities nationwide support 212 approved professional physical therapy education programs. Now, 96% offer the DPT.

Licensure Requirements for becoming a Physical Therapist

After graduation, candidates must pass a state-administered national exam. Other requirements for physical therapy practice vary from state to state. It depends on the state regulations governing physical therapy.

Employment Outlook for Physical Therapy

There is a high demand for physical therapists in the workforce. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for physical therapists is expected to grow by 36% between the years 2012-2022. It is much faster than the average for other occupations. The high demand depends on different states and area of practice, but the unemployment rates are low across the whole country. The need for physical therapy is expected to stay strong in the foreseeable feature as the U.S. population grows and ages, which leads the demand for physical therapy services to keep on growing.

At Gonzaba in San Antonio, our primary care services offer physical therapy. It is compromised by preventative and wellness care. We understand that physical therapy is vital in protecting health and preventing any health conditions that can affect motor functions. Visit our website or one of our locations to see how physical therapy can help you.

What is Open Enrollment?

What is Open Enrollment?

Open enrollment- also known as the Annual Coordinated Election Period, is typically between October 15 through December 7. This is typically the only acceptable timeframe in which you can either change your Medicare private drug plan and/or your Medicare health plan for the following year. This is also the time to enroll in Part D if you did not join it during the Initial Enrollment Period. This enrollment ends on December 15th so that the changes can be implemented beginning on January 1st.  Here is a step-by-step guide of what to keep in mind when open enrollment starts:

Review your current Medicare health and drug coverage. If you are dissatisfied with your coverage, you need to make the changes during the open enrollment period.

  • If you have Original Medicare, then look up the costs and benefits of Medicare for the upcoming year.
  • If you have the Medicare Advantage Plan or a Part D plan, you should receive an Annual Notice of Change (ANOC) and/or Evidence of Coverage (EOC) from your plan. Review the notices for any changes in the plan’s costs, benefits, or rules for the upcoming year.
  • Even if you are satisfied with your current Medicare Plan, it is essential to look at other Medicare options within your area because other plans may better suit your needs for the upcoming year. An example would be to check to see if there is another Medicare plan that has better health and/or drug coverage at a lower price. Research shows that people with Part D could lower their costs by looking at and choosing different plans each and every year. There could be another Part D plan in your area that covers drugs you take with fewer restrictions or lower prices.

If you need help, you can get it.

  • Use Medicare’s Plan Finder tool if you need help finding Part D plans. The finder tool compares plans based on the drugs you need, costs, and the pharmacy you use.
  • If you want to join the Medicare Advantage Plan, call 1-800-MEDICARE to find out which plans are in your area. You will receive a list of plans’ websites or you can call them to see which plan best fits your need.
  • If you research different plans online, also call the plan itself to confirm what you have learned and make sure the information is correct. Also, make sure the plan includes the doctors and hospitals that you visit are in the same network. Confirm that the plan covers all the drugs you take and the pharmacies that you frequent. Write down everything about the conversation if you call, including the date, representative’s name, and any outcomes or next steps you may need to take. The information may help protect you in case a plan representative gives you wrong information.

The best way to enroll in a plan is to do it directly through Medicare.

  • Enrolling in a new plan directly through Medicare is the best way to protect yourself if there are any issues with enrollment. Again, if you speak to a representative, write everything down about that conversation to refer too if there are any issues with enrollment.
  • Before you enroll in a new plan, remember to confirm all the details and information about your new plan with the plan itself.

If you are unhappy with a Medicare Advantage Plan you choose during the open enrollment period, you can disenroll from it and join Original Medicare during the Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period (MADP).

  • The MADP occurs every year from January 1 through February 14, with changes taking effect on the first of the following month.

Look up if the medical practices you visit will accept the Medicare Plan you choose.

  • At Gonzaba, we accept all of the Medicare Plans. It is important to us that you clearly understand the Medicare plans and get the help you need in choosing the best plan for you.

Visit Gonzaba’s website to learn more about the Medicare Guide and what services we offer at our different medical group locations.