Yesterday, the Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and Treasury, jointly published new rules requiring health insurers and group health plans to provide concise and comprehensible information about health plan benefits and coverage to the millions of Americans with private health care coverage.
Specifically, the rules will ensure that consumers have access to 2 key documents to help them understand and evaluate their health insurance choices:
All health plans and insurers will provide an SBC to shoppers and enrollees at important points in the enrollment process, such as upon application and at renewal. A key feature of the SBC is a new, standardized plan comparison tool called "coverage examples," similar to the Nutrition Facts label required for packaged foods. The coverage examples will illustrate sample medical situations, such as such as giving birth (normal delivery) or managing type 2 diabetes (routine maintenance, well controlled), and describe how much coverage the plan would provide so consumers can directly compare one plan to another.
These final regulations apply to disclosures for participants and beneficiaries who enroll or re-enroll in group health coverage through an open enrollment period (including re-enrollees and late enrollees) beginning on the first day of the first open enrollment period that begins on or after September 23.
Couldn't make it to Chicago? Read what's been happening at the Combined Sections Meeting (CSM) in the February 9 and February 10 issues of CSM 2012 Daily News.
Time is running out to submit your application and CV to serve on a new Board-appointed task force.
At its June 2011 meeting, the House of Delegates adopted a motion charging the association to review and revise its current APTA Vision Sentence for Physical Therapy 2020 and APTA Vision Statement for Physical Therapy 2020 (HOD P06-00-24-35) to reflect the vision of the profession of physical therapy and its commitment to society beyond 2020. To fulfill this charge and facilitate the Board of Directors ability to create and implement a strategic plan to achieve the House-adopted vision, a Board-appointed Vision Task Force is being created. APTA members interesting in serving on this task force should complete and submit the volunteer application and CV by 11:59 PM ET February 15. Applications should be submitted via e-mail or by fax to 703/706-8519.
E-mail APTA's Governance Department with questions regarding this task force or call 800/999-2782, ext 3256, for assistance.
Lifestyle factors, including physical activity, make a difference in improving and controlling cardiovascular risks, according to a list of the top advances in cardiovascular and stroke research in 2011 by the American Heart Association (AHA)/American Stroke Association (ASA).
"Multiple new studies this past year supported the importance of lifestyle factors such as diet and physical activity in improving and controlling cardiovascular risks," says AHA/ASA. "These findings are especially important given that 39% of Americans believe they are in ideal cardiovascular health when in reality less than 1% are."
Since 1996, AHA/ASA has compiled an annual list of the major advances in heart disease and stroke. Other 2011 advances include congenital heart disease, genetics/personalized medicine, new drugs and treatment for atrial fibrillation, and improved systems of care to deliver faster care for heart attack and stroke.
The Federal Government Affairs Leadership Award is presented annually to an active APTA member who has made significant individual contributions to APTA's Federal Government Affairs efforts and has shown exemplary leadership in furthering the association's objectives in the federal arena. The Public Service Award is presented annually to 1 or more individuals who have demonstrated unique support for the physical therapy profession at a national level. Individuals from the following categories are eligible for nomination: members of Congress/Congressional staff members; members of a state legislature; federal agency officials; health/legislative association staff; and celebrities or other public figures. APTA's Board of Directors will choose award recipients in March. Award presentations will be held at the Federal Government Affairs Forum in Washington, DC. This year's Federal Advocacy Forum will be held in conjunction with a larger event, APTA's Leadership Forum, which integrates APTA's Board of Directors meeting, the Leadership Symposium for New Component President and Executive Teams, and the Federal Advocacy Forum. Participation at other events is not required to attend the Federal Advocacy Forum. Submit nominations by February 27 to Angela Boyd or fax to 703/706-8519. If you need a nomination form or have questions, call Angela Boyd at 800/999-2782, ext 3256.
The White House Champions of Change program highlights the stories and examples of citizens across the country that represent projects and initiatives that move their communities forward. In celebration of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), passed nearly 2 years ago, the program is seeking recommendations of individuals and organizations that are educating others about the new health care law to raise awareness about the benefits of ACA.
If you know a "health care reform champion" who is educating the community about the new health care law and helping people take advantage of the benefits from the law, nominate him or her to the program by midnight February 16.
If you couldn't attend World Physical Therapy 2011 or didn't get to all the presentations, you now can watch and listen to key sessions from the congress. As part of its continued efforts to facilitate information exchange across the profession, the World Confederation for Physical Therapy (WCPT) is offering 4 discussion panels and 8 focused symposia free of charge. Discussion panels include a video recording of the session with an option to download PowerPoint presentations. Focused symposia include a full audio recording with accompanying PowerPoint slides.