follow-up to the issuance of the Home Health Prospective Payment System
Calendar Year (CY) 2013 Final Rule, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid
Services (CMS) has updated its website to clarify that the therapy provisions
will be effective for episodes beginning on or after January 1, 2013. This
clarification can be found under the first bullet on the CMS HHA Center Webpage.
In the CY 2013 final rule published November 2, CMS finalized
3 revisions regarding the requirement that a qualified therapist complete a
functional reassessment of the patient at the 14th and 20th visits and every 30
a qualified therapist missed a reassessment visit, therapy coverage would
resume with the visit during which the qualified therapist completed the late
reassessment, not the visit after the therapist completed the late
multiple therapy disciplines are involved, if the required reassessment visit
was missed for any one of the therapy disciplines for which therapy services
were being provided, therapy coverage would cease only for that particular
cases where the patient is receiving more than one type of therapy, qualified
therapists must complete their reassessment visits during the 11th, 12th, or
13th visit for the required 13th visit reassessment and the 17th, 18th, or 19th
visit for the required 19th visit reassessment. However, CMS also states in
instances in which patients receive more than one type of therapy, if the
frequency of a particular discipline, as ordered by a physician, does not make
it feasible for the reassessment to occur during the specified timeframes
without providing an extra unnecessary visit or delaying a visit, then it will
still be acceptable for the qualified therapist from each discipline to provide
all of the therapy and functionally reassess the patient during the visit
associated with that discipline that is scheduled to occur closest to the 14th
Medicare-covered therapy visit, but no later than the 13th Medicare-covered therapy
visit. Likewise, a qualified therapist from each discipline must provide all of
the therapy and functionally reassess the patient during the visit associated
with that discipline that is scheduled to occur closest to the 20th
Medicare-covered therapy visit, but no later than the 19th Medicare-covered
working with CMS to address issues that may arise regarding implementation of
comprehensive summary of the final rule, visit APTA's website. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with questions regarding
implementation of the 2013 functional reassessment requirement changes.
Monday, AARP featured a guest blog post by APTA President Paul A. Rockar Jr, PT, DPT, MS, on its personal health blog. Rockar explains how APTA's Fit After 50 campaign aims to educate people
aged 50 and older about the importance of staying fit and active and discusses
the role that physical therapists play in restoring and improving motion in
people's lives at any age.
Office of Civil Rights released guidance Monday regarding methods for
de-identification of protected health information (PHI) in accordance with the
HIPAA Privacy Rule. This guidance is intended to assist covered
entities understand what is
de-identification, the general process by which de-identified information is
created, and the options available for performing de-identification.
guidance, posted on the Department of Health and Human Services' website, explains the 2 methods that can
be used to satisfy the Privacy Rule's de-identification standard—Expert
Determination and Safe Harbor—using a question-and-answer format and provides a
glossary of terms related to de-identification.
Health Information Technology (HIT) webpage provides resources and updates
on HIT program development and legislation, in addition to APTA's efforts with
federal policymakers to educate them as to the importance of including physical
therapists in HIT initiatives moving forward.
Visualizing Health Policy, JAMA's monthly infographic series created by the Kaiser Family
Foundation (KFF), takes a look at Medicare: who is covered by the program; what
proportion of Medicare beneficiaries use at least 1 medical service in a year;
how health care spending per person is growing more slowly for Medicare than
for private insurance; and how rising health care costs and a growing
population pose fiscal challenges to keeping Medicare solvent in the years
infographics are available on KFF's website.
members have just 3 more days to submit nominations to the Fit After 50 Member Challenge.
If you know a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant (must be an
APTA member; it can be you) who is age 50 or older, fit, and encourages others
to be active and fit, complete the brief online nomination form and
submit it by November 30.
who found that the combination of statin treatment and increased fitness boosts
survival in patients with dyslipidemia are calling for the medical profession,
society, and governments to make concerted efforts to promote fitness, says a Heartwire article.
Following a group of veterans with dyslipidemia for an
average of 10 years, Peter F. Kokkinos,
PhD, and colleagues show that both statin therapy and increased fitness
lower mortality significantly and independently of other clinical
Participants in the study were assigned to 1 of 4
fitness categories based on peak metabolic equivalents achieved during exercise
testing and 8 categories based on fitness status and statin treatment. The
primary end point was all-cause mortality adjusted for age, body-mass index,
ethnic origin, sex, history of cardiovascular disease, cardiovascular drugs,
and cardiovascular risk factors. Researchers ascertained mortality from Veterans
Affairs records on December 31, 2011.
During a median follow-up of 10 years, 2,318
participants died. Mortality risk was 18.5% (935/5,046) in people taking
statins vs 27.7% (1,386/4,997) in those not taking statins.
In patients who took statins, risk of death decreased
as fitness increased; for highly fit individuals the hazard ratio (HR) was 0.30
compared with a HR of 1 for the least fit.
For patients not treated with statins, the HR for least
fit participants was 1.35. This HR progressively decreased to 0.53 for those in
the highest fitness category compared with the least-fit group treated with
study is published online in The
Lancet. In an accompanying editorial, Pedro C Hallal PhD, and I-Min
Lee, MD, MPH, ScD, say that Kokkinos and colleagues "add to the large body
of work on the benefits of physical activity or fitness for health.
Irrespective of whether patients were prescribed statins, the physically
fittest participants had a 60% to 70% reduction in all-cause mortality rates
during follow-up, compared with the least fit."