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  • APTA's Health Care Reform Resources Expanded

    New APTA resources available online are helping members understand health care reform and giving them a way to communicate their experiences in this changed—and changing—landscape.

    The association's efforts to keep physical therapists (PTs) and physical therapist assistants (PTAs) informed are centered at the Health Care Reform webpage, where members can access detailed information on the health insurance marketplaces, Medicaid expansion, new delivery models, payment changes, and program integrity efforts under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Resources touch on everything from collaborative care models to managing a Medicare claims audit under the new law.

    PTs and PTAs can also get a handle on how some of the components of health care reform affect physical therapy through APTA's Making Sense of Health Care Reform series. This set of articles highlights pressing issues including essential health benefits, "grace period" provisions, and the Small Business Health Options program. Each article provides background and explanation of the issue, implications and tips for practice, and links to more resources.

    In addition to background and context, members can let APTA know how reform is affecting them by way of the APTA Feedback Form, a quick and easy way to share complaints, problems, and questions with association staff—and, when appropriate, with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Feedback provided by PTs and PTAs will help to inform APTA's future advocacy efforts on these issues.

    APTA Monitoring CMS as Fee Schedule Deadline Approaches

    The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is nearing its November 27 deadline for issuing rules on the 2014 Physician Fee Schedule, and APTA will be posting information on the provisions in the final rule impacting physical therapy as soon as possible after release.

    In October, CMS announced that it would extend its deadline for release of the rules because of the 16-day government shutdown that began earlier that month. The rules will affect Medicare payment rates, payment policies for critical access hospitals, and procedures related to the Physician Quality Reporting System, among other areas.

    APTA staff remains in close contact with CMS and will share information on the basics of the new rules as they are made available. More detailed summaries will be available through APTA in the days after the initial announcement.

    December 2013 Board of Directors Meeting to Be Broadcast Online

    APTA's upcoming Board of Directors meeting will be broadcast online for APTA members, December 5-7.

    All open sessions of the meeting will be livestreamed, and the broadcast archive will remain available until the next Board livestream in February 2014.

    Topics on this meeting's agenda include the strategic plan, 2014 budget, models of physical therapist service delivery, clinical practice guidelines, and a report on the Foundation for Physical Therapy.

    A full agenda of all topics with approximate broadcast times is available to download from the livestream page: www.apta.org/Livestream.