for a special e-mail today from APTA that includes important information about
sequestration and other time-sensitive issues that have a significant impact on
physical therapists (PTs). Included in the e-mail is a new video featuring APTA
President Paul A. Rockar Jr, PT, DPT, MS, outlining 2013 policy implementation
dates that PTs need to know and how they can support APTA's advocacy efforts.
more information, go to APTA's recently updated 2013 Medicare Changes webpage,
which includes the video, a new graphic and Heard on the Hill podcast, and
other resources to help members comply with the latest policy
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently released a final rule reforming its
universal service support program for health care. Specifically, the rule transitions
FCC's existing Internet Access and Rural Health Care Pilot programs into a new
Healthcare Connect Fund. This fund will expand health care provider access to
broadband, especially in rural areas, and encourage the creation of state and
regional broadband health care networks.
the rule, FCC notes that "Whether it is used for transmitting electronic
health records, sending X-rays, MRIs, and CAT scans to specialists at a distant
hospital, or for video conferencing for telemedicine or training, access to
broadband for medical providers saves lives while lowering health care costs
and improving patient experiences." In particular, FCC acknowledges the
role of telemedicine in helping patients with stroke avoid lasting damage.
final rule also includes examples of how telehealth applications save health
care providers money. For example, a South Carolina provider consortium funded
by the Commission's Rural Health Care Pilot Program saved $18 million in
Medicaid costs through telepsychiatry provided at hospital emergency rooms.
Another pilot project in the Midwest saved $1.2 million in patient transport
costs after establishing an electronic intensive care unit program, known as
will post a summary of the rule in the near future to www.apta.org.
Four physical therapists (PTs) from the Michigan Chapter presented posters at the
Clinical Trial Awareness Day held at the state capitol on January 30. This
inaugural event, sponsored by state Rep Gail Haines (43rd District), chair of
the House Health Policy Committee, aimed to educate citizens about the clinical
trials taking place in Michigan and encourage lawmakers to create a
research-friendly environment. More than 20 research participants represented
the state's major universities and hospitals. The PTs spoke with many state
representatives and senators on the importance of medical research and how
physical therapy contributes to the advancement of patient care.
her opening remarks,
Hines noted that there are more than 3,400 clinical trials under way in
(Left to right) Cathy Larson, PT, PhD, University of Michigan Flint; Susan Talley,
PT, DPT, C/NDT, Wayne State University; Michael Shoemaker, PT, DPT, PhD, GCS,
Grand Valley State University; and Lucinda Pfalzer, PT, PhD, FAPTA, University
of Michigan Flint.
new systematic review provides evidence that, in the short term, energy
conservation management (ECM) treatment can be more effective than no treatment
in reducing the impact of fatigue and improving quality of life in patients
with multiple sclerosis-related fatigue.
this review, the authors searched PubMed, CINAHL, EMBASE, and Web of Knowledge
to identify relevant randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and controlled
clinical trials. To select potential studies, 2 reviewers independently applied
the inclusion criteria. Two reviewers independently extracted data and assessed
the methodological quality of the studies included. If meta-analysis was not
possible, qualitative best-evidence synthesis was used to summarize the
searches identified 532 studies, 6 of which were included. The studies compared
the short-term effects of ECM treatment and control treatment on fatigue and quality
of life (QoL); 1 study reported short- and mid-term effects on participation
but found no evidence for effectiveness. Meta-analyses (2 RCTs, N=350) showed
that ECM treatment was more effective than no treatment in improving subscale
scores of the: (1) Fatigue Impact Scale: cognitive, physical, and psychosocial;
and (2) SF-36: role physical, social function, and mental health. Limited or no
evidence was found for the effectiveness of ECM treatment on the other outcomes
in the short- or mid-term. None of the studies reported long-term results.
is published online in Archives of
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.
Public Policy and Advocacy Committee is seeking members to provide strategic advice,
counsel, and options to the Board of Directors regarding: (1) how APTA can be
responsive to and advocate for society’s needs provided by physical therapists
and physical therapist assistants; (2) current and emerging public policy
issues impacting the provision of physical therapy, rehabilitation, and
health care services; and (3) how to advance the profession within public
policy arenas. Interested members should respond to the call by completing a
volunteer interest profile found on the Volunteer Interest Pool webpage. The
first step is creating a "profile" for service. After developing a
profile, to be considered for this committee members must then access the
"current opportunities for service page" and respond to the question
specific to this committee. The deadline to respond to this call is March 7.
For more information on this task force, click on the link above or contact Justin Moore, PT, DPT, vice
president, public policy, practice, and professional affairs.
sent a letter to the editor
of The New York Times regarding its February 20 article "No Consensus on a Common Cause of Foot Pain" by Gretchen Reynolds. APTA clarified the
physical therapist's role in treating plantar fasciitis and explained PT
education and how consumers may use direct access.
Americans reported having employer-based health insurance in 2012 than did in
2008, 2009, and 2010, but at 44.5% it is unchanged from 2011, says a new Gallup poll. At the same
time, more Americans continue to report having a government-based health
plan—Medicare, Medicaid, or military or veterans' benefits—with the 25.6% who
did so in 2012 up from 23.4% in 2008.
The percentage of Americans (11.9%) who say they get their coverage through
"something else," which could mean they buy it for themselves, has
been relatively unchanged over the years. While more Americans remain uninsured
than in the past, the percentage who are uninsured decreased slightly in 2012
(16.9%), after having risen each year previously going back to 2009.
High unemployment is partly to blame for the decrease in employer-based
health insurance from 2008-2010. The decline also may caused by fewer employers
offering insurance or by employees opting to not take their employers' plan due
to rising health insurance costs for employees, reports Gallup.
The decline in employer-based coverage from earlier years is apparent for
workers employed full time for an employer or for themselves. However, the
percentage of part-time workers who have employer-based insurance rose in 2012.
This group leans toward younger workers, who are likely to be insured since enactment
of the health care law provision allowing those up to age 26 to stay on their