• Thursday, March 05, 2015RSS Feed

    Stephen Levine, 'Tireless Champion of the Profession,' Dies

    Stephen M. Levine, PT, DPT, MSHA, FAPTA, a former APTA Board of Directors member and one of the physical therapy profession's most loved and respected voices, died on March 3 as a result of injuries sustained in an automobile accident. He was 52.

    Levine was at the center of some of the most important developments in physical therapy practice and payment during the past 30 years. He was considered a leader in efforts to elevate the standards of physical therapist (PT) and physical therapist assistant (PTA) practice, including the elimination of unwarranted variation in clinical practice. A frequent advisor to the Medicare program, he was one of the nation's leading experts on the Resource Based Value Scale (RBRVS), at one point providing congressional testimony on the RBRVS.

    Levine's involvement with APTA dated back to 1985, and included 11 years of service to the APTA Board of Directors, where he began as vice speaker of the House of Delegates before moving on to speaker. His position on the board led to involvement in many of the association's high-priority projects and initiatives, including the Guide to Physical Therapist Practice and the alternative payment system task force, which he chaired. Levine received a Lucy Blair Service award in 2011 and was named a Catherine Worthingham Fellow in 2014.

    As executive vice president of compliance and consulting services for OpimisCorp and a founding partner of the Fearon & Levine consulting firm, Levine focused on practice management and payment policy in the outpatient rehabilitation setting. He received his degree in physical therapy from the University of Maryland at Baltimore, a master's degree in health administration from Virginia Commonwealth University, and his DPT degree from A.T. Still University of the Health Sciences.

    In a statement issued yesterday, APTA President Paul A. Rockar Jr, PT, DPT, MS, wrote that Levine was "so much to so many: a tireless champion of the profession, a friend, a gentlemen, and a passionate leader." According to Rockar, Levine "not only contributed to, but also helped to shape the profession of physical therapy as we know it today."

    Levine is survived by his husband, Bruce Anderson, PT; his father, Stanley Levine; his sister, Wendy Levine; and his nephews Andrew and Ryan Schiff. Details of funeral arrangements have not been announced, but will be shared on the APTA website when made available.

    APTA has created a tribute page to allow visitors to share thoughts and remembrances of Levine.


    Monday, March 02, 2015RSS Feed

    March PT in Motion: PTs Innovate to Take on Obesity

    Need more proof that physical therapy is all about transformation? Look no further than this month's issue of PT in Motion magazine and its feature story on how the profession is helping to address obesity and overweight.

    In the March issue of the magazine, associate editor Eric Ries explores how several innovative physical therapists (PTs) are establishing the profession as a key resource in a battle against obesity and overweight through a variety of approaches, from new research initiatives to real-world action.

    Through a series of interviews, Ries traces the beginnings of PT involvement in treating obesity—at a time when some PTs themselves didn't understand how the profession could help—to the latest efforts to investigate new models of care in which PTs are an integral part of a medical home team for children who are overweight or obese, a project funded through an APTA Innovation 2.0 grant.

    Along the way, the article touches on several emerging issues, including the development of an annual PT evaluation, the possibility of offering cash-based services, and the need for PTs to embrace their own power to transform society.

    The PT in Motion article on physical therapist treatment of obesity and overweight appears in the March issue of the magazine. Hard copy versions of the magazine are mailed to all members who have not opted out; digital versions are available online to members.


    Wednesday, February 25, 2015RSS Feed

    For PT in Motion News, Wednesday is the New Friday

    PT in Motion News has shifted its weekly blast to Wednesdays to make room for a series of newsletters designed to deliver more customized information to members.

    Called Friday Focus, the newsletter series will target 1 of 4 areas each week. The 4 areas that will be covered on a rotating basis are:

    • Payment (debuts February 27, then every fourth Friday of each month)
    • Professional issues (debuts March 6, then every first Friday of each month)
    • Evidence and care (debuts March 13, then every second Friday of each month)
    • APTA & You (debuts March 20, then every third Friday of each month)

    To get Friday Focus, members need only to select which topics they'd like to receive. They can do this by logging in to My Profile on www.apta.org and making their choices, as well as review all APTA communications and choose options that best suit their needs and interests.


    Friday, February 20, 2015RSS Feed

    Send the Next PT in Motion Cover Into Space

    APTA members can boldly go where no PT or PTA has gone before. But hurry—the countdown has already begun.

    It's time once again for members to help PT in Motion magazine decide the design to be used on the cover of the upcoming issue. For April, editorial staff is proposing 2 designs and asking members to vote on their favorite cover to illustrate a story about a relay race that includes astronauts. The design that receives the most votes will be the next cover.

    Vote by February 25. Just pick the design you think is likely to get you to open up the magazine, and then check out the April issue to see which cover was most popular.


    Thursday, February 19, 2015RSS Feed

    New APTA Friday Focus Series Puts You in Touch With the Information You Want

    Feel a little out of focus by the time Friday rolls around? PT in Motion News is coming to the rescue with a series of newsletters that will help clear things up by delivering more customized information to members.

    Called Friday Focus, the newsletter series will target 1 of 4 areas each week. The 4 areas that will be covered on a rotating basis are:

    • Payment (debuts February 27, then every fourth Friday of each month)
    • Professional issues (debuts March 6, then every first Friday of each month)
    • Evidence and care (debuts March 13, then every second Friday of each month)
    • APTA & You (debuts March 20, then every third Friday of each month)

    To get Friday Focus, members need only to select which topics they'd like to receive. They can do this by logging in to My Profile on www.apta.org and making their choices,as well as review all APTA communications and choose options that best suit their needs and interests.

    To make room for the new offering, beginning next week, the popular weekly PT in Motion News email blast will move from Fridays to Wednesdays.


    Thursday, February 19, 2015RSS Feed

    Did Physical Therapy Transform a Life? Tell Us Your Story

    If there's 1 thing physical therapists and physical therapist assistants know a thing or 2 about, it's patient transformation, and how physical therapy can make a very real difference in the life of a patient.

    There are some great stories out there, and now it's time to share them.

    APTA is celebrating the transformative power of physical therapy by collecting powerful stories of patients to share at MoveForwardPT.com, APTA’s official consumer information website, and via social media. If you have a current or former patient or client whose life has been transformed by physical therapy, please share it, or encourage the individual to do so. Submission instructions are available in the Patient Stories section of MoveForwardPT.com. Deadline for submissions is Monday, March 30, 2015.

    Note: Do not use the comments section of this post to share stories. Also, remember to not include your patient’ or client’s name or any other identifiable information that would violate HIPAA’s patient privacy protections if you submit a story on behalf of the individual.


    Wednesday, February 18, 2015RSS Feed

    Read All About It: Check Out Final Edition of CSM Coverage

    From a debate on rotator cuff rehabilitation to a Crane lecture on the role of ethics education in physical therapist training, and from the ways society views "disability" to the ways physical therapists and physical therapist assistants might borrow from the business world to be better entrepreneurs, the last issue of the Combined Sections Meeting (CSM) daily news provides a great snapshot of the breadth of topics discussed at this year's meeting in Indianapolis, February 4–7.

    In addition to the topics listed above, the recap covers the Cerasoli lecture as well as highlights from sessions focused on identifying predictors for injuries, identification of risk factors for wounds and ulcers, water-based exercise, bone health, and more.

    The issue is the last in a series of daily publications that kept tabs on the activities at CSM. Highlights from the conference will also be featured in an upcoming issue of PT in Motion magazine.


    Friday, February 06, 2015RSS Feed

    APTA Plays More Than a Cameo Role in CoHSTAR Research Project

    An innovative research center focused on physical therapy health services research has officially launched, thanks in part to $1 million in support from APTA, which sees the center as a crucial component in the transformation of health care.

    The center, to be called the Center on Health Services Training and Research (CoHSTAR), was the brainchild of the Foundation for Physical Therapy (Foundation), which responded to a need for stronger physical therapist (PT) leadership in health policy and health services research. This week, the Foundation announced that Brown University was awarded a $2.5 million grant to establish the center.

    "Researchers who can develop an essential body of knowledge that shows the efficacy of physical therapy will help us achieve our vision of transforming society by optimizing movement to improve the human experience," said APTA President Paul A. Rockar Jr, PT, DPT, MS, in a news release. "We fully expect the research to change the face of physical therapy and ultimately to improve patient outcomes."

    CoHSTAR will offer postdoctoral fellowships, host visiting scientists, and provide special summer training sessions. The center will also fund several pilot studies each year from investigators inside and outside the program. Over 5 years, CoHSTAR will train up to 9 fellows and 5 visiting scientists, all focused on strengthening physical therapy-related health services research.

    The center will be operational in June 2015 and begin accepting applications for fellows in July. Application materials will be posted on the Foundation's website.

    In addition to APTA’s contribution, funding for CoHSTAR, formerly known as the Center of Excellence, came from gifts from 50 APTA components, as well as foundations, corporations, and individual physical therapists.


    Friday, February 06, 2015RSS Feed

    CSM 2015: Transformation in the Air- And Online

    Attendees to APTA's 2015 Combined Sections Meeting (CSM) being held in Indianapolis this week are, as usual, getting lots of information about the present state of physical therapist practice, but conversations about the future of the profession—and how the profession will transform society—are nearly as easy to find.

    This week, about 9,000 physical therapists (PTs), physical therapist assistants (PTAs), and students from PT and PTA education programs have been attending the association's largest annual meeting, a 4-day event featuring educational sessions, platform events, poster presentations, and a bustling exhibit hall. For many, it's the same CSM they look forward to every year.

    This time around, however, in addition to all the usual discussions, there has been increased attention on how the physical therapy profession will take a leadership role in a health care environment that's changing dramatically—a concept that APTA captures in its vision of "transforming society by optimizing movement to improve the human experience."

    APTA CEO Michael Bowers is spending much of his time at CSM helping members and leaders think about how this transformational energy can be applied to the profession, to the association, and society in general.

    "We are really focused on the vision that the [APTA House of Delegates] passed in 2013, and we're talking about the transformative power of physical therapy—we're looking at that in a lot of different ways," Bowers said in an APTA video dispatch. It's a vision that requires the profession to see to it that "we're operating not only in best practices, but in best-in-class, where we're really innovating and moving forward," he said.

    The theme was echoed by Stephanie Yu, PT, MSPT, PCS, immediate past chair of the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties (ABPTS). Speaking at a special ceremony marking the 30th anniversary of ABPTS, Yu told the audience that the qualities of PTs who pursue specialist certifications—passion, courage, determination, vision, and a recognition of their interconnectedness with others—are precisely the qualities that will help the profession lead in the future. "It's up to you to be the leaders and make a positive impact," she told the audience.

    Conversations about transformation were also being had on the floor of the exhibit hall and elsewhere throughout the CSM meeting space, as APTA staff invited PTs, PTAs, and students to tell the world how they would transform society. Attendees were given a sign with the phrase "I will transform society by…" and then asked to complete that sentence. Photos of attendees showing off their own visions are being shared on social media, and will become part of an APTA educational campaign.

    Bowers said that the transformative efforts should always be grounded in a recognition of why the profession is moving in these directions in the first place. "There's a lot of hard work to do," Bowers said. "We have to be consistent in applying the principles we believe in and not stop, but we never want to lose sight of what we're trying to do, which is to make a paradigm shift in the way health care is delivered in the US."

     

    Want to let the world know how you will transform society as a PT or PTA? Complete the sentence "I will transform society by…" and tweet using the hashtag #PTTransforms.


    Monday, February 02, 2015RSS Feed

    Future of PT and PTA Education Featured in This Month's PT in Motion Magazine

    Just about everyone agrees that health care of the future will look very different than health care today—but what does that mean for physical therapists (PTs) and physical therapist assistants (PTAs)? And how can PT and PTA education programs prepare the next generation of professionals for that future?

    The cover story of PT in Motion’s February issue, “The Future of Physical Therapist Education,” examines how the changing health care landscape is altering not just curriculum, but the way that curriculum is delivered. The "educated predictions" included in the story are based on insights from PTs in both practice and education settings, and range from increased emphasis on interprofessional teams to more residency opportunities, all while continuing to stress the importance of critical thinking.

    In the article, APTA Lead Academic Affairs Specialist Jody Frost, PT, DPT, PhD, FNAP, says that "the way we practice is going to affect physical therapist education."

    PTs interviewed for the article add that education will need to focus more on communication skills, leadership, hybrid learning, research, and emerging technologies to reflect the changing profession. Education's response to these changes may also involve a shift in the location of residency programs, an increased emphasis on prevention and overall health, and a reduction in some of what is currently taught.

    The PT in Motion article on physical therapist education appears in the February issue of the magazine. Hard copy versions of the magazine are mailed to all members who have not opted out; digital versions are available online to members.


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