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  • 4 Reasons You Should Read the PTJ Series on Health Services Research and Policy Right Now

    Not news: physical therapists (PTs) and physical therapist assistants (PTAs) face a policy environment that increasingly demands the profession to demonstrate its value, not just in terms of individual patient outcomes but across the entire spectrum of health care.

    News: PTs are laying the research foundation that will help to do exactly that and help to keep the profession at the table when it comes to the big discussions about big health care policy ideas.

    And you are affected whether your professional focus is clinical, academic, or research.

    Beginning with the December 2015 issue, Physical Therapy (PTJ) launches a 3-part special series on health services research (HSR). The offerings featured in the series aren't your usual clinically focused articles (although the issue includes those as well); instead, they examine health services from a physical therapy perspective. PTJ is available for free to APTA members.

    In a guest editorial, Linda Resnik, PT, PhD, director of the Center on Health Services Training and Research (CoHSTAR), and Janet Freburger PT, PhD, senior research fellow at the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research at the University of North Carolina, make the case that when it comes to HSR, "physical therapy has arrived," and the profession now has a "critical mass" of experts doing important work in this area. From that editorial, here are 4 reasons you should pay attention:

    1. HSR will shape the way you care for patients and clients, and how policymakers look at that care.
      "HSR provides data, evidence, and tools to make health care affordable, safe, effective, equitable, accessible, and patient-centered," according to the editorial. "At one end of the spectrum, HSR can enable providers and patients to make better decisions about their individual health care; at the other end, HSR can inform decisions about payment policy and health care coverage for populations."
    2. HSR is building the profession's research chops in critical ways.
      "The interdisciplinary nature of HSR draws on methods and data sources that are common to a variety of other disciplines … but that are not typically taught in rehabilitation science graduate degree programs," write Resnik and Freburger, co-editors of the series. The fact that there were more than enough high-quality HSR projects to span a 3-issue series (PTJ had originally contemplated a single-issue version) shows that "the physical therapy community coalesced to address this gap."
    3. This is an ideal time to get familiar with HSR, because you'll be hearing a lot more about it in the future.
      The publication of the PTJ series arrives during the same year as a watershed moment for the physical therapy profession: the establishment of CoHSTAR, a multi-institutional training center for physical therapy HSR. The $2.5 million center will focus on equipping PTs and PTAs to expand high-quality HSR, and it will raise the profile of physical therapy in HSR across disciplines. Bottom line: there's much more to come.
    4. One look at the topics covered in this issue, and it's easy to see why this research matters.
      If the first 3 reasons weren’t relevant enough for you, the articles speak for themselves. Topics include:

      - Alternative therapy cap systems
      - The validity of G-code severity modifiers
      - Therapy intensity and 30-day hospital readmission rates
      - Direct access to PTs and lower costs associated with episodes of low back pain
      - The burden of out-of-pocket costs for physical therapy
      - How research "clusters" measures (for example using patients seen by the same provider), and how to account for that effect in HSR

    Founded in 1921, PTJ is the official publication of the American Physical Therapy Association and is an international scholarly peer-reviewed journal. PTJ is available for free to APTA members.

    Comments

    • Nice win

      Posted by AMADO mendoza on 12/15/2015 5:03 PM

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