APTA members Anne Mucha, PT, DPT, MS, NCS, and John DeWitt PT, DPT, SCS, ATC, have been appointed to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) newly created Pediatric Mild Traumatic Brain (TBI) Injury Guideline Workgroup. Mucha and Dewitt will represent the role of physical therapists in concussion management.
The workgroup, housed in CDC's National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, was established as a component of the Concussion Treatment and Care Tools (ConTACT) Act, legislation that was not passed into law but was supported by APTA in past congressional sessions. Comprising leading experts in the field of TBI, the workgroup will create a clinical guideline for use in physician's offices and emergency departments. A general overview of the 18- 24-month timeline for completion and a list of workgroup members are available on CDC's website.
Mucha and DeWitt served on APTA's Concussion Workgroup established in 2010 to develop model language for APTA chapters to use in advocating for the involvement of physical therapists as part of the health care team responsible for management of concussion in student athletes. The workgroup also developed language for a House of Delegates position that was adopted in 2011 and updated in 2012.
Last month, Mucha took part in APTA's "Head in the Game" podcast series on concussion in sports. The multiday series featured interviews with experts in the evaluation, treatment, and prevention of sports concussions. Mucha discussed some of the ways athletes are tested for concussions and rehabilitated, both to return to the playing field and for the benefit of long-term health.
Find out more about the association's policy efforts in concussion management on APTA's Concussion Management Legislation webpage and in this Heard on the Hill podcast.
APTA member Charles R. Scoville PT, DPT, has received a Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal—an award that pays tribute to America's dedicated federal workforce. Honorees are chosen based on their commitment and innovation, in addition to the effect of their work on addressing the needs of the nation.
Scoville is the 2012 National Security and International Affairs Medal recipient. This medal recognizes a federal employee for a significant contribution to the nation in activities related to national security and international affairs (including defense, military affairs, diplomacy, foreign assistance, and trade). Scoville, who served in the US Army for 29 years, is chief at Amputee Patient Care at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Established in 2003, the program has helped service members with amputation lead active lives, with some returning to duty, through a novel approach that combines traditional medical and counseling services with a physically active regime. The program strives to give soldiers with amputation "back their lives, restore their sense of self-worth, and keep them physically active."
"It's an interdisciplinary approach to patient care that looks at our patients as tactical athletes," says Scoville. "They do things they never did before and reach more high-level activities than in the past.”
Read more about Scoville on the "Sammies" website, which includes a video of him describing his unique rehabilitation program.
See APTA's Management of Wounded Warriors and Joining Forces Initiative webpages for information on the association's efforts aimed at military members and their families.
The Home Health Section alerted APTA this week that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) began issuing its therapy cap letter to Medicare beneficiaries who are receiving home health under Part A, resulting in patients cancelling appointments. To address these beneficiaries' concerns, APTA has updated its patient FAQs to explicitly state that the cap does not apply to patients who receive skilled therapy at home under the Medicare home health benefit Part A, those who receive services under Part A in skilled nursing facilities, or those under a Part A inpatient hospital stay.
APTA's Innovation Summit 2013: Collaborative Care Models will bring together innovators and thought leaders from physical therapy, health policy, payment, and other health professions to explore the role of physical therapists in new models of health care delivery and payment. Participation in the summit will be available to all members through live web streaming. Attendance onsite will be limited to speakers, panelists, and invited attendees, including the member innovators selected through this nomination process. APTA sections, chapters, and the Student Assembly are each invited to nominate a member who is involved in an innovative model of care to attend and participate in the Summit, to be held March 7-8, 2013, in the Washington, DC area. A panel of member experts will select 20 member innovators to share their innovative practice models as a part of the Summit. Chapters and sections whose nominees are selected will receive special recognition during the Summit. Nomination forms must be submitted by October 22. Visit the Innovation Summit webpage for additional information, including Summit objectives, agenda, and collaborative care resources. Question can be sent to Innovation Summit.
APTA's Volunteer Interest Pool (VIP) now is open. VIP provides a mechanism to match the right person with the right task at the right time. Click here to set up a profile (you must be an APTA member and log on to the APTA website first before accessing this link). The VIP profile asks you to indicate your preferred levels of involvement (ranging from 1 day tasks to multiyear commitment), willingness to travel, current availability, level of interest/experience in a variety of areas; and to submit a CV. Once you complete your profile, click on the "Current Volunteer Opportunities" button to browse the list of current opportunities. VIP is open for members to create profiles throughout the year. However, the deadline for the current call for volunteer groups is September 28. Contact Angela Boyd with questions.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently revamped its Medicaid Recovery Audit Contractor (RAC) website to promote transparency and incorporate feedback from states and industry stakeholders. The enhanced RACs At A Glance website includes state-reported information on each state's RAC program, the name of each RAC vendor and medical director, contact information for the state program integrity director, and user-friendly charts and data.
CMS's role in the Medicaid RAC program focuses on providing guidance to states as they implement their Medicaid RAC programs, monitoring the progress of those programs, and encouraging states to make their Medicaid RAC programs as transparent as possible.
Eight randomized placebo-controlled trials provide further evidence that anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (a-tDCS) may benefit motor function of the paretic upper limb in patients with chronic stroke, say authors of a meta-analysis published online in Journal of Hand Therapy.
Prior reviews on the effects of a-tDCS have shown the effectiveness of a-tDCS on corticomotor excitability and motor function in healthy individuals but nonsignificant effect in participants with stroke. To summarize and evaluate the evidence for the efficacy of a-tDCS in the treatment of upper limb motor impairment after stroke, the authors conducted a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials that compared a-tDCS with placebo and change from baseline.
A pooled analysis showed a significant increase in scores in favor of a-tDCS (standard mean difference [SMD]=0.40, compared with baseline). A similar effect was observed between a-tDCS and sham (SMD=0.49).
APTA members Margaret Shuster, PT, Kevin Hurley, PT, and Karen E. Guilkey, PT, DPT, coauthored the article.
Does your facility have the foundation of a health-literate organization? Check out this infographic based on the discussion paper Ten Attributes of Health Literate Health Care Organizations available on the Institute of Medicine's website. The interactive infographic includes a short description for each attribute; implementation strategies can be found in the discussion paper.
PTJ Editorial Board member Steven Z. George, PT, PhD, recently was awarded the Ulf Lindblom Young Investigator Award for Clinical Science from the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP). This award honors an IASP member who is younger than 40 years old and has achieved a level of independence as a scholar in the field of pain in clinical science.
George is associate professor and assistant chair in the Department of Physical Therapy at the University of Florida. He has written more than 115 peer-reviewed articles and numerous guest editorials; letters to the editor, responses, and commentaries; and book chapters and monographs. He serves on the International Editorial Review Board for Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy. In 2009 he received the University of Florida's Jack Wessel Excellence Award for Assistant Professors. He is a recipient of APTA's Eugene Michels New Investigator Award (2007) and the American Pain Society's John C. Liebeskind Early Career Scholar Award (2009).
George's research has been supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense, the University of Florida, APTA's Orthopaedic Section, and the Foundation for Physical Therapy. His current research projects include: developing and testing behavioral interventions for patients with low back pain; investigating the interaction between pain-related genetic and psychological factors in the development of postoperative chronic shoulder pain; and investigating the mechanisms and efficacy of manual therapy techniques.
George accepted the award earlier this month in Milan at IASP's 14th World Congress on Pain.
A new web-based security training module from the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health Information Technology aims to help health care providers understand some of the common privacy and security issues related to health information technology. The innovative game-based system requires users to respond to privacy and security challenges often faced in a typical small medical practice. Users choosing the correct response earn points and see their virtual medical practices flourish, while wrong security decisions can hurt their virtual practices.
CyberSecure: Your Medical Practice was developed with the assistance of the Regional Extension Center Program's Privacy and Security Community of Practice.
Join the conversation! The first virtual town hall to discuss APTA governance review proposals related to the House of Delegates is September 18. This town hall will focus on House process, House constituency, and the Resolutions Committee and will allow members to help shape the final proposals by providing feedback about elements they support, are uncertain about, or do not support. To offer members on both coasts ample opportunity to take part in the conversation, APTA has scheduled 2 town halls for September 18 (both on the same topic), at 6:00 pm-7:30 pm ET and 10:00 pm-11:30 pm ET. Contact Amber Neil if you are interested in attending. Additional town halls will be held on September 20 and 27 at the times indicated above, with topics to be shared in advance.