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Abolishing the "Preferred Provider" Title

One thing I speak about and educate my patients on is that all providers are not all the same within a discipline. They are individuals with varied, experience, training, and philosophies. I see folks telling others to "see a preferred provider." BUT what is that? What does that mean? How does one become a "preferred provider?" I'm posting her to shed some light on this topic.

The Preferred Provider list was started by a group of interested parties (patients and professionals) that were having trouble getting consistent results with release providers when it comes to ties. It has not been maintained in years and there is no criteria to become a "Preferred Provider". It was subjective reports and anecdotal case outcomes.

I do not use this term and never have for several reasons. The word preferred indicates a preference, when really it's either I recommend this provider or I do not. The phrase preferred provider implies insurance coverage (PPO network) and I do not want to speak for the financial policies of other providers. I do not subscribe to the idea of a subjective and anecdotal list that has no criteria and has not been maintained.

So, how do we determine if a release provider is a fit for referrals for ties? The answer is not easy. My advice is to build a relationship. Tell Dr. So & So that you need help with your patients. Have coffee or lunch. Ask questions about their training, experience, and philosophy. Go shadow. Discern if they are willing to work collaboratively. Decide which factors are important to your patient outcomes. Through building a relationship with my providers, I have developed five factors for referrals to a release provider:

1) Acknowledges varies anatomical presentations of various types of ties

2) Knows that ties can impact various functions throughout the lifespan

3) Performs a complete release

4) If Wound if left open, recommends active wound management

5) Requires functional assessment and follow up

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