The following members were elected to APTA's Board of Directors and Nominating Committee Monday night at the House of Delegates in Tampa, Florida: Paul A. Rockar, Jr, PT, DPT, MS, was elected president; Sharon L. Dunn, PT, PhD, OCS, was elected vice president; Jeanine M. Gunn, PT, DPT, was elected director; Mary C. Sinnott, PT, DPT, Med, was reelected director; and Nicole L. Stout, PT, MPT, CLT-LANA, was reelected director. Jerry A. Smith, PT, MBA, ATC/L, was elected to the Nominating Committee. Stephen M. Levine, PT, DPT, MSHA, was elected in a second election to serve the remaining year of Dunn's unexpired term as director. These terms become effective at the close of the House of Delegates on Wednesday.
In 2010, the APTA House of Delegates adopted RC 21-10 Action to Protect the Use of the Term, Title, and Designation of Physical Therapy and Physiotherapy. This motion directed APTA to develop and implement a plan to achieve full title and term protection for physical therapy and physiotherapy in all US jurisdictions. As part of the effort to fulfill RC 21-10, APTA has launched its new Term Protection Resource Center to provide members with resources on this issue. Included on the resource center site is background information on term protection, a basic summary of the current status of state term protection laws, information on filing complaints, and resources for chapters that seek to enact state legislation to provide for physical therapy term protection. As part of its term protection advocacy campaign, APTA will launch its new advertisement on term protection for physical therapy aimed at state policy makers, and designed educate them on the need to enact term protection laws. The full-page color advertisement will run in future editions of State Legislatures magazine, the monthly publication of the National Conference of State Legislatures which is provided to state legislators, legislative staff, and other state policy makers in all US jurisdictions.
In addition, APTA, in conjunction with the law firm Tucker Arensberg PC, recently finished an exhaustive research and analysis of the various state term protections laws. APTA state chapter leaders will be provided a legal analysis of the current term protection laws in their state, and the mechanisms for enforcement to assist with moving forward on future advocacy efforts aimed at term protection for physical therapy.
A proposed rule released Friday by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) would establish data reporting standards for states necessary to implement parts of the Affordable Care Act related to essential health benefits (EHB) that must be part of most qualified health plans (QHPs) offered in states' affordable health insurance exchanges (Exchanges). This proposal provides guidance on the type of data certain health plans participating in the Exchanges will need to provide to states; the issuers of the 3 largest small group products in each state must report information regarding covered benefits. Additionally, the proposed rule establishes a process for recognizing entities that will be accredited to certify QHPs that will be offered in states' affordable health insurance exchanges. It is important to note that this proposed rule does not provide comprehensive information regarding EHBs, other than data reporting and the accreditation process. That information will be forthcoming in future rulemaking.
Specifically, the purpose of proposed rule is to gather enough information on each states' benchmark plans' benefits to allow any plans that wish to offer coverage in the Exchanges to know what benefits will be included in the EHB benchmark. It also proposes that certain issuers of applicable plans submit benefit and enrollment information to HHS, such as data on all health benefits in the plan, any treatment limitations imposed on health care coverage and drug type coverage. This information would be used by HHS and eventually states, exchanges, and issuers to define, evaluate, and provide EHB.
Until accrediting entities are established to certify qualified health plans, the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) and URAC will be recognized by HHS on an interim basis for the purpose of accreditation of qualified health plans.