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  • Humana Acknowledges Problems With MPPR Adoption

    Physical therapists (PTs) who contract with Humana have been finding out about the managed care company's shift to the multiple procedure payment reduction (MPPR) policy the hard way—by being notified that they have to reimburse the company for payments they've already received. Humana has informed APTA that it plans on moving away from its practice of retroactive "overpayment recovery" and is working to fix errors in how the policy has been applied and calculated, but the insurer warns that it may be some time before all changes are in place.

    Earlier this year, Humana began applying the MPPR policy on Medicare Advantage and commercial insurance plan payments for physical therapy, a change that resulted in reductions in payments to PTs. APTA wrote a letter (.pdf) to the company in early October outlining concerns over both the flawed MPPR policy and Humana's implementation of it. Among the concerns APTA voiced were issues around lack of provider notification, the burden placed on PTs through overpayment recovery, the inappropriate ways Humana applies MPPR on a per-visit basis, and inaccuracies in Humana's overpayment recovery calculations.

    In its response letter (.pdf) to APTA, Humana acknowledged that it intended for the policy to be applied only to fee-for-service arrangements and identified 5 per-visit claims that it had incorrectly processed. The company also admitted that errors were made in MPPR calculations for some claims, and reported that it is reviewing all calculations and completing any corrections by the end of the year.

    Humana described its overpayment recovery system as "not ideal" and wrote that "it takes time to make the necessary changes to apply this payment policy on initial claims processing." However, the company provided no timeline for when it would make the shift away from retroactive reductions.

    APTA remains concerned about the administrative burden on providers subjected to MPPR through overpayment recovery instead of on initial payment and will continue to discuss this issue with Humana representatives in the coming weeks. Your direct experiences and documentation can support this discussion: send an e-mail to advocacy@apta.org with your name, member ID, and contact information for staff follow-up.

    Vision Differences Between Eyes Prevalent in Older Adults, Can Increase Falls Risk

    Older adults are at significant risk of developing vision differences between their eyes that, if undetected, could increase the likelihood of falls.

    A new longitudinal study (abstract) in Optometry and Vision Science found that nearly 1 in 3 adults develop significant vision differences in each eye (called anisometropia) by their late 70s, an incidence rate that "needs to be clearly emphasized to clinicians" to ensure appropriate correction, according to the study's authors. If left uncorrected, the condition can interfere with depth perception and other visual skills necessary to prevent falls.

    APTA identifies visual impairments as a significant contributor to falls and recommends interventions that address multiple risk factors.

    Need more information on falls prevention? Get evidence-based practice information through PTNow and Open Door, and download APTA's education on exercise prescriptions for balance and falls prevention and pocket guide on falls risk reduction (.pdf). Share falls prevention information and experiences with APTA's online community dedicated to the issue.