A proposed rule issued Wednesday
includes vital provisions regarding minimum essential coverage as mandated by
the Affordable Care Act.
the ACA, nonexempt individuals are required to maintain minimum essential
coverage or make a shared responsibility payment. This provision is known as
the individual mandate. The ACA
specifies the categories of individuals who are eligible to receive exemptions
from the shared responsibility payment under section 5000A of the Internal
Revenue Code, which provides nonexempt individuals with a choice: maintain
minimum essential coverage for themselves and any nonexempt family members or
include an additional payment with their federal income tax return.
proposed rule sets forth standards and processes under which the health
insurance exchanges will conduct eligibility determinations for and grant
certificates of exemption from the shared responsibility payment.
proposal also provides standards for determining whether certain other types of
health insurance coverage constitute minimum essential coverage and procedures
for sponsors to follow for a plan to be identified as minimum essential
coverage under section 5000A.
it proposes to designate certain types of existing health coverage as minimum
essential coverage. Sponsors of a health plan that seek to have such coverage
recognized as minimum essential coverage would have to submit information,
including the essential health benefits
covered, to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Among the
essential health benefits required in the ACA are rehabilitation and
habilitation services and devices.
proposed rule, which complements a proposed rule issued the same day by the
Internal Revenue Service, is published in today's Federal Register.
on the rule are due March 18. APTA will analyze the proposed rule to determine
if it is necessary for the association to submit comments.
provides a comprehensive summary of a recently proposed rule that has
significant importance to the new Medicaid expansion population who must be offered
essential health benefits beginning in 2014. In the proposed rule, the Centers
for Medicare and Medicaid Services recommends that states define the
habilitative services category under Medicaid and requests comments on whether
the habilitative services should be offered in parity with rehabilitative
benefits, as contemplated in previously released guidance to states on
essential health benefits. In addition, the summary outlines proposals related
to eligibility and enrollment, cost sharing, and eligibility appeals.
summary is available on APTA's Medicaid webpage.
Kick off American Heart Month by
attending the third Annual State of Women's Heart Health webinar February 5,
4:00 pm ET. This informative discussion with some of the nation's health
leaders, including Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen
Sebelius, Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, and
Million Hearts initiative Director Janet Wright, MD, will highlight advances in
women's heart health, actions to reduce risk factors, and ways to help raise
awareness about heart disease in women.
For more information and to
register, visit the American Heart
Association's You're the Cure website.
annual review and revision of the association strategic plan conducted in late
2012 by the APTA Board of Directors has resulted in a revised plan for
2013. Members can access the plan and
related materials on the website at this link. The strategic plan
represents the highest priorities of the Board of Directors as it manages the
work of the association and was informed by member and external stakeholder
In a follow-up of a randomized
controlled trial, a strategy of rehabilitation plus early acute anterior
cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction did not provide
better results at 5 years than a strategy of initial rehabilitation with the
option of having a later ACL reconstruction. Results did not differ between
knees surgically reconstructed early or late and those treated with rehabilitation
alone. These results should encourage clinicians and young active adult
patients to consider rehabilitation as a primary treatment option after an
acute ACL tear, say the authors in their article published this month in BMJ.
This study included 121 young,
active adults (mean age 26 years) with acute ACL injury to a previously
uninjured knee. All patients received similar structured rehabilitation. In
addition to rehabilitation, 62 patients were assigned to early ACL
reconstruction and 59 were assigned to the option of having a delayed ACL
reconstruction if needed. One patient was lost to 5-year follow-up.
The main outcome was the change from
baseline to 5 years in the mean value of 4 of the 5 subscales of the knee
injury and osteoarthritis outcome score (KOOS4). Other outcomes included the
absolute KOOS(4) score, all 5 KOOS subscale scores, SF-36, Tegner activity
scale, meniscal surgery, and radiographic osteoarthritis at 5 years.
Thirty (51%) patients assigned to
optional delayed ACL reconstruction had delayed ACL reconstruction (7 between 2
and 5 years). The mean change in KOOS4 score from baseline to 5 years was
42.9 points for those assigned to rehabilitation plus early ACL reconstruction
and 44.9 for those assigned to rehabilitation plus optional delayed
reconstruction (between group difference 2.0 points after adjustment for
baseline score). At 5 years, no significant between-group differences were seen
in KOOS4, any of the KOOS subscales, SF-36, Tegner activity scale, or
incident radiographic osteoarthritis of the index knee. No between-group
differences were seen in the number of knees having meniscus surgery or in a
time-to-event analysis of the proportion of meniscuses operated on. The results
were similar when analyzed by treatment actually received.
If you are interested in leadership development, collaborating
with colleagues, and lending your expertise to APTA, then you need to join the Volunteer Interest Pool. Current opportunities include all awards
subcommittees: Advocacy, Catherine Worthingham Fellows, Education,
Lecture, Practice and Service, Publications, Research, and Scholarship.
To answer the call for these opportunities, you must first
complete a volunteer interest profile. Creating this profile allows you to
include your preferred level of involvement, willingness to travel, current
availability, and interest/experience in a variety of areas. You only need to
create the volunteer profile once. It can be updated at any time. Once you
have created a profile, you will need to review the current opportunities and
answer the questions specific to each committee.
Deadlines will vary by group, so don't delay in checking out these
opportunities! To learn more about the Volunteer Interest Pool, please
contact Angela Boyd.