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  • Video Dispatches Provide Highlights of CSM 2013

    Couldn't make it to the Combined Sections Meeting (CSM)? Get a sense of being there by watching APTA's collection of short video dispatches from San Diego.

    Included in the series are reports on APTA's "Beyond Vision 2020" open forum, PT-PAC's 40th anniversary celebration, the Foundation for Physical Therapy's Log 'N Blog campaign, the "Going Beyond Borders" session on international collaboration, the Student Caucus on physician-owned physical therapy services, and more.

    It's impossible to capture everything that occurs at CSM, with 4 days of educational programming and countless networking events, but this series provides a glimpse of the wide range of opportunities.

    Study Finds High Utilization of Services for Joint, Back Pain Among All Ages

    Osteoarthritis/joint disorders and back pain rank among the most common conditions for visits to health care providers, according to a new Mayo Clinic Proceedings study.

    The Mayo team used the Rochester Epidemiology Project, a unique, comprehensive medical records linkage system, to track more than 140,000 Olmsted County, Minnesota, residents who visited Mayo Clinic, Olmsted Medical Center, and other Olmsted County health care providers between January 1, 2005, and December 31, 2009. Researchers then systematically categorized patient diagnoses into disease groups. The top disease groups include:

    • skin disorders
    • osteoarthritis/joint disorders
    • back problems
    • cholesterol problems
    • upper respiratory conditions (not including asthma)
    • anxiety, depression and bipolar disorder
    • chronic neurologic disorders
    • high blood pressure
    • headaches/migraine
    • diabetes

    "Surprisingly, the most prevalent nonacute conditions in our community were not chronic conditions related to aging, such as diabetes and heart disease, but rather conditions that affect both genders and all age groups," says Jennifer St Sauver, PhD, primary author of the study.

    The authors say their finding of skin and back problems as major drivers of health care utilization affirms the importance of moving beyond the commonly recognized health care priorities such as diabetes, heart disease, or cancer. "Our findings highlight opportunities to improve health care and decrease costs related to common nonacute conditions as we move forward through the changing health care landscape," they write. 

    New Websites Aim to Educate Stakeholders, Consumers About Insurance Marketplace

    The Department of Health and Human Services recently launched 2 websites to educate stakeholders and consumers about the health insurance exchanges, which now are referred to as the Health Insurance Marketplace (Marketplace).

    The stakeholder website offers users a resources toolkit, talking points, an overview of consumer research, and survey results about low-income parents' experiences with their children's health insurance coverage and awareness of and attitudes toward Medicaid and CHIP programs. The consumer website offers basic information on the Marketplace, such as who is eligible, and links to websites that describe each state’s Marketplace efforts thus far. The consumer page will have more information about the states' health plans in October.