Saturday, July 19, 2008


After traveling to a small Central American country and seeing what honest and hardworking folks have to do to eek out a living, you can imagine my disgust at firing up my homepage this morning to find this article. I had no idea that not wanting to work was a disability, but apparently it is slightly more en vogue than I had previously appreciated. I feel sorry for any family or significant other he is likely dragging through this process along with him. Nice going Albert...

We've all seen bogus or marginally-valid disability claims and the behavior can be both pitiful and appalling to our profession. Physical therapists should wholeheartedly support and advocate for those with legitimate disabilities. However, we should be equally vigilant in guarding against the abuse of a system designed to aid those with true physical disability.

This topic has even caught the attention of Newt Gingrich who is a spokesperson for the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. Regardless of what you may think about Newt's politics, he brings the issues to the table in a logical, albeit sometimes controversial, manner.

I am not aware of any APTA-based initiatives to ensure the proper use of our federal disability system, but there may be one out there. It might be a good idea to keep this on our radars as well. It would be interesting to see just how much money CMS could be saving preventing fraudulent disability claims instead of focusing on alienating the rehabilitation profession through ever-tightening regulatory guidelines.

More research-based blogging to come later this week! Have a great weekend.