At APTA's urging, Wal-Mart Corporation has changed its policy to cover services delivered by physical therapist assistants (PTAs). Effective July 1, Wal-Mart's medical plan, BlueAdvantage, will pay for services delivered by PTAs as long as they are under the direct supervision of a physical therapist (PT) and the claims are billed by the PT. These claims will be subject to the same coverage criteria as the plan’s physical therapy coverage criteria.
Wal-Mart's previous coverage policy stated, "Therapy is covered when prescribed by a physician and provided by a licensed physical therapist or occupational therapist."
Starting in 2013, APTA will increase its donation to the Foundation for Physical Therapy to help support the Foundation's mission to fund physical therapy research and develop the next generation of researchers.
During its January conference call, APTA's Board of Directors (Board) voted unanimously to increase the donation noted as "percentage of dues" from 2% to 2.5% indefinitely. In dollars, that increase amounts to about $76,000 annually.
In a letter to the Board, Foundation President Bill Boissonnault, PT, DHSc, said, "The additional funding comes at a critical time for the Foundation, allowing us to continue funding our current initiatives, and at the same time build for the future."
Understanding the prescription patterns of expert clinicians may elucidate the vestibular-related impairments of individuals after concussion and may provide a resource for therapists who may be starting vestibular rehabilitation programs for management of individuals with concussion, say authors of an article published online in Physiotherapy Research International.
For this study, the authors conducted a retrospective chart review of vestibular rehabilitation home exercise programs prescribed by physical therapists for 104 participants who were diagnosed with concussion. Each of the exercises was classified by exercise type, duration, and frequency. Frequency counts of the most common exercise types were recorded. Exercise progression patterns were examined by determining how exercise types were modified from visit to visit.
Eye-head coordination exercises were the most commonly prescribed exercise type (in 95% of participants), followed by standing static balance exercises (in 88% of participants), and ambulation exercises (in 76% of participants).
The authors add that future research should be directed to relate outcomes to the exercise prescription patterns to improve quality of care.
APTA members Susan L. Whitney, PT, PhD, NCS, ATC, FAPTA, Anne Mucha, PT, MS, NCS, Laura O. Morris, PT, NCS, and Patrick J. Sparto, PT, PhD, are coauthors of the article.