The New York Times August 14 issue included APTA's letter to the editor about how physical therapists can help women with vaginal pain. APTA submitted the letter, which also was published online, in response to an August 7 article titled "Persistence Is Key to Treating Sexual Pain."
APTA has launched a new podcast series that will address physical therapists' practice in the realm of telehealth. The first podcast in the series provides an overview of telehealth and focuses on providing integumentary and wound management physical therapy rehabilitation services via telehealth. Harriett B. Loehne, PT, DPT, CWS, FACCWS, the recipient of the 2010 Georgia Partnership for TeleHealth Partner of the Year Award, shares her experiences with 2 telemedicine systems—Real Time and Store-and-Forward—and how they have helped expand staff's advanced wound management knowledge in a manner that has been cost effective, timely, and efficient for patients and health care providers.
Alan Chong W. Lee, PT,
DPT, PhD, CWS, GCS, associate professor of physical therapy at Mount St Mary's College, hosts the podcast. Loehne currently performs more consults via telemedicine than any other consultant in Georgia.
Higher intensity and patient engagement in the postacute rehabilitation setting is achievable, resulting in better functional outcomes for older adults, say authors of an article published online in Journal of the American Medical Directors Association.
Twenty-six older adults admitted from a hospital for postacute rehabilitation in a skilled nursing facility in St Louis, Missouri, participated in a randomized controlled trial of enhanced medical rehabilitation versus standard-of-care rehabilitation. Based on models of motivation and behavior change, enhanced medical rehabilitation is a set of behavioral skills for physical therapists and occupational therapists that increase patient engagement and intensity, with the goal of improving functional outcomes through a patient-directed, interactive approach; increased rehabilitation intensity; and frequent feedback to patients on their effort and progress.
The authors assessed therapy intensity using the time that the patient was active in therapy sessions. Therapy engagement was assessed using the Rehabilitation Participation Scale. Functional and performance outcomes were measured using Barthel Index, gait speed, and 6-minute walk.
Participants randomized to enhanced medical rehabilitation had higher intensity therapy and were more engaged in their rehabilitation sessions. They had more improvement in gait speed (improving from 0.08 to 0.38 m/s versus 0.08 to 0.22 m/s in standard of care) and 6-minute walk (from 73 to 266 feet versus 40 to 94 feet in standard of care), with a trend for better improvement of Barthel Index (+43 points versus +26 points in standard of care), compared with participants randomized to standard-of-care rehabilitation.
APTA member Helen Host, PT, coauthored the article.
The Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) is seeking nominations for physical therapist assistant (PTA) on-site reviewers to evaluate accredited programs. While CAPTE always seeks individuals committed to the accreditation and peer review process it embodies, it now is looking specifically for PTA on-site review team members who are APTA members and currently work as PTA clinicians and for higher education administrators (eg, president, provost, vice president of academics or instruction, department or division chair) who are involved with an accredited PTA program at their institution. Interested PTAs can find additional information and requirements in this Call for On-site CAPTE Reviewers.
Yesterday, the Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight released the final Blueprint for Approval of Affordable State-based and State Partnership Insurance Exchanges. Most qualified health plans offered in these exchanges must offer plans that included the 10 mandatory categories of essential health benefits as mandated by the Affordable Care Act, which include rehabilitative and habilitative services.
The guidance sets out timelines and requirements for state exchange documents (ie, "blueprints") each state must file with HHS. The document explains what type of exchange the state will run and how it will comply with the requirements.
A complete blueprint and declaration letter (specifying the chosen exchange model) must be submitted no later than November 16 for states seeking to operate a state-based or state partnership exchange for plan year 2016. Those states that submit letters more than 20 business days before the submission of their blueprints may request additional consultation and support from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to assist in blueprint preparation.
States that intend to operate in a federally-facilitated exchange but retain control of their own reinsurance programs also must submit a declaration letter by November 16.
HHS will begin plans to implement a fully federally-facilitated exchange in states that do not submit a blueprint and declaration letter before or by November 16.
The final guidance was released in conjunction with the first of 4 regional implementation forums that HHS is holding this month in the District of Columbia, Atlanta, Chicago, and Denver.
In 2011, rates of adult obesity remained high, with state estimates ranging from 20.7% in Colorado to 34.9% in Mississippi, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Twelve 12 states reported a prevalence of 30% or more. The South had the highest prevalence of adult obesity (29.5%), followed by the Midwest (29%), the Northeast (25.3%), and the West (24.3%).
In 2011, CDC made several changes to its Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) that affect estimates of state-level adult obesity prevalence. First, there was an overall change in the BRFSS methodology, including the incorporation of cell phone-only households and a new weighting process. These changes in methodology were made to ensure that the sample better represents the population in each state. Second, to generate more accurate estimates of obesity prevalence, small changes were made to the criteria used to determine which respondents are included in the data analysis.
Because of these changes in methodology, estimates of obesity prevalence from 2011 forward cannot be compared to estimates from previous years. Data collected in 2011 will provide a new baseline for obesity prevalence data collected in subsequent years.