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  • 2014 Slate of Candidates Posted

    The 2014 Slate of Candidates for APTA national office is now available on the APTA website. It also may be found in the House of Delegates Community documents under "Nominations, Candidacy, and Elections." The candidate webpage, including candidate statements, will be posted on January 31, 2014. Elections for national office will be held at the 2014 House of Delegates on June 9, 2014. Please contact Amber Neil in APTA's Governance and Leadership Department for additional information.

    Marketing Tips Emphasize Diverse, Thoughtful Approach

    When it comes to marketing your physical therapist practice, don't get so caught up in all the new delivery methods that you forget the basics of knowing your audience, understanding yourself, and figuring out how you'll know when you've succeeded. That's 1 of the guiding principles of a special feature on "Marketing and Public Relations for the Physical Therapist" in the latest issue of PT In Motion, APTA's member magazine.

    In the article, APTA Director of Marketing and Creative Services Chanté Sedwick and Senior Public Relations Specialist Jennifer Rondon provide both big-picture considerations and practical tips on how to approach the sometimes-dizzying array of marketing options available. According to the authors, no single approach should be ruled out: social media is hot right now, but seemingly old-fashioned direct mail campaigns are still at least scanned by 78% of recipients.

    Sedwick and Rondon warn against rushing into any marketing or public relations effort without first taking the time to assess who the physical therapist (PT) wants to reach and the specific values that differentiate the PT from other providers—and, possibly, other physical therapist practices. While possibly not as exciting as diving into a Facebook-fueled ad campaign, developing a few basic operating assumptions can save time and money, and generate results. The authors offer several tips on how to get started on the process and move on to an overview of delivery methods.

    PT in Motion is a monthly magazine focused on hot issues in physical therapy and health care. The magazine is free to APTA members, and available in both hardcopy and online formats.

    Additional practical information on marketing your physical therapist practice and yourself can be found in APTA’s Business Skills in Physical Therapy: Strategic Marketing, 2nd Ed , a home-study course by Peter Kovacek, PT, DPT, MSA.

    CMS To Host Conference Call on 'Improved Standard' Agreement

    Physical therapists (PTs) can get the latest information on how the Jimmo v. Sibelius settlement agreement reached in US District Court will affect the services they provide under Medicare by joining in on a December 19 Medicare Learning Network conference call. Registration is open now, but spaces are likely to fill up quickly.

    The agreement reached in January reinforces Medicare's policy that when skilled services are required to provide care to slow or prevent further deterioration, coverage cannot be denied because of the lack of potential for improvement. The agreement has particular relevance to home health agencies, skilled nursing facilities, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, and outpatient physical therapy providers.

    The call will be held from 2:00 pm-3:00 pm, ET. Participation is limited, and continuing education credits may be available. To register, visit the MLN Connects Upcoming Calls webpage.

    No Rules Of The Road for Getting Behind the Wheel After Injury, Says NYT

    When is it safe to drive after an extremity injury? According to a recent article in the New York Times, even when the question is limited to a specific injury such as a broken wrist or sprained ankle, the considered answer from research boils down to a firm "it depends."

    NYT reporter Jan Hoffman looked at recent studies of postoperative driving and interviewed several orthopedic surgeons to find out what firm guidelines existed relative to getting back on the road after an injury or surgery. While there were some constants—no driving with a brace on the right leg, no driving if the wrist or elbow is immobilized, for example—there were few hard-and-fast rules, and many complicating factors.

    Some of these complicating factors include the kind of car being driven, individual driving habits, and lack of sleep due to pain. Additionally, Hoffman reported that surgeons are sensitive to the potential variations in recovery and often hesitate to make a specific recommendation for fear of legal repercussions should the patient get into an auto accident or aggravate the original injury by driving.

    Editor's note: be sure to check out the comments on the article posted by readers, many of whom describe their own experiences with recovery after injury/surgery.