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  • July Board of Directors: Strategic Plan Updates Continue to Focus on Showing Value of PT Services

    The Board at its July meeting developed updates to APTA's Strategic Plan. The Strategic Plan, last updated in July 2011, outlines goals, objectives, strategies, and metrics for the next 1-3 years that will support achievement of Vision 2020. The plan includes a number of key decisions made by the House of Delegates in June 2012.

    Final wording of the 4 outcomes and their supporting objectives is in process and will be shared with members once the Strategic Plan has been adopted by the Board in December. The 4 outcomes are in the areas of:

    • Effectiveness of care to improve quality of life;
    • Patient- and client-centered care across the lifespan;
    • Professional growth and development; and
    • Value and accountability.

    Through small-group exploration, generative discussion, and prioritizing, the Board and key APTA staff identified several focused objectives that APTA can target for budgeting resources over the next 1-3 years.

    Key to the planning process was consideration of 2012 House decisions such as Physical Therapist Responsibility and Accountability for the Delivery of Care (RC2-12) and Feasibility Study for Transitioning to an Entry-Level Baccalaureate Physical Therapist Assistant Degree (RC20-12).

    Updates from the APTA strategic planning process will be posted to APTA.org, at www.apta.org/StrategicPlan, as they become available.


    • I believe that we as a profession have stepped backwards in many respects. Even now I am told that we should become DPT's and yet our medicare requirements as stated require that a physician sign off on a plan of care.I live in a region that is now dominated by DPT's that work in popts.I am no longer a member of the APTA after 15 years as my options and career evaporated.The DPT requirement has done very little to expand our profession. Look at the CMS regulations and try to figure out how that has effected our real life efficientcies and value. We have essentially been regulated so heavily and irrationally that even quality therapists are stiffeled by regulations that make little sense in the real world of clinical practice.

      Posted by jeff parks on 7/31/2012 8:51 PM

    • Jeff Parks is so ontrack with his comments. Our profession is in reverse. The DPT requirement is only selling sheepskins. New grads now know no more than I learned ;in fact, not even as much as I learned 31 years ago. We are giving exercise away to exercise physiologists and personal trainers, and soft tissue work to massage therapists just like we gave chest PT to respiratory therapists years ago. Regulations have made it very difficult to practice effective PT. It is time our profession wakes up before we become extinct.

      Posted by John McCollum on 8/3/2012 5:10 PM

    • I completely and totally DISAGREE with both Jeff and John (although I respect your opinion and I thank you for your courage in posting it here). You're conflating Medicare regulation with the DPT degree. Both present challenges to the individual practitioner but doctor-level status is the way OUT of burdensome physician supervision. Right now, nursing is in the spotlight - nurses are expected to relieve the primary care physician shortage in America. But, physical therapists in most settings see some of the highest volumes of ambulatory adults for the top-ranked conditions. Physical therapists are well-positioned to augment primary care for musculoskeletal conditions. We probably need the DPT credential to satisfy political and social constituencies that we can do so safely and effectively. Further, Medicare Accountable Care Organizations may be able to replace volume-driven payment with a more patient-focused reimbursement model. This should INCREASE demand for therapy services as patients shift away from surgical and medical solutions, to therapeutic and behavioral solutions. True, physical therapy in 2012 is different than it was in 1997 (to use Jeff's time frame). So is medicine. The forces affecting healthcare are challenging for everyone but I would argue that Regulation and Professionalism (Medicare and the DPT) are shifting healthcare policy in favor of physical therapy. Tim Richardson, PT http://www.PhysicalTherapyDiagnosis.com

      Posted by Tim Richardson, PT on 8/11/2012 5:47 AM

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