APTA's Section on Research hosted a fly-in March 19-20 in Washington, DC, to advocate on behalf of rehabilitation research and for increased funding for programs within the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Eleven researchers from 9 states met with staff of the Senate and House appropriations committees and their individual members of Congress. The researchers asked for funding increases for the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), which is the housing institute for the National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research; the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS); and the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS). In addition, they requested report language on the benefits of prioritizing rehabilitation research in the translational science research agenda. The researchers received positive feedback from committee members and individual members of Congress on the benefits of funding NIH programs.
In order to enhance the development of physical therapy-specific content for APTAs official consumer Web site, MoveForwardPT.com, APTA is seeking volunteers to participate in its new editorial board.
Members of the MoveForwardPT.com editorial board will help write, edit, and review content, such as the detailed symptoms and conditions guides, according to their area of expertise, and/or will help to facilitate content development and review with other physical therapist experts in the field.
APTA is seeking applications for initial 2-year terms. Applicants must be APTA members with a PhD, DPT, or equivalent, a strong clinical background, proven writing skills, and a keen interest in developing evidence-based, consumer-friendly content.
If interested, review the full position descriptions for editorial board members and/or the editorial board chair (position also available), and send a curriculum vitae, letter of intent, and appropriate writing samples to Katie Kissal, consumer portal specialist.
The application deadline is April 20.
The International Federation of Orthopaedic Manipulative Physical Therapists (IFOMPT) will hold its World Congress of Manual/Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy September 30-October 5 in Quebec City, Canada. Although the conference is geared toward the needs of manual physical therapists, the material that will be covered will be of interest to all physical therapists who have a special interest in orthopedics. The meeting will use the focus symposia formula. Some conference sessions will be longer and paired with workshop sessions to offer unique opportunities for the participants to share their knowledge with colleagues from other countries. Preconference and postconference courses also are available. The deadline for early bird registration is May 15.
Intervention by peer mentors has a statistically significant effect on improving glucose control in African American veterans with diabetes, says a Medical News Today article based on study by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania and the Philadelphia VA Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion.
In the study, 118 African American veterans aged 50 to 70 years old with persistently poor diabetes control were randomly assigned to 3 groups—usual care, peer mentoring, and financial incentives. Patients receiving usual care were notified of their starting levels and recommended goals for HbA1c. Those in the mentor group were assigned mentors, matched by age and sex, who previously had poor glycemic control but now had good control. Mentors participated in hour-long 1-on-1 training, including motivational interviewing techniques, and were informed that they would receive $20 per month if the patient confirmed that they had spoken at least once a week. Patients in the financial incentive group were told they would earn $100 if their HbA1c dropped by 1 point and $200 if it dropped by 2 points or to a level of 6.5%.
In the 6-month study, intervention by the peer mentors had a statistically significant effect in improving glucose control. On average, patients in the mentor group saw their HbA1c drop by approximately 1% (from 9.8 to 8.7). HbA1c levels in the financial incentive group dropped from 9.5 to 9.1, while the usual care group saw the smallest change (from 9.9 to 9.8), the article says.
Free full text of the study is available in the March 20 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine.
A final rule issued Friday by the Department of Health and Human Services implements 3 programs under the Affordable Care Act to help ensure that insurance plans compete on the basis of quality and service and not on attracting the healthiest individuals.
The new standards related to risk adjustment, reinsurance, and risk corridors will mitigate the impact of potential adverse selection and stabilize premiums in the individual and small group markets as insurance reforms and the Affordable Insurance Exchanges (Exchanges) are implemented, starting in 2014. The permanent state-based risk adjustment program provides payments to health insurance issuers that disproportionately attract high-risk populations (such as individuals with chronic conditions). The transitional state-based reinsurance program serves to reduce uncertainty by sharing risk in the individual market through making payments for high claims costs for enrollees. The temporary federally administered risk corridors program serves to protect against uncertainty in rate setting by qualified health plans sharing risk in losses and gains with the federal government.
Last week, HHS issued 2 other rules concerning Exchanges. A final rule issued March 12 establishes a framework to help states set up Exchanges. A final and interim rule issued March 16 sets eligibility standards for Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program beneficiaries within Exchanges. These rules have significant implications for patients and physical therapists regarding mandatory essential health benefits (EHB), which include the category of "rehabilitative/habilitative services," although the details of EHB will be addressed in future rule-making.
Check out the recently updated World Health Organization (WHO) Disability and Rehabilitation Web page on the World Confederation for Physical Therapy (WCPT) Web site. Included on the page are details and links to WHO's community-based rehabilitation guidelines, the World Report on Disability, and a joint position paper on the provision of mobility devices in less-resourced settings.