Code Of Ethics In Physical Therapy

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You patient, Jerry, is a 67 year old male who recently had a cerebral vascular attack (CVA) affecting the right side of his body. You have been working with Jerry for the past six weeks on strength, ROM, balance, and coordination and he has been progressively gaining more function. In the past few sessions however, you have noticed that he has plateaued. The insurance company needs to see that the patient’s status is improving in order to continue paying for their therapy. It is noted that studies have shown that it is normal for a patient to see a plateau in the middle of their therapy timeframe, but if therapy is continued a positive progression can be seen; conversely if therapy is stopped then a loss of gains and function can occur. As…show more content…
As a therapist you know that falsifying your documentation is illegal, but would ensure that the insurance company would pay for more sessions so Jerry could continue to elicit gains. You would not particularly benefit, but your patient would. It challenges the integrity of the therapist and the integrity of the profession.

2.) Identify which Ethical Principles and/or specific principles within the Code of Ethics are involved.
• APTA Principle #3d of the code of ethics: Physical therapists shall not engage in conflicts of interest that interfere with professional judgement
• Non-Maleficence
• Beneficence
• APTA Principle #5A of the code of ethics: Physical Therapists shall comply with applicable local, state, and federal laws and
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I would let him know that over the past week his progress has plateaued and there is really nothing else I can do for him right now. The insurance company needs to see progress and since he has plateaued, he would have to be discharged. I would not falsify my documentation because that is illegal, and goes against every principle that this profession stands for, and it could lead to the end of my practice and licensure. I could discuss with Jerry what kind of options he has to get more therapy, such as showing evidence to insurance companies that more therapy sessions would be beneficial. Additionally I could refer him to a social worker, or someone who can help guide him towards the next plan of action. Before I go to discharge Jerry, I would set up a home exercise plan with him, and express that it is vital to continue exercise, so hopefully he can hold onto some of the gains gained through

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