Recent increases in copays and deductibles have made collection at time of service critical for the financial health of physical therapy practices. To help members in this administrative function, APTA has launched a new resource titled Collection of Copays, Deductibles, and Other Patient Fees: Best Practices for Physical Therapists. Two new podcast recordings and transcripts complement this resource. Collecting Patient Fees: An Overview reviews compliance issues related to copay collection and describes the relevant resources available for members on this topic. The second podcast, Collecting Patient Fees: One Practice's Success Story, is an interview with a director of operations at a physical therapy private practice who describes a fresh approach for successful collection of patient fees.
New evidence-based clinical practice guidelines are available to help physical therapists manage patients with low back pain. Developed by the Orthopaedic Section, the guidelines describe the peer-reviewed literature and make recommendations related to (1) treatment matched to low back pain subgroup responder categories; (2) treatments that have evidence to prevent recurrence of low back pain; and (3) treatments that have evidence to influence the progression from acute to chronic low back pain and disability.
The Orthopaedic Section has an ongoing effort to create evidence-based practice guidelines for orthopedic physical therapy management of patients with musculoskeletal impairments described in the World Health Organization's International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health.
The low back pain guidelines will be considered for review in 2017, or sooner if new evidence becomes available. Any updates to the guidelines in the interim period will be posted on www.orthopt.org.
Intensive goal-directed upper limb training programs using either constraint-induced movement therapy (CIMT) or bimanual training (BIM) achieved domain-specific changes in quality of life relating to feelings about functioning and participation and physical health in children with unilateral cerebral palsy (CP), say authors of an article published online in Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology. A condition-specific quality of life measure compared with a generic measure may be better able to detect changes in quality of life in children with unilateral CP, they add.
Researchers randomly assigned 63 children (mean age 10 years 2 months [SD 2 years 6 months]; 33 boys, 30 girls) with CP of the spastic motor type (n=59) or with spasticity and dystonia (n=4) to 2 groups. The children were assessed as Manual Ability Classification System level I (n=16), II (n=46), or III (n=1). Each group received 6 hours of daily intervention (either CIMT or BIM) for 10 days over a 2-week period (total intervention time 60 hours). Children aged 9 years and older completed the Cerebral Palsy Quality of Life Questionnaire for Children (CPQOL-Child), and those aged 8 years and older completed the KIDSCREEN-52. All parents completed proxy versions of each measure. Assessments were made at baseline and at 3, 26, and 52 weeks after the end of the intervention.
Thirty-five children completed the CPQOL-Child and 41 completed the KIDSCREEN-52. No changes in social or emotional well-being were reported by children in either group. Children and parents from both groups reported a significant improvement in their or their child's feelings about functioning as well as participation and physical health on the CPQOL-Child. The parents of children receiving CIMT reported positive and sustained changes in their child's social well-being (CPQOL-Child). The CIMT group showed significant improvements in physical well-being, psychological well-being, and moods and emotions (KIDSCREEN-52) at 3 weeks post intervention, which were maintained over the study period.
Preventing unwarranted variation in practice, analyzing claim data, and demonstrating high-value care are a few of the topics covered in 2 new videos and handouts aimed at helping APTA members prepare for changes in the health care environment. The videos, featuring Tony Delitto, PT, PhD, FAPTA, are part of a series that illustrates various nontraditional, creative practice models developed by APTA members. The handouts and videos can help physical therapists gain insight and inspiration as they look for ways to become involved in new models of care delivery.
APTA cites the results of its recent low back pain survey in a letter to the producer of "The Dr Oz Show," which recently featured a segment on chiropractic intervention for back pain. The letter also offers the producer information about APTA's new webpage on low back pain that features the e-book Low Back Pain: Management and Prevention to help consumers understand the causes of low back pain and provide strategies to help prevent and manage the condition. Additionally, APTA encourages viewers to join the BlogTalkRadio show scheduled for April 23. (See related article titled "BlogTalkRadio Guests to Discuss Low Back Pain" posted April 19.)
A new report has been released by Healthcare Providers Service Organizations (HPSO), in collaboration with CNA, on professional liability risk exposures. The report focuses on the risks faced by physical therapists (PTs) who are insured either as individuals or as employees of physical therapy practices. In addition, the report addresses the specific professional liability risk exposures for physical therapist assistants (PTAs) insured by HPSO/CNA and other health care professionals providing services on behalf of a HPSO/CNA-insured physical therapy practice.
For those who find it more convenient to listen to the information in the report than read it, APTA is offering a 1-hour audio conference about the liability risks in the report and strategies to reduce risk. The audio learning opportunity has a .2 CEU value.
The risk management information presented in the report is based upon an analysis of 552 closed professional liability claims that resulted in sizable settlements or adverse judgments. Following the analysis, HPSO offers risk control recommendations and a self-assessment checklist to help individual therapists and practices enhance safety while minimizing risks.
APTA's risk management webpage provides additional resources to help members manage professional and personal risks
APTA will host its first BlogTalkRadio show, a live, online radio broadcast, on April 23 at 7 pm ET. You can listen live online here or dial 646/564-9841 to listen by phone. APTA spokesperson Mary Ann Wilmarth, PT, DPT, OCS, MTC, will frame the issue of low back pain, discuss some of the key findings of APTA's Low Back Pain Survey, and explain how to prevent and manage the condition with the help of a physical therapist. She will be joined by 2 guests—APTA member Mike Ryan, PT, ATC, athletic trainer for the Jacksonville Jaguars, and AARP Georgia volunteer Colette Morgan, MD, with Emory University. They will discuss low back pain as it relates to pro and non-pro athletes and the aging population, respectively. Listeners will have the option of calling into the show to ask questions of the guests or submitting questions to Move Forward's Facebook or Twitter pages in advance or during the show. Listeners also will be encouraged to visit www.moveforwardpt.com for more information and to find a physical therapist in their area. (See related article titled "APTA Responds to Chiropractic Segment on Dr Oz Show" posted April 19.)
April is National Minority Health Month. This year's theme, "Health Equity Can’t Wait. Act Now in Your CommUNITY," is a call to action and unity for state and local offices of minority health, health departments, and all organizations and partners involved and invested in reducing health disparities. To support community efforts in the goal of ending health disparities and promoting health equity, the Office of Minority Health offers a National Partnership for Action to End Health Disparities Toolkit for Community Action. The toolkit provides community members with the information and resources they need to help engage fellow citizens and local media as they spread the word about health disparities and educate others about the impact disparities have in the lives of individuals and the greater effect on society.
So far this year, more than 40 schools have pledged to participate and raise funds for physical therapy research.
The deadline to submit all donations with completed donation forms is April 20, 5 pm ET. The total raised and prize winners will be announced during the Foundation's Gala at PT 2012.
All participating schools receive national recognition. Awards to the top fundraising schools include complimentary APTA Annual Conference registration, Foundation gala tickets, and much more.