As part of APTA's strategic objective to reduce unwarranted variation in care, 32 association members representing 11 sections participated in a clinical practice guidelines (CPG) workshop on July 25-27 with the goal of developing a process to successfully complete and publish CPG. Joe Godges, PT, DPT, MA, OCS, and Sandra Kaplan, PT, PhD, facilitated the workshop, which included a presentation of a CPG development methodology and interactive discussion on how to apply the methodology to successfully develop CPG for the physical therapist profession.
Workshop participates were chosen following a call to sections in April to submit nominations for a guideline lead and, if indicated, key team member(s) who had defined a key clinical question or topic they would like to address with CPG. Through the call, 13 topics were identified for CPG. They include falls, deep vein thrombosis, vestibular neuritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, lymphedema and pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia, and determining a review process for the current Orthopaedic Section guidelines.
CPG development is part of APTA's evidence-based documents initiative, which stems from motions from APTA's Board of Directors. The initiative aims to provide structure, process, and resources for the development of evidence-based documents that facilitate the translation of research findings into physical therapist practice. In addition to CPG, the initiative supports the development of position statements, clinical summaries, technical summaries, critical appraisal summaries, and guidance statements.
Sandra Kaplan, PT, PhD (left), and Joe Godges, PT, DPT, MA, OCS (seated on right), facilitated APTA's first workshop on developing clinical practice guidelines.
New evidence shows that there is a significant opportunity for continued improvement in communication and care coordination in hospitals' efforts to reduce readmissions. According to authors of a study published July 18 in Journal of American College of Cardiology, the linking of inpatient and postdischarge (eg, outpatient, home care, or skilled nursing facility) providers and information is "central to effective continuity of care."
Physical therapists (PTs) serve an important role in patient care transitions and care coordination and can help reduce readmissions by providing recommendations for the most appropriate level of care to the health care team prior to and during care transitions. Additionally, APTA's position Physical Therapist of Record and "Hand Off" Communication supports communication practices that improve patient/client safety. For more information on the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program, which begins in 2013, and to find clinical practice and patient education resources to reduce readmissions, visit APTA's Hospital Readmissions webpage.
Free full-text of Contemporary Evidence about Hospital Strategies for Reducing 30-Day Readmissions is available in Journal of American College of Cardiology. Highlights of the study are available from the Commonwealth Fund.
A new partnership among the federal government, state officials, leading private health insurance organizations, and other health care antifraud groups will share information and best practices in order to improve detection and prevent payment of fraudulent health care billings.
The partnership will enable those on the front lines of industry antifraud efforts to share their insights more easily with investigators, prosecutors, policymakers, and other stakeholders. It will help law enforcement officials to more effectively identify and prevent suspicious activities, better protect patients' confidential information, and use the full range of tools and authorities provided by the Affordable Care Act and other essential statutes to combat and prosecute illegal actions.
One innovative objective of the partnership is to share information on specific schemes, such as frequently used billing codes and geographical fraud hotspots, so that action can be taken to prevent losses to both government and private health plans before they occur. Another potential goal of the partnership is the ability to spot and stop payments billed to different insurers for care delivered to the same patient on the same day in 2 different cities. A potential long-range goal of the partnership is to use sophisticated technology and analytics on industry-wide health care data to predict and detect health care fraud schemes.
Visit APTA's Compliance webpage for information and resources to help keep compliant with federal requirements.