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  • APTA Board: First Quarter Strategic Plan Report Shows Progress

    Time marches on, and so does APTA's progress on its 2014 strategic plan.

    An accounting of activities and achievements shared with the Board of Directors at its most recent meeting adds up to one bottom line: solid gains in each of APTA's goals around effectiveness of care, patient and client-centered care across the lifespan, professional excellence, and value and accountability.

    During the Board's meeting April 4-6 in Alexandria, Virginia, staff and board liaisons outlined the work being done to achieve the objectives that support each of the association's 4 major goals. This work is tied to specific metrics that define individual activities and programs and identify timelines to measure progress. It's a long list of activities that ranges from the operational to the aspirational, and touches all of the association's major projects. Highlights from each goal area include:

    Effectiveness of care

    • The physical therapy outcomes registry (PTOR)—a high-priority objective for APTA—is in the build phase, with pilot testing to begin in the summer of 2014 and a full-scale launch in early 2015.
    • PTNow is well on its way to achieving its objective of offering 400 clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) to members, with hundreds of CPGs now available in full text.
    • A CPG endorsement process for externally developed CPGs is now in place, with 2 externally developed CPGs already in review.
    • Products and educational offerings continue to be developed to help PTs integrate research into practice and increase PT knowledge of existing quality measures and their application. These offerings include videos, podcasts, live events, and webcasts.

    Patient and client-centered care across the lifespan

    • Data from the APTA Practice Profile, which now includes information on PTs who provide prevention and wellness services, has been collected and will be used to establish a baseline measure for these activities. A future Practice Profile will measure PT participation in collaborative care models.
    • A report on models of care delivery will be expanded to include findings from a third-party health policy analysis requested by the Board, with a final version to be completed in time for review at the 2014 House of Delegates session in June.
    • With learning domains now in place, APTA will reorganize and enhance educational and supportive resources for PTs reentering the workforce.

    Professional excellence

    • The development of a website for Advanced Proficiency Pathways (APP) is under way, with a pilot program completed.
    • APTA is promoting several programs around professionalism and is refining its communication strategy to highlight the ways in which professionalism is modeled in the association's offerings. Additionally, staff is developing a tool for patients and clients to use to assess the professionalism of their physical therapy providers.
    • A Board task force has completed a gap analysis of documents that guide physical therapist assistant (PTA) curriculum planning and development as part of an effort to identify opportunities for enhancement of PTA education. Additional opportunities for enhancements may be discussed at the 2014 House of Delegates and 2014 Education Leadership Conference.

    Value and accountability

    • The development of a more appropriate payment system—another high-priority objective for the association—has advanced. In February, the physical therapy classification and payment system (PTCPS) was submitted at the American Medical Association's Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) Editorial Panel meeting. The CPT panel decided to postpone a decision on these codes pending pilot testing and further refinement.
    • APTA staff met with Recovery Audit Contractors (RACs) and other CMS representatives to suggest numerous changes to the Medicare audit process, including modifications that would make the alternative dispute resolution process more applicable to PTs.
    • Investigation into the effects of physician self-referral continues. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) is expected to publish a report on self-referral in physical therapy this spring, while work continues on a Foundation for Physical Therapy-commissioned study on self-referral in physical therapy.
    • Efforts to increase direct access to PTs at both the federal and state levels have included discussions with relevant congressional staff and the identification of 3 states—Florida, Louisiana, and Virginia—for potential legislation to remove restrictions on direct access.

    The 2014 Strategic Plan is both an extension of the 2013 plan that was based on APTA’s former Vision 2020, and a “bridge” to the new, more outward-facing vision that APTA adopted at the 2013 House of Delegates—“Transforming society by optimizing movement to improve the human experience.”

    The 2015 Strategic Plan will be based on the new vision.

    To see the full discussion on this and other topics from the April Board of Directors meeting, watch the archived livestream of all open sessions.

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