REP 11 - I’m a PTA: what do I need to know about fraud, abuse and waste?
Q: As a PTA, I am not regulated; I don’t review the financial records at my clinic. What do I need to know about helping to maintain an ethical working environment, and in preventing fraud, abuse and waste?
A: The first place to start is to review the standards of practice that the physiotherapists have to follow with regards to working with PTAs. These are maintained by the provincial regulatory bodies (“the college”). If you feel that you are being asked to do things that are outside of your role and should be in the physiotherapist’s scope of practice, speak up.
Use the standards of practice to explain your point of view. Discuss it with the physiotherapist who is assigning parts of the treatment plan. Clarify the boundaries of your role. Come to an understanding.
If this doesn’t work, seek clarification or support from your supervisor/clinic owner or the college itself.
The next step is to be knowledgeable about the code of ethics of the profession. Ensure that you act with integrity and follow the code.
You can review the CPA’s code of ethics here.
Did you know that PTAs are welcome to become members of CPA? And PTAs have their own group within CPA called the National Physiotherapist Assistant Assembly (NPAA).
All CPA members must agree to the following clause during the membership application/renewal:
I agree to abide by the Bylaws and the Code of Ethics of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association. As a Member of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association in good faith, should if it be found that I have misrepresented its intentions, or those of my respective College, I agree without contest or exception that the Canadian Physiotherapy Association shall be entitled to deny/cancel Membership and Member forfeiture of any dues already paid or the payment of actual damages, including the costs and expenses necessitated to bring litigation to recover such damages.
CPA retains the right and responsibility to interpret its Code of Ethics, and to revoke membership of any member who is found to have violated its provisions.
Reach out to the NPAA for support. The NPAA advocates for physiotherapist assistants & PTA students through initiatives to promote physiotherapy.
If you want to know more about the benefits of NPPA membership, you can read more here.
Protecting the reputation of physiotherapy requires all of us to communicate and work together effectively. If problems arise, we need to resolve our differences professionally.
PTAs are important members of the team. We all have the same goal: to help patients.
Does the thought of having a difficult conversation cause heart palpitations? Read up on how to get better at it.
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