Hi folks it’s Dr. Mike. As many of you know, Medical Exercise Training (MET) has been my dream, and baby since 1994, when I put together the first Medical Exercise Specialist workshop and certification. My dream started almost 20 years ago, and literally tens of thousands of people have helped make my dream for MET what it is today. Thank you!
The following is a blog post you might see, in the not so distant future, by a Medical Exercise Program Director (MEPD) writing about their first day as the newly appointed Medical Exercise Program Director at a major hospital:
“Today was a great day! It was my first day as the Medical Exercise Program Director (MEPD) at Grant Memorial Hospital. I was so excited when I arrived this morning. I trained for the last 2 years in the MEPD Residency program to prepare me for this position. I was the oldest of 3 candidates for the job, but I got it because of the experience I gained running my own MET studio for 4 years. Since the health reform act was fully implemented by Congress and the President as of January 1, 2014, the number of Medical Exercise Specialists (MES) and MEPD’s hired in clinical and hospital settings have soared through the roof. I’m the first one hired in our city. Though Medicare reimbursement for Medical Exercise Training (MET) continues to drop, MET has shown itself to have a huge impact controlling the raising cost of health care.
As part of my first day, I attended patient rounds this morning with the chairman of orthopedics Dr. Shay, the physical therapy director Marilyn Heed, RPT and the social work director Jonathan Ellington. I must say, I was impressed with their knowledge and understanding of every patient’s condition and discharge expectations. Dr. Shay asked for my recommendations on a couple of patients. One in particular, a 73 year old gentleman, with Parkinson’s and a 2-day old hip replacement, made me realize the role my new MET department will have thanks to the new health care reform.
The hospital now mandates all patients have at least one session with the MET department prior to discharge. This usually comes once the patient has been deemed safe for independent ambulation by the physical therapy department. The patient I mentioned earlier was really interesting. Dr. Shay and the physical therapy director both noted the amazing progress this gentleman made in just two days since surgery. The social worker noted, “another big win for reform,” after Dr. Shay acknowledged the patient went through 4 weeks of MET prior to his surgery. The doctor turned to me and said, “That’s the reason I pushed for your hiring to make MET the standard procedure in conjunction with physical therapy for all pre-total joint patients.” The doctor’s comment made my day! I realized that I finally reached the goal I established when I became a medical exercise specialist…recognition by the medical community for the outcomes I produced with my clients. Today was the best day of my career.”
Everyone in the medical exercise community shares the dream with me, and together we can make our dream a reality.
While we’ve come a long way, the dream is not complete, but our goal is now well within sight!
This dream is not about healthcare reform; rather it’s about “exercise being the key to long-term management of most medical conditions”. To reach our goal, we must work to get the medical community to recognize exercise management of medical conditions as an important component of the overall medical process. My call to action for the medical fitness community, is simple: start tracking and documenting your client outcomes, write research papers identifying the importance of MET in the management of medical conditions, encourage more medical exercise professionals to establish their own practices, and most importantly begin developing strong relationships with medical professionals in your community. Our efforts must be unified, consistent and backed up with solid evidence.
I have made 12 predictions for where Medical Exercise Training will be by 2022. Please, take a few moments read them and share your thoughts on our Facebook Page.
Dr. Mike’s 15 Predictions for where MET will be by 2022:
1. By 2022 major hospitals will have a medical exercise training department.
2. The number of personal training studios will decreased due to a marked rise in medical exercise training facilities.
3. Medicare will begin reimbursing for group-based exercise for arthritis, total joint replacements, osteoporosis, hypertension and diabetes.
4. Medical exercise specialists will be required to become register in every state.
5. Private or 3rd party insurance carriers will reimburse for MET with a physician’s referral.
6. MET and physical therapy programs will begin to merge into full scale wellness and fitness centers.
7. Health clubs will be a loss of older clients as they seek more specialized services in the MET centers.
8. MES residency programs will train hundreds of MES in every city in North America.
9. There will be a drastic shortage of medical exercise professionals in 2016.
10. The US Public Health Service and the Centers for Disease Control will establish MET departments within their structure.
11. Canada Health will recognize MET as a major component of its overall health policy.
12. The MedXPRO Summit will become the most widely attended medical exercise conference in the world.
13. MET specialization certifications will develop in 2014.
14. Nike, Reebok, Under Armor and others will begin sponsoring and underwriting MET programs and facilities.
15. The MedXPRO Network’s database will become a source of information and statistics for medical professionals, insurance carriers and medical professionals around the world.
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