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Shenda Tanchak
Registrar and CEO
College of Physiotherapists of Ontario

  • STOP IT BEFORE YOU GET IN TROUBLE! A RANT.

    Apr 05, 2016

    I am receiving more and more reports about physiotherapists sending patients for personal training or Pilates and enabling patients to submit receipts for these services under the physiotherapist’s registration number. Guess what? In many cases this is inappropriate and you could get in serious trouble.

    The ONLY time that your credentials can be used to bill for physiotherapy is when the treatment is truly physiotherapy and it has been provided by you or by someone acting as your assistant.

    There are cases where a patient presents with a health problem that requires a supervised exercise problem as part of a physiotherapy treatment plan.  In such situations, the exercise program can be a legitimate element of the physiotherapy care.

    The physio might manage the exercise program directly or might have someone else manage that part of the patient’s care. The minute that someone else is managing a part of a physiotherapy treatment plan on behalf of a physiotherapist, they are acting as a physiotherapy assistant.

    It doesn’t matter if they are a registered kinesiologist, an athletic therapist or a personal trainer: all of the requirements of the standard for Physiotherapists Working with Physiotherapist Support Personnel apply.

    Does the College really take these cases seriously? Ask the three physiotherapists who’ve been to Discipline in the past 14 months for failure to meet the standard of care for the use of assistants in their work with personal trainers or athletic therapists. Ask the handful of physiotherapists who are presently under investigation for referring their healthy patients to gyms and Pilates classes and billing their sessions as preventative physiotherapy.

    Every one of you who uses your credentials as a way of getting free non-physiotherapy services for your patients is undermining the credibility of the profession.

    I know that your patients ask for it. That doesn’t make it right.

    Council approved a new draft Standard for consultation called Physiotherapists Working with Assistants at its last meeting.

    Read it.  Think about it.  Let us know if you think it needs to be changed before it’s made final. Watch your inbox and the website for a chance to tell us what you think about the changes and additions over the coming weeks.

    And if you know a physiotherapist who is not meeting the Standard – do them a favour and send them the link or make them a copy of it – get them to read it before they read their name on the Discipline page of our website.

    I am receiving more and more reports about physiotherapists sending patients for personal training or Pilates and enabling patients to submit receipts for these services under the physiotherapist’s registration number. Guess what? In many cases this is inappropriate and you could get in serious trouble. The ONLY time that your credentials can be used to […]
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  • When Breaking Up is Hard to Do

    Feb 09, 2016
    You’ve been seeing Janet for several months. She’s an elderly widow who first came to you following a knee replacement. She recovered quite well and is ready to be discharged. The problem is, Janet really likes you and wants to continue coming for therapy. She makes weekly appointments for the treatment of back pain. But, you are […]
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  • Are Great Practitioners At Risk of Losing Their Reputation?

    Jan 20, 2016
    There was a BBC headline that caught my eye not too long ago: “Athletics doping: What happens if trust goes out of sport?”* It was about the results of an independent commission set up by the World Anti-Doping Agency, but it could have been about your profession. It could have been physiotherapists. I have to […]
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  • How Will You Stay Inspired in 2016?

    Jan 08, 2016
    Guest Blogger: Shari Hughes, PT I just read something inspiring—so inspiring in fact, that I want to share it with my fellow PTs. Here it is: “Our quest [as health care providers] is clear…It’s a search for meaning in the value of the person who has come to honour us with his or her quest […]
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  • Shout, Shout – Let it All Out!!!

    Dec 11, 2015
    You Talk. We Listen.  By now you know we’ve been working hard to consult about the potential for clinic regulation in Ontario. The one and only thing about the consultations that has disappointed me is the suspicion I’ve encountered about the consultation process itself. It appears that many people seem to think that our working […]
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  • Shhh! The Registrar’s TOP SECRET FORMULA for Avoiding Complaints!

    Oct 21, 2015
    Amanda is a young woman in pain. Mr. McBean is an experienced physiotherapist who achieves excellent clinical outcomes. So how come she’s complained about him? Because he reached his arm across her chest, coming into contact with her breast Because it really hurt when he moved her arm through the full range of motion Because […]
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  • Regulating Clinics – Your Turn to Talk!

    Oct 14, 2015
    We know physiotherapists are sometimes compelled by their employers to provide services in a way that does not meet the profession’s clinical or ethical expectations. And sometimes business operators engage in behaviour that physiotherapists aren’t even aware of, but can still get the PT in trouble: they use the physio’s name for bad advertising or billing practices, […]
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  • Friend not Foe: A PT Student Experience

    Aug 31, 2015
    When I learned that I would be completing my clinical placement at the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario, I was apprehensive. In the world of PT students, I have found that the College is often misunderstood and sometimes negatively perceived. From creating standards to performing practice assessments, aka “audits,” to discipline hearings, my impression was […]
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  • Sitting in My Castle, Making Up the Rules…

    Aug 10, 2015
    Judging by some of the comments to some of my blogs, some of you must think I sit in my office, scheming to write rules that make the lives and jobs of physiotherapists harder than they need to be. When I wrote the blog “My support person hurt someone. Am I in trouble?” one person […]
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  • Patients or Friends—Does it Have to Be One or the Other?

    Jul 08, 2015
    Your patient asks you to play on her softball team. There’s nothing romantic and you have lots of common interests and a couple of common friends. Should you join the team? I’ve written in my blog about boundaries before—we are pretty clear that dating patients is a problem and that sexual relationships are forbidden. But […]
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