Ending the hard cap in Medicare outpatient physical therapy services will take unified voices, personal effort—and more than a little help from technology. APTA is hoping to do just that when it launches a new grassroots campaign that will allow physical therapists (PTs) and others to combine their individual social media reach to create a wave of highly coordinated messaging.
APTA has worked with the Therapy Cap Coalition to create an opportunity for PTs, physical therapist assistants (PTAs), patients, and others to participate in a "thunderclap," a service in which participants donate their Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr presences to allow a 1-time coordinated message to be sent to their friends and followers. To participate in the therapy cap thunderclap, supporters simply sign up and choose which social media outlets they would like to temporarily donate. At noon on November 4, thunderclap will automatically send out the same messages through all participants’ social media outlets. The thunderclap is free and limited to a single message. Deadline for sign up is November 3.
The Therapy Cap Coalition's thunderclap is aimed at drawing national attention to the Medicare therapy cap and preventing a hard cap from being implemented in 2014. The cap puts arbitrary limits on therapy services under Medicare and negatively impacts a PT's ability to provide the highest quality care to often-vulnerable populations. While APTA representatives have been meeting with legislators over the past year, coalition organizers believe that grassroots efforts to stop the cap need to intensify now that Congress has little more than 60 days to address the issue.
The coalition must meet its goal number for thunderclap participants to send the message, but participants need not be limited to the affected health care providers. APTA is urging its members to encourage colleagues, patients, family members, and friends to join in the thunderclap to make the reach as broad as possible. More information about thunderclap and APTA's therapy cap efforts can be found at APTA's therapy cap advocacy site, and questions about the program or how to get involved can be sent to APTA's advocacy staff e-mail. Specific information on thunderclaps can be found at Thunderclap's website.
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