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  • CMS Releases Summary of Manual Changes Based on Jimmo v Sibelius Agreement

    The US Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services' Medicare Learning Network (MLN) has released a summary of updates (.pdf) made to the Medicare Benefit Policy Manual as a result of the settlement agreement reached in Jimmo v Sebelius.

    The settlement agreement, reached in January 2013, reinforced Medicare's policy that when skilled services are required to maintain the patient’s current condition or to prevent or slow further deterioration, coverage cannot be denied because of the lack of potential for improvement.

    World Congress Seeks PT Presenters, Instructors

    Physical therapists (PTs) interested in participating as presenters at the next World Confederation of Physical Therapy (WCPT) Congress (Congress) in Singapore will need to pay close attention to their calendars over the coming weeks: WCPT has set February 14 as the deadline for submission of proposals to conduct a pre- or post-Congress course and has announced that it will open its call for presentation abstracts on March 17. The event will be held May 1-4, 2015.

    Congress courses are organized by recognized experts, and focus on applied knowledge and skills. According to the announcement from WCPT, the selection committee "is particularly interested in seeing proposals that are evidence based, address significant contemporary issues and innovations in physical therapy, and include perspectives from low-income countries." Submission information is available at the WCPT website.

    Abstract presentations during the Congress will range from standard 8- and 10-minute platform sessions to poster presentations and a new "rapid 5" format that limits presenters to 5 slides in 5 minutes. Information on the proposal process is available from WCPT. Deadline for submission is October 31, 2014.

    Also set for February: the release of details on the focused symposia to be featured at the Congress. The 90-minute sessions are intended to draw together researchers and practice experts to "explore the implications of the latest research and thinking as well as debate controversies," according WCPT.

    Sitting Connected With Heart Failure in Men

    The flurry of news and magazine articles last year proclaiming that "sitting is the new smoking" may have been a bit hyperbolic, but apparently there's at least 1 thing a sedentary lifestyle has in common with tobacco use: increased risk of heart failure in men, even with low to moderate exercise.

    The conclusion is drawn from an article (abstract only available for free) recently published in Circulation, the journal of the American Heart Association, and has received wide attention in newspapers and other media. The study focused on lifestyles of 84,170 men aged 45 to 69 and the incidence of heart failure (HF) over time. Researchers found that while high rates of physical activity did reduce risk of HF, low to moderate exercise had less of an impact on HF rates among men who also spent relatively long periods of time sitting.

    The men in the study were divided according to a formula that assessed energy use relative to self-reported physical activity over 3 months, and sorted according to their estimations of daily time spent "watching television, sitting at a computer, or reading" outside of work. The sedentary rates were categorized as low (less than 2 hours a day), medium (3-4 hours a day), and high (more than 5 hours a day). Researchers also recorded other demographic and behavioral data, including ethnicity, alcohol consumption, education, income, and various health conditions at baseline.

    Overall, researchers found that men who spend 5 or more hours a day sitting were 34% more likely to develop HF than men who sit less than 2 hours a day outside work. Additionally, the increased risk linked to sitting was not eliminated by low to medium levels of physical activity. "Our results strengthen the developing position that too much sitting is detrimental to cardiovascular health, independent of regular physical activity," authors wrote.

    You can share information with your patients and clients on the negative impacts too much sedentary time by connecting them to the APTA MoveForward webpage on sitting.