While the media focuses on high-profile website problems and political debates, physical therapists (PTs) may find that for them, some of the biggest news around the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has to do with how payment systems will emphasize quality of care—and how that quality will be measured. The role of the PT in the new health care reporting landscape is the focus of an article (member login required) in the November issue of PT in Motion, the magazine of APTA.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) are making a "fundamental shift in the health care system" toward quality measurement, writes Heather Smith, PT, MPH, APTA program director of quality. She states that these quality measures "afford PTs a tremendous opportunity to demonstrate their value in the health care system" by delivering the kinds of outcomes that will be of increasing importance in future reimbursement models. The Medicare quality reporting programs are likely to influence reporting among private payers, making the PT's role even more crucial.
Smith's article includes an overview of the health care settings that have adopted quality programs, explanations of the aims and strategies of the move toward quality reporting, and definitions of the various measure categories. PT in Motion is available free to APTA members in both online and print versions.
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