January 1, 2013, outpatient therapy providers will need to report information
about their Medicare patient’s functional limitations on the claim
form. This reporting requirement will apply to outpatient physical
therapy, occupational therapy, and speech language pathology services provided
in hospitals, critical access hospitals, skilled nursing facilities,
comprehensive outpatient rehabilitation facilities (CORFs), rehabilitation
agencies, home health agencies (when the beneficiary is not under a home health
plan of care), and in private offices of therapists, physicians and
nonphysician practitioners. A new APTA webinar recording provides information
regarding the new functional limitation reporting as you implement the
requirement in your practice. Specific information is provided on which new
codes to report, documentation, and claims submission. The video can be found
on the Functional
Limitation Reporting Under Medicare webpage under General Information.
the December 13 publication of the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010 (GBD 2010)
in The Lancet, The Bone and Joint
Decade (BJD) issued a call for urgent action by the World Health Organization,
the United Nations, and by national governments and for explicit plans to
respond to the study's results and the new ranking that shows that
musculoskeletal conditions have an enormous and growing impact in all regions
of the world.
to BJD's call to action, GBD
2010 shows that musculoskeletal conditions are the second greatest cause of
disability globally. Back pain causes the most disability across the globe,
with osteoarthritis showing the greatest increase in the last 20 years.
is the largest ever systematic effort to describe the global distribution and
causes of a wide array of major diseases, injuries, and health risk factors.
The results show that infectious diseases, maternal and child illness, and
malnutrition now cause fewer deaths and less illness than they did 20 years
ago. As a result, fewer children are dying every year, but more young and
middle-aged adults are dying and suffering from disease and injury, as
noncommunicable diseases become the dominant causes of death and disability
worldwide. Since 1970, men and women worldwide have gained slightly more than
10 years of life expectancy overall, but they spend more years living with
injury and illness.
includes 7 articles, each containing data on different aspects of the study
(including data for different countries and world regions, men and women, and
different age groups). Accompanying comments include reactions to the study's
publication from World Health Organization Director-General Margaret Chan and
World Bank President Jim Yong Kim. The study is described by Lancet Editor-in-Chief Richard Horton,
BSc MB FRCP FMedSci, as "a critical contribution to our understanding of
present and future health priorities for countries and the global
a founding member of the United States Bone and Joint Initiative,
which is part of the international BJD.
of an article published in Archives of Physical Medicine and
Rehabilitation say their study is the first step toward discerning
the underlying factors contributing to improved walking performance in
individuals with chronic stroke.
study, 27 patients with hemiparetic stroke (17 left hemiparesis, 19 men, age:
58.7 + 13.0 years, 22.7 + 16.4 months poststroke) were stratified based on a
walking speed change of greater than (responders) or less than (nonresponders)
0.16 m/s. Paired sample t-tests were run to assess changes in each group, and
correlations were run between the change in each variable and change in walking
patients participated in a 12-week locomotor intervention incorporating
training on a treadmill with body weight support and manual trainers
accompanied by training overground walking. Motor control, balance, functional
walking ability, and endurance were collected at pre- and postintervention
responders and 9 nonresponders differed by age (responders=63.6 years,
nonresponders=49.0 years) and the lower extremity Fugl-Meyer (responders=24.7, nonresponders=19.9).
Responders demonstrated an average improvement in walking speed of 0.27 m/s as
well as significant gains in all variables except daily step activity and paretic step ratio. Conversely, the nonresponders
demonstrated statistically significant improvements only in walking speed and
endurance. However, the walking speed increase of 0.10 m/s was not clinically
meaningful. Change in walking speed was negatively correlated with changes in motor
control in the nonresponder group, implying that walking speed gains may have
been accomplished via compensatory mechanisms.
member Mark G. Bowden, PT, PhD, is the article's lead author. APTA
members Andrea L. Behrman, PT, PhD,
FAPTA, and Chris M. Gregory, PT, PhD,
developed new workers’ compensation resources for members. The resources include a market basket
comparison of maximum fee schedule rates in all 50 states and the District of
Columbia, as well as state summaries of workers' compensation regulations
pertinent to physical therapy services. The link to the map can be found on
APTA's Workers' Compensation webpage.
have any questions, comments, or corrections regarding your state's
workers' compensation page, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Recognition of Advanced Proficiency Program now recognizes physical therapist
assistants (PTAs) who have achieved advanced proficiency as educators. Eligibility
requirements include APTA membership, 5 years of teaching experience with 900
total contact hours of teaching, including 180 hours in the past year; 60
contact hours of continuing education, 45 in topics related to education;
excellent references; and evidence of a minimum of 3 volunteer experiences.
For complete details and to download application
forms, visit APTA's website. The
next application deadline is February 1, 2013.
Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) yesterday approved 25 awards, totaling$40.7 million over 3 years, to fund patient-centered comparative
clinical effectiveness research (CER) projects under the first 4 areas of its National Priorities for Research and Research Agenda.
The projects approved for funding include those that will
study rehabilitation services for survivors of acute ischemic stroke,
nonsurgical treatment methods for patients with lumbar spinal stenosis, and a
patient-centered risk stratification method for improving primary care for back
pain. Other projects seek ways to improve patient-clinician communication,
reduce selected health disparities, and improve the way health care systems
The projects were approved by PCORI's Board of Governors through a
competitive, multi-stage review process that incorporated patients, caregivers,
and other stakeholders in the evaluation of proposals. Applications were
evaluated on scientific merit, engagement of patients and other stakeholders,
methodological rigor, and fit within PCORI's research priorities and research
The awards are part of PCORI's first cycle of primary research funding and
selected from among nearly 500 completed applications submitted earlier this
exercise and eating habits could be the game-changer in the fight against heart
disease and stroke deaths, according to the American Heart Association's (AHA)
"Heart Disease and Stroke Statistical Update 2013."
1999 and 2009, the rate of deaths from cardiovascular disease (CVD) fell 32.7%,
but still accounted for nearly 1 in 3 deaths in the nation. However, according
to projections in the 2013 report, heart health may only improve by 6% if
current trends continue. The biggest barriers to success are projected
increases in obesity and diabetes, and only modest improvements in diet and
physical activity. On a positive note, smoking, high cholesterol, and high
blood pressure rates are projected to decline.
heart disease and stroke risk factors, the most recent data show:
it plans to focus on population-based ways to improve health factors for all
Americans. Some of these include:
need to move a lot more, eat healthier and less, and manage risk factors as
soon as they develop," said Alan S. Go, MD, chair of the report's writing
committee. "If not, we’ll quickly lose the momentum we've gained in reducing
heart attack and stroke rates and improving survival over the last few decades."
Free full text of the article is available in Circulation.
physical therapist brand positions us as experts in restoring and improving
motion in people's lives, and we continue to build our brand by providing
consistent, quality physical therapy experiences. If you will be attending the
Combined Sections Meeting (CSM), e-mail email@example.com with a brief description of how you are living the physical therapist
brand and we'll arrange a brief video recording of you while you are at CSM to
post on www.apta.org/BrandBeat.
premiums for employer-sponsored family health insurance plans rose 62% between
2003 and 2011, from $9,249 to $15,022 per year, according to a new Commonwealth Fund report. The report, which tracks
state trends in employer health insurance coverage, finds that health insurance
costs rose far faster than incomes in all states. Workers also are paying more
out-of-pocket as employee payments for their share of health insurance premiums
and deductibles have more than doubled.
The report, State Trends in Premiums and Deductibles, 2003-2011:
Eroding Protection and Rising Costs Underscore Need for Action, finds
that total health insurance premiums now amount to 20% or more of annual median
family incomes in 35 states, affecting 80% of the US working-age population.
In 2011, average annual premiums for family plans ranged from about $12,400
to $13,500 in the lowest-cost states to more than $15,000 a year in 21 states.
Premiums averaged from $16,000 to nearly $17,000 in Delaware, Alaska,
Connecticut, Vermont, New York, the District of Columbia, New Hampshire, and
Massachusetts, which have the highest average family premiums.
While average family premiums jumped an average of 62% from 2003 to 2011,
median family income rose just about 11%. The increase in premiums ranged from
42% in the lowest-growth state, Tennessee, to 76% in the highest-growth state,
New York. Twenty-seven states had increases of 60% or more.
The report also finds that employees' premium shares grew. The average
annual amount an employee paid toward a family health insurance plan rose from
$2,283 in 2003 to $3,962 in 2011—a 74% increase.
Deductibles more than doubled from 2003 to 2011, increasing an average of
117% per person during the 8 years the report studied. In 2011, 78% of workers
faced deductibles, up from 52% in 2003. Workers in small firms with fewer than
50 employees typically face higher deductibles than those working for larger
If historical trends continue, family premiums will reach $24,740 by 2020,
an increase of 65% from 2011, says the report.
The report and an interactive map featuring premiums in each state are
available on The Commonwealth Fund's website.