Getting to the heart of travel healthcare.

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Podcast Episode


We’re talking PDGM, the Medicare payment model that impacts home health agencies, PTs, OTs, and SLPs. Expert Ellen Strunk and Reid Johnson join us on Cardium podcast.

PDGM Explained: A New Paradigm for Therapists

March 18, 2020

GUESTS: Annie Elliston and Jeff West


PDGM expert Ellen Strunk joins Cardium podcast to talk about the Patient Driven Groupings Model that impacts home health agencies and therapists - PTs, OTs, and SLPs.

Ellen Strunk is an experienced leader in the field of physical therapy and has worked in various roles and settings as a clinician, manager and director. She’s the owner of Rehab Resources & Consulting, Inc. which specializes in helping customers understand payment systems in the home health and skilled nursing facility settings, as well as outpatient therapy billing for all provider types. Ellen lectures nationally on the topics of regulatory compliance in the post-acute space and other clinical related topics within rehabilitation therapy. Ellen is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association, the American Healthcare Association, and other professional organizations within her specialty. She’s an expert in payment models within the scope of therapy, including PDGM, the Patient Driven Groupings Model.

Reid Johnson joins Cardium podcast to talk about PDGM, the Patient Driven Groupings Model and the impact on home health agencies and travel therapists – PTs and OTs.

Reid Johnson is an account manager with Aureus Medical’s Therapy Division. He’s been dedicated to assisting PTs, OTs and speech therapists with their career journeys since he joined the company four years ago. Reid is originally from Minnesota. He and his wife have two boys with a third on the way. In his spare time he enjoys visiting family and friends in his home state and playing hockey every chance he gets.

The rollout of PDGM, the new Medicare reimbursement model for home health, means big changes for therapists. Patient outcomes are the new currency versus the previous minutes-focused model. It’s changed the paradigm. Beyond the broad explanation, what exactly is the new Patient Driven Groupings Model and what’s the impact on PTs, OTs, and SLPs? What does it mean for the therapy profession, the availability of jobs, therapy services, and patient care? We uncover what you need to know now and going forward with PDGM expert Ellen Strunk and Reid Johnson.

During our conversation with Amy we cover:

  • What PDGM is and how the Medicare model is different from the prior payment model
  • How PDGM changes the structure of Home Health services – or does it
  • Patient criteria as it relates to the determination and calculation of payment
  • How the groupings work for PDGM and the benefits to the therapist and therapy practice
  • The shift from 60 day to 30 day episode for payment to home health agencies
  • Impact on patient care – the positives and the fears
  • The role of the Care Coordinator
  • How PDGM affects the job market for physical, occupational, and speech therapists
  • The realistic timeline for determining results of PDGM implementation
  • What adjustments a traveling therapist – PT, OT, SLP – may need to consider when searching for a job and how to use your recruiter to your advantage
  • Practicing at the top of your license
  • Addressing the full scope of the patient as a therapist and social determinants
  • Unintended and unforeseen consequences of PDGM that are being talked about in the industry
  • How a therapist can be most successful under the new PDGM paradigm and advice for navigating this change

Full transcription

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