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  • Don't Stop Believin': Multistate Licensure Compact Set to Begin in 2018

    The possibility that physical therapists (PTs) and physical therapist assistants (PTAs) could one day gain practice privileges in multiple states without having to obtain multiple state licenses is now a reality. This week, Washington signed on to the Physical Therapy Licensure Compact (PTLC), bringing the number of participating states to 10, the magic number of states needed to officially establish the system. Next up, actual implementation and an ongoing press for more states to join.

    On April 25, Washington Gov Jan Inslee signed the bill that added Washington to Arizona, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, Tennessee, and Utah as states that have agreed to join a system that will allow PTs and PTAs to apply for privilege to practice in any of the participating states without having to be licensed in each state. It's a milestone for the physical therapy profession that opens the door for increased mobility.

    The PTLC is based on the establishment of a commission—a governing body comprising representatives from every state that participates in the compact—that oversees rules, applications, and the issuing of privileges to practice in other participating states. Once the system is up and running, PTs and PTAs will be able to select the additional participating states in which they'd like to practice and apply for privileges, all while maintaining licensure in only their "home" state (for a more in-depth look at the system, check out this 2016 PT in Motion magazine article).

    Compact arrangements exist in a few other professions, but it was the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT) that got the ball rolling for PTs and PTAs. APTA joined FSBPT in a collaborative effort to work out a system that would both protect the public and make sense for the profession. Once the architecture of the system was created, it was time to build the compact through work with individual state APTA chapters, state licensing boards, and the legislatures themselves.

    The hurdle? A minimum of 10 states were necessary to establish the commission and get the ball rolling. Last year, Oregon, Arizona, Tennessee and Missouri adopted PTLC legislation. This year, the addition of 6 more states brought that number to 10. And away we go.

    The waiting is the hardest part
    But hold on: Washington's adoption on PTLC doesn't mean PTs and PTAs can now start practicing in compact states, says Angela Shuman, APTA's director of state affairs.

    "Right now, it's important to understand that nothing has changed in terms of practicing across state lines for anybody, even after Washington," Shuman said. "To participate in the compact, PTs and PTAs will need to apply for privileges with the Physical Therapy Compact Commission, but that commission hasn't been established yet."

    Shuman explained that after the commission is established, with each participating state naming a member, it must create rules for how the system will operate, including establishing fees. At the same time, logistical and technological issues will need to be resolved. These elements probably won't be in place until the first half of 2018, according to Shuman.

    "Until then, it's business as usual," Shuman said. "If you want to work in another state, you have to apply for a license."

    You can't always get what you want
    Even after the commission is up and running, PTs and PTAs should be aware that the compact may not be for everyone.

    "There will be strict criteria for participation in the compact," Shuman said. Among the requirements:

    • The applicant can have no limitation from any state on a license to practice.
    • No adverse licensing board action can have been taken against the applicant for at least 2 years prior to the application.
    • The applicant must meet any jurisprudence requirements (typically an additional examination) that may be required by a compact state for which privileges are requested.
    • The participant must report any adverse regulatory board action from a nonparticipating state within 30 days of the action being taken.

    Don't stop thinkin' about tomorrow
    While the addition of Washington into the PTLC was a landmark event, it’s just the beginning. The ultimate goal of the PTLC is to gain participation from every state, making it possible for PTs and PTAs to gain practice privileges anywhere in US, all while holding only 1 license. According to Shuman, compact legislation is still pending in a few states this year, with the possibility of more states taking on the legislation in 2018.

    "Now that the compact can become operational, we're hoping this inspires even more APTA state chapters to advocate for compact legislation," Shuman said. "Staff at APTA national can help with this effort, and we now have a track record from 10 states to help guide us in the advocacy process." Shuman urges anyone interested in pursuing compact legislation to contact the APTA state affairs staff.

    Want to keep up with what's happening at the state level? Check out APTA's State Legislative Tracker, an interactive map that allows you to select a topic and track legislative status. To learn more about the issues and find out how you can help, visit the association's state advocacy webpage.

    2017 0424 - Compact Act Signing News
    Washington Governor Jay Inslee (seated) signs legislation that makes the state the 10th to join the Physical Therapy Licensure Compact. On hand for the signing were, from left: Rep. Nicole Macri, a sponsor of the bill; Melissa Johnson, lobbyist for the Physical Therapy Association of Washington (PTWA); Mark San Souci from the State Liaison Office of the US Department of Defense; Andy Wodka, PT, DPT, MBA; Emilie Jones, PT, DPT; Ross Baker, lobbyist for Virginia Mason Hospital; Heather Cavaness, PTWA staff member.

     

    WHO Makes the Case for Rehabilitation as a Worldwide Health Priority

    Citing what it calls "a substantial and ever-increasing unmet need," the World Health Organization (WHO) has issued a report that presses for accessible and affordable rehabilitation as a high-priority global health goal.

    The "call for action" issued by WHO is the result of a February 2017 meeting of 208 rehabilitation stakeholders from 46 countries—a combination of rehabilitation services users, health policy specialists, funders, researchers, educators, and clinical practice experts that included APTA members Sue Eitel, PT, and Mike Landry, PT, PhD, who also is a member of the editorial board of Physical Therapy. Also in attendance was Emma Stokes, president of the World Confederation for Physical Therapy.

    "With the rising prevalence of noncommunicable diseases and injuries and the aging population, there is a substantial and ever-increasing unmet need for rehabilitation," the report states. "In many parts of the world, however, the capacity to provide rehabilitation is limited or nonexistent and fails to adequately address the needs of the population."

    The report asserts that fixing this problem speaks directly to achieving 1 of WHO's sustainable development goals to "ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages."

    The report concedes that change won't be easy and lays out 10 areas for action that are built on a set of shared acknowledgements. Among them are the ideas that "rehabilitation is an essential part of the continuum of care" and that "rehabilitation is an investment in human capital that contributes to health, economic, and social development."

    The action areas themselves call for better rehabilitation planning, including within emergency preparedness and response, better integration of rehabilitation into the health sector, the establishment of "comprehensive rehabilitation service delivery models to progressively achieve equitable access," and building research capacity and making evidence for rehabilitation more accessible.

    "The issue of rehabilitation is today 1 of the main strategic aims for [WHO]," Oleg Chestnov, assistant director-general for WHO, told meeting attendees. "The [WHO] sustainable development goals cannot be achieved unless we address it."

    APTA remains a strong advocate for effective rehabilitation policy and achieved a victory in 2016, when the National Institutes of Health adopted a new 5-year roadmap for rehabilitation research.

    Foundation Announces 2017 Scholarship, Grant Opportunities

    The Foundation for Physical Therapy (Foundation) now is accepting applications for the 2017 Florence P. Kendall Doctoral Scholarships and the 2017 Research Grants. The grant opportunities include 2 new offerings: one that focuses on the development of new interventions and another, made possible by APTA, that targets research addressing cost-effectiveness and patient safety.

    The Kendall Post-Professional Doctoral Scholarships assist physical therapists and physical therapist assistants with outstanding potential who are in their first year of postprofessional doctoral degree studies. The $5,000 awards are given to meet tuition expenses or academic fees associated with a doctoral program. Application deadline is August 3, 2017, at noon ET.

    Grant opportunities include:

    • Magistro Family Foundation Research Grant: $80,000 for a research project investigating physical therapist interventions. A letter of intent is required; applicants will be invited to submit full applications based on content. Letter of intent is due June 1, 2017, at noon ET; full application is due August 3, 2017, at noon.
    • Foundation Research Grant: $40,000 for an investigator-initiated research project by an emerging investigator. Full application due August 3, 2017, at noon ET.
    • Snyder Research Grant (new for 2017): $40,000 available for clinical research projects that investigate services delivered by physical therapists, and the development of new interventions that offer reasonable assurance that they will be clinically relevant and therapeutically effective. Full application is due August 3, 2017, at noon ET.
    • Health Services Research Grant (new for 2017): a single $50,000 grant awarded to support research that examines how patients obtain physical therapy-related health care, how much that care costs, and outcomes, with an emphasis on the most-effective ways to organize, manage, finance, and deliver high-quality physical therapy-related care while potentially reducing medical errors and improving safety for patients. Full application is due August 3, 2017, at noon ET.

    Questions? Email the Foundation, or call 800/875-1378.

    Note: Eligibility guidelines for several of the grants have changed from previous years (and in some instances, expanded), so please review the criteria. Before starting your funding application, be sure to carefully read all instructions and funding mechanism deadlines. Also, it's a good idea to start the submission process early to allow for potential questions to be answered.

    CMS Clears Up Error in Description of Which CPT Code Combinations Won't Receive Full Payment

    Apparently, physical therapists (PTs), occupational therapists (OTs), and the outpatient facilities they work for aren't the only ones adjusting to the new Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) tiered coding set: recently, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) informed APTA that it's revising its National Correct Coding Initiatives “procedure to procedure” edits, a long list of CPT code pairs that should not be reported together. That list of problematic paired codes included PT and OT evaluation and reevaluation codes.

    It's a complicated situation, but the bottom line is, CMS is making changes that should allow for full payment of PT and OT evaluation and reevaluations code combinations that previously resulted in erroneous payment denials or partial payment when the new code set was first adopted in January. Ironically enough, it appears the change is an attempt by CMS to correct an error in its National Correct Coding Initiative. Here's a breakdown:

    Who does this affect?
    The change affects PTs, OTs, and institutions in the outpatient arena.

    What was the problem?
    The issue involves something called the National Correct Coding Initiative Procedure to Procedure code pair edits—an automated system that prevents improper payment when certain codes are submitted together for Part B-covered services. The problem was that this list of code sets included combinations frequently used when PTs and OTs conduct evaluations or reevaluations on the same beneficiary on the same day, a not-unusual occurrence in some outpatient facilities. When the facility or provider would attempt to seek payment using a PT/OT evaluation or reevaluation code combination, Medicare would deny the claim.

    What are the code combinations in question?
    The PT and OT CPT codes that were included in the list of "improper" combinations were 97161/97165, 97162/97166, 97163/97167, and 97164/97168.

    Has CMS fixed it?
    Mostly. APTA alerted CMS to the problem earlier in the year, and CMS issued a letter to Medicare administrative contractors to use a workaround that would allow for full payment to institutions that used the PT/OT code combinations. The workaround was a result of CMS agreeing with APTA's recommendation that the code modifier be changed from "0" to "1" for the combinations in question, a shift that tells Medicare to pay out on both codes.

    What still isn't fixed is the edit table itself —that list of code combinations CMS says should not be reported together except when clinical circumstances justify it. The new version, no longer containing the PT/OT evaluation and reevaluation code combinations, is scheduled to be released July 1.

    Do PTs need to do anything differently?
    No. The workaround and changed modifier is allowing for proper payment at present. Once the new version of the coding edit document is released, the glitch should be completely cleaned up. Providers with questions can contact APTA advocacy staff.

    Coming to NEXT? Keep up with all things CMS by attending "Emerging Issues in Medicare and Health Care Reform" on June 23. And coming April 26, don't miss Insider Intel, APTA's phone-in session that connects you with staff experts for the latest in payment.

    Move Forward Radio: Physician for Redskins, Nationals Says Teamwork On and Off the Field Is Key

    Robin West, MD, is an orthopedic and sports medicine surgeon who has "always believed in" collaborative care—both as a physician and as a patient.

    In addition to her role as medical director of the Sports Medicine Institute at Inova, a large health system based in the Washington, DC, area, West is head team physician for the Washington Redskins and lead physician for the Washington Nationals. Recently, West was a guest on Move Forward Radio, APTA's consumer-oriented podcast series from MoveForwardPT.com.

    As head physician for 2 professional sports teams, West leads the medical teams on the sidelines and in the clubhouse. The 29 game-day health care providers for the Washington Redskins include physicians, physical therapists, and athletic trainers, to name a few.

    In the interview, West describes her own experience as a patient recovering from a bicycle accident in which she was unconscious for more than 6 minutes and sustained a 4-part humeral fracture. "I had a lot of injuries," West told Move Forward Radio. "I connected with [my whole health care team] at some point…. It takes a village, really, to reach this maximum in performance. I've not only witnessed it, but I've always believed in it."

    West acknowledged that typical hospital patients don't have the same quick return-to-play treatment or rehabilitation as the professional athletes she works with, due to time or financial constraints. But regardless of setting, she observes, "[Patients] are the consumers, and we have to serve them and serve them well." West advises patients to be strong self-advocates in their health care. "They really have to fight for their care and make sure they are educated about their options," she said, whether that means getting a second opinion, asking about alternative treatment strategies, or reading up on their conditions online.

    In the podcast, West cautions patients to avoid a "quick-fix" mentality when it comes to their health care. Surgery is "not always the right answer" and "has substantial risks." With surgery, she notes, "We're trying to restore your function, we're not trying to improve your function." Physical therapy, especially early on, is what "improves that function," West says.

    While surgical outcomes have improved a lot over the years, observes West, "I think surgery hasn't really changed—it's the rehabilitation techniques. It's a combination, a team approach, that's improved the outcomes."

    APTA members are encouraged to alert their patients and clients to the radio series and other MoveForwardPT.com resources to help educate the public about the benefits of treatment by a physical therapist. Ideas for future episodes and other feedback can be emailed to consumer@apta.org .

    The Good Stuff: Members and the Profession in Local News, April 2017

    "The Good Stuff," is an occasional series that highlights recent, mostly local media coverage of physical therapy and APTA members, with an emphasis on good news and stories of how individual PTs and PTAs are transforming health care and society every day. Enjoy!

    PTs and RA: Kimberly Steinbarger, PT, on how physical therapy can help combat rheumatoid arthritis (US News and World Report)

    "Why post-injury physical therapy is never optional:" Eric Dube, PT, DPT, a US Ski Team PT, on the importance of careful therapy no matter the severity of injury (Summit County, Colorado, Daily)

    What Trump's budget proposal would do to science: Amy Arundale PT, DPT, and Stuart Binder-Macleod, PT, PhD, on the potential effects to research in the Delaware-Maryland-Virginia region (Delaware Online)

    Blood flow restriction, unrestricted: Bill Koch PT, DPT, on the prevalence of blood flow restriction therapy, and what the approach can do (KSTP5, St. Paul, Minnesota)

    PT students help their community: California State University-Northbridge PT students participated in a community program to help individuals with limb loss find new independence (CSUN Today)

    Let me ask you equestrian: Kristine Corn, PT, DPT, on integrating horseback riding into her physical therapy practice (Comstock's magazine)

    Physical therapy meets talk radio: Ian Hover PT, MTC, and Bob Oakeson PT, covered a range of topics related to physical therapy on "Successful Aging," a local radio talk show (Glendale, Arizona, Star)

    Getting back to exercise—safely: John Gallucci, PT, DPT, on avoiding injury when returning to physical activity (WPIX 11, New York)

    A clinic goes to the dogs: Jeremy Trevis, PT, DPT, on the use of therapy dogs during physical therapy sessions (Fox21 News, Duluth, Minnesota)

    Inspired to pursue physical therapy: Zach Dochnahl, PT student, on how his military service in Afghanistan inspired him to pursue a career as a PT (Veterans of Foreign Wars "Sport Clips Help a Hero" feature story)

    Pelvic floor weakness: Ruth Maher, PT, DPT, PhD, on pelvic floor physical therapy (Cork, Ireland, Irish Examiner)

    Rockin' the 'stache: Steve Schwegel, PT, on the "Mustache March 4PD" event he founded to support local police (Alton, Illinois, Riverbender)

    No slouch when it comes to posture advice: Karena Wu, PT, on the effectiveness of posture apps and devices (Fox2, St. Louis, Missouri)

    The mane point is mobility: Carrie Smith, PT, on her use of horses in physical therapy (Dubois County, Indiana, Herald)

    Mansplaining-free zone: Lauren Alpert-Zeunik PT, DPT, on the ways in which women working in sports are underestimated (Northeastern Illinois University Independent)

    Helping in Guatemala: Temple University PT students will participate in the annual Hearts in Motion trip (The Temple News)

    Dry needling: Joe Donnelly PT, DPT, and Elaine Jones, PT, on the hows and whys of dry needling and the importance of putting the patient first (WABE FM, Atlanta)

    Spring fitness advice: Robert Gillanders, PT, DPT, on making changes to exercise routines (Tampa Bay Times)

    This painkiller is no better than placebo for sciatica: lead researcher Chris Maher, PT, DPT, on a study that calls the use of pregabalin (commonly known as Lyrica) into question (The Washington Post)

    "Sure enough [my PT] started working, she hit on this spot on my back and I could feel the muscle in my head [that was the source of chronic headaches]" – John Moore, a patient who sought physical therapy instead of pain medications for treatment of pain (Nashville Tennessean)

    Got some good stuff? Let us know. Send a link to troyelliott@apta.org.

    New Members-Only Financial Resources Aimed at Student Debt

    The student loan debt burden faced by many physical therapists (PTs) and physical therapist assistants (PTAs) can feel overwhelming. APTA is providing new resources that may help members take more control over their financial futures.

    Now available at APTA.org: the APTA Financial Solutions Center, an online resource that offers members opportunities to help deepen their financial knowledge and potentially refinance student debt at a discounted interest rate. The center features 2 new offerings created in partnership with outside providers:

    The APTA Financial Education Program, powered by Enrich
    This customizable online financial education platform uses videos, articles, webinars, quizzes, online communities, live chats, and more to create a personalized experience in financial and debt education. Best of all, it's free.

    The APTA Student Loan Refinancing Program, provided by Darien Rowayton Bank (DRB)
    This loan refinancing solution offers eligible APTA members a 0.25% discount off the competitive interest rate, with an additional 0.25% discount available on electronic funds transfers.

    In addition to the Enrich and DRB offerings, the solutions center also offers links to APTA's "Red Hot Jobs" career center as well as to webpages that provide information on scholarship opportunities and discounts associated with APTA membership, with more resources to come. The new services are in response to a 2016 APTA House of Delegates charge to help address the financial burdens often associated with becoming a PT or PTA.

    "The resources now available expand the benefits of membership and are an excellent start in addressing a complex issue, but there's more to be done," said Justin Moore, PT, DPT, chief executive officer of APTA. "PTs and PTAs work hard to achieve their degrees, and they deserve to enter into our profession without feeling overwhelmed by debt. We're continuing to look at ways to engage education programs, students, and others to help make this possible."

    Inpatient Payment Proposed Rule Calls for $3 Billion Increase to Acute Care Hospitals, Reductions for Long-Term Care Hospitals

    In brief:

    • Acute care hospitals are slated for 2.9% payment increases (approximately $3 billion) in 2018
    • Long-term care hospitals (LTCHs) could see a 3.75% reduction
    • EHR-related incentive programs would ease some quality-reporting requirements
    • Rule would institute a 1-year moratorium on 25% threshold policy for LTCHs
    • Patient satisfaction survey questions on pain would return in reworded form

    Acute care hospitals (ACHs) could receive a 2.9% increase in payment rates next year and see a relaxation in some reporting requirements related to electronic health records (EHRs) if a proposed rule from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is rolled out as-is. The losers in the equation? Long-term care hospitals (LTCHs), which could face a 3.75% payment cut under the proposal.

    The inpatient prospective payment system (IPPS) proposed rule released last week (CMS fact sheet here) covers a range of areas related to how ACHs and LTCHs would operate in relation to Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries. Here are a few highlights of the proposed rule:

    • The proposed 2.9% ACH payment increase amounts to a $3 billion increase. Last year the increase was 0.95%.
    • CMS plans to back off on quality-measure reporting requirements for hospitals involved in Medicare and Medicaid EHR incentive programs. Under the proposed rule, CMS would decrease both the number of times participating hospitals need to report, as well as the number of quality measures they include in the reports.
    • In addition to the 3.75% payment reduction, LTCHs would also receive a 1-year moratorium on a policy that applies to LTCHs that admit more than 25% of their patients from a single acute care hospital. Under the current policy, payments for all patients over that 25% threshold are made at a rate comparable to an ACH. The proposed rule would suspend that threshold for a year.
    • After suspending consumer survey questions on pain management that some stakeholders felt may have been working at cross-purposes to efforts to fight the opioid epidemic, CMS is proposing reinstating reworded questions to focus on the hospital's communications with patients about their pain during their stay.
    • The proposed rule also calls for comments on whether CMS should account for social risk factors in a range of programs that touch on readmissions, value-based purchasing, hospital-acquired conditions, and quality reporting.

    APTA will prepare comments on the proposed rule in time for the June 13 submission deadline.

    JAMA: Spinal Manipulation Can Improve Acute LBP

    In brief:

    • Systematic review and meta-analysis studied 26 randomized clinical trials (1,711 individuals) involving the use of spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) for acute low back pain experienced for up to 6 weeks
    • Researchers found moderate but statistically significant decreases in pain and increases in function within 6 weeks after the intervention among individuals treated with SMT
    • Pain decrease was roughly equivalent to pain reduction associated with use of NSAIDs
    • Function improvement was more variable—1- to 2.5-point improvement on a 24-point scale
    • Lack of detail on SMT interventions used in the study, high heterogeneity of results, lack of large numbers of SMT studies make it difficult to identify what aspect of SMT is most strongly associated with improvements

    In a systematic review of 26 randomized clinical trials involving 1,711 individuals with acute low back pain (LBP), researchers have concluded that spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) produces moderate decreases in pain and increases in function for this group. Authors note that variability in individual study results—and the relatively small volume of SMT research available—make it difficult to pinpoint exactly what it is about SMT that makes it useful for the condition; still, the findings represent a positive endorsement of an intervention used by many physical therapists (PTs).

    The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (abstract only available for free), reviewed studies of the use of SMT on adults with acute LBP lasting for 6 weeks or fewer, and that reported outcomes within 6 weeks of treatment. The SMT approaches varied between thrust and nonthrust techniques, and those that were used alone or in conjunction with a package of therapies. The interventions were administered by a range of clinicians, with 13 studies involving PTs, 7 studies involving chiropractors, 5 studies involving medical doctors, and 3 studies involving osteopathic physicians. Of the 26 studies, 4 compared SMT with a sham manipulative intervention.

    Researchers found that studies pointed to what they termed a "modest" yet statistically significant drop in pain among participants who received SMT—about a 10-point drop on a 100-point pain scale, a decrease they described as roughly equivalent to improvements associated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). When it came to function, authors concluded that SMT resulted in an improvement of between 1 and 2.5 points on the 24-point scale used in the Roland-Morris Low Back Pain and Disability Questionnaire (RMDQ).

    Authors noted several limitations to their review. First, of the studies included, more provided low-quality evidence that high-quality evidence (though better results for SMT were associated with the high-quality studies). Second, the studies tended to be foggy on the details of the SMT intervention, making it impossible to make precise conclusions related to application in practice. Third, researchers noted a high degree of heterogeneity in the results that couldn't be explained—partly because there haven't been enough studies like the ones reviewed. And fourth, no real consensus has been reached on what constitutes a minimum clinically important difference when it comes to outcome measures.

    Nevertheless, says Bill Boissonnault, PT, DHSc, FAPTA, executive vice president of professional affairs at APTA, the study adds important support for clinicians who use SMT in their practices.

    "The fact that the review had difficulty isolating 1 aspect of SMT that was most strongly tied to positive outcomes is consistent with something PTs have known about SMT for a long time," Boissonnault said. "SMT is an intervention whose benefits may arise from several areas—the actual manipulation, of course, but also the therapeutic elements of 'hands-on' work and the ways SMT is related to sense of trust between the patient and the PT."

    Boissonnault thinks that the study has an added upside. "The facts that so many studies involved physical therapists providing the SMT care, and that PTs authored several of the cited studies illustrate the important role PTs have had related to the evolution of SMT as an intervention," he said.

    In an editorial accompanying the study, author Richard Deyo, MD, MPH, describes the findings as "generally consistent" with recent clinical guidelines from the American College of Physicians, which shifted its recommendations to nonpharmacologic approaches as first-line treatment for acute, subacute, and chronic LBP.

    "The guidelines concluded that most patients with acute [LBP] improve with time, regardless of treatment," Deyo writes. "Thus, therapy is often directed simply at symptom relief while natural healing occurs. None of the trials in the study … suggested that SMT was less effective than conventional care."

    Research-related stories featured in PT in Motion News are intended to highlight a topic of interest only and do not constitute an endorsement by APTA. For synthesized research and evidence-based practice information, visit the association's PTNow website.

    #ChoosePT Video Wins National Award

    APTA's #ChoosePT opioid awareness campaign has been a well-received effort to promote physical therapy as a safe alternative to prescription opioids for pain management. And now it's a national award winner.

    This week, the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) announced that the association's public service announcement (PSA) video for #ChoosePT was selected as winner of an ASAE Gold Circle award for best video of the year. Released in September 2016, the video has aired in 27 states, receiving a combined $1.5 million in donated television airtime.

    The video depicts a young mother's struggle with opioids prescribed to her for pain and her journey back to health through physical therapy, featuring the message, "Don't mask the pain with opioids. Treat it with physical therapy." The 30- and 60-second PSAs are part of the ongoing #ChoosePT initiative that has included radio spots, billboards, and ads in venues ranging from the Huffington Post to souvenir programs for the American League and National League Championship Series and World Series. The #ChoosePT effort also features a campaign toolkit for member involvement at MoveForwardPT.com.

    The ASAE Gold Circle awards recognize "excellence, innovation, and achievement in association/nonprofit marketing, membership and communication."

    “Opioids are at the center of an ongoing national public health crisis,” said Justin Moore, PT, DPT, CEO of APTA. “We are extremely proud that APTA’s efforts to raise awareness about this issue have been recognized with this award. The #ChoosePT campaign is perfectly aligned with our vision of transforming society by optimizing movement to improve the human experience.”

    Want to support the #ChoosePT campaign? Access the campaign toolkit  or contact APTA public relations staff  to find out how you can get involved.