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  • 2016's Top Stories From PT in Motion News

    From national recognition of the importance of physical therapy as a first-line approach to pain treatment, to state-level wins that could set the stage for even bigger changes to come, 2016 had no shortage of news that affected the physical therapy profession. Here's a rundown of the 5 most-viewed stories from PT in Motion News.

    (Editor's note: Be sure to take a minute or 2 to scroll through reader comments—often as interesting as the story itself.)

    1. A top SNF therapy provider reaches a $125 million settlement with DOJ after a PT whistleblower takes action.
    January: The US Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that the nation's largest nursing home therapy provider has agreed to pay $125 million to settle a DOJ lawsuit that alleged the company engaged in a "systematic and broad-ranging scheme" to increase Medicare reimbursements by submitting false claims for rehabilitation therapy.

    2. Oregon becomes the first state to adopt the physical therapy licensure compact.
    March: Oregon made physical therapy history by becoming the first state to join the Physical Therapy Licensure Compact, a system that aims to make it possible for physical therapists and physical therapist assistants to practice in multiple states through a single license and privilege.

    3. Wisconsin law says PTs are authorized to order x-rays.
    April: The new Wisconsin law is historic because it's the first time a state physical therapy practice act has specifically listed ordering x-rays as within a PT's scope of practice.

    4. CMS issues a final fee schedule that acknowledges levels of physical therapy evaluations—but doesn't assign different payment values.
    September: Though the lack of tiered payment values was disappointing, the new 3-level coding system opens up the possibility for physical therapists to help shape the future of payment.

    5. The CDC issues prescription guidelines that recommend physical therapy and other nonopioid approaches as the "preferred" approaches to treatment of chronic pain.
    March: The CDC delivered a clear message that PTs and PTAs have known for some time: there are better, safer ways to treat chronic pain than the use of opioids. The guidelines became a touchpoint for APTA's #ChoosePT antiopioid campaign.

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