APTA has pledged $1 million to the
Foundation for Physical Therapy to help create the Center of Excellence (COE)
for Health Services/Health Policy Research.
The COE will provide training for
physical therapy researchers to conduct health services/health policy (HS/HP)
research. HS/HP research will examine physical therapy resource utilization,
costs, and quality, and will identify the most effective ways to deliver,
organize, finance, and assess outcomes of health care services.
Academic institutions will compete
for funds to start the nation's first training program to develop physical
therapy investigators in HS/HP research. The selected institution must promote
an intellectual environment that attracts members of the physical therapy
profession to HS/HP research, provide research experience, mentorships, and
opportunities for collaboration with scientists from other disciplines, and
conduct pilot projects leading to future high-impact health services research
more about the COE at www.apta.org/.
the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a final omnibus rule
that makes extensive modifications to
the privacy, security, and enforcement rules established under the Health
Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).
final rule expands many of the requirements to business associates of entities
that receive protected health information, such as contractors and
subcontractors. Penalties are increased for noncompliance based on the
level of negligence with a maximum penalty of $1.5 million per violation.
also strengthen the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical
Health (HITECH) Breach Notification requirements by clarifying when breaches of
unsecured health information must be reported to HHS. An interim final version
has been in effect since September 2009. The new version clarifies requirements
for when a breach must be reported to authorities.
final rule will be effective March 26. However, covered entities and business
associates have until September 23 to comply with the rule.
APTA will post a summary of the rule in the future.
offers member information and links to learn about compliance with HIPAA
regulations at www.apta.org/HIPAA/.
by the recent mass shootings across the country, the Department of Health and
Human Services (HHS) this week released a letter to healthcare providers
to emphasize that the Health Insurance Portability And Accountability Act
(HIPAA) Privacy Rule does not prevent a provider from disclosing information
about a patient "…to law enforcement, family members of the patient, or
other persons [who may reasonably be able to prevent or lessen the risk of
harm], when you believe the patient presents a serious danger to himself or
Issued by HHS' Office of Civil Rights, the letter recommends that providers
consult their state
law, court decisions, and professional practice acts for any additional
requirements related to disclosure of patient information to prevent or lessen
the risk of harm.
will upgrade critical systems the weekend of January 25. During this
upgrade, website visitors will be able to access www.apta.org, log in to
member-only content, work on an LMS course, use Find a PT, look up an individual
in the Membership Directory, and use the fee calculator. However, they
will not be able to pay membership dues, update their profile information, or
register for an event. Please continue to use www.apta.org throughout the
weekend. If, when you do, you see the image below, check back with us on Monday,
Vision Task Force is seeking feedback on the proposed vision statement that
will be sent to the House of Delegates in June. In a Moving Forward blog post, the task force
describes several broad themes that guided its work in developing the proposed
statement and explains why the proposed vision is intentionally broad and
"lofty." Members and nonmembers are encouraged to leave their
comments at Moving Forward. For
individuals attending the Combined Sections Meeting in San Diego, the blog post
includes information about a Beyond Vision 2020 Member Forum (also open to
nonmembers) that will be held on Wednesday, January 23.
offers a multitude of ethics resources that can significantly inform
practitioners. Resources include an online course, Information on APTA’s Revised Code of Ethics for the Physical Therapist and Standards of Ethical Conduct for the Physical Therapist Assistant, available through APTA’s
Learning Center. The non-CEU version is free for members. In
addition, ethics decision-making tools
are available and include a PT in Motion Ethics in Practice
article reflecting on its 6-year anniversary. These articles explore a
variety of ethical scenarios on topics such as reimbursement, confidentiality,
discharging patients, gifts, professional integrity, and professional
behavior. The Ethics and Professionalism
webpage includes the core ethics documents
and resources on professionalism. Extensive
information also is available on the Resolving Complaints or Disputes and Legal Topics of Interest to PTs and PTAs
webpages. Use and review of these regularly updated ethics resources is