members of Congress reintroduced identical bills in the House and Senate that
would permanently repeal the cap on outpatient physical therapy services. Sens
Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Susan Collins (R-ME) introduced the Senate's measure. The
House legislation is sponsored by Reps Jim Gerlach (R-PA) and Xavier Becerra
discussion on permanent reform of the sustainable growth rate (SGR) ramping up,
Congress also must address long-term repeal of the therapy cap, an arbitrary
limit on services that often are medically necessary for patients. Both flawed
policies were created in 1997 as part of the Balanced Budget Act and should be
repealed this year. Given the opportunity to act on both SGR and the therapy
cap, this should be the last time cap repeal legislation should need to be
introduced, says APTA.
to physical therapist services has long enjoyed broad bipartisan support, with
approximately 200 members of Congress supporting therapy cap repeal legislation
every congressional session.
Congress does not act on legislation by December 31, the 2-tier exceptions
process that was extended through 2013 by the American Taxpayer Relief Act of
2012 (HR 8), will expire.
comments from the bills' sponsors in APTA's press release.
APTA's Section on Research hosted a fly-in February 12-13 in
Washington, DC, to advocate on behalf of rehabilitation research and to push
for a delay in potential sequestration cuts to programs within the National
Institutes of Health (NIH).
Eleven researchers from 9 states spent the day meeting with staff
of the Senate and House appropriations committees and their individual members
of Congress to discuss the value and impact of innovative multidisciplinary
research to the overall US economy and its ability to remain globally
competitive in the future. The researchers strongly urged Congress to continue
funding agencies that support rehabilitation research within NIH, in light of
5%-7% sequestration cuts set to take effect on March 1.
In addition, the researchers informed members and their staff
about the key findings of the Blue Ribbon Panel Report on Medical Rehabilitation. The researchers received positive feedback from
Appropriations Committee members on the panel's recommendation to enhance the
role and exposure of the National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research
(NCMRR) within NIH.
Rep Rodney Alexander (R-LA), far left, with members of APTA's
Section on Research. Alexander spoke at a breakfast held for the fly-in participants.
"It was an honor and a
privilege," Mike Klonowski, PT, DPT, PCS, said Wednesday morning
reflecting on his attendance at the State of the Union (SOTU) address Tuesday
Klonowski attended the SOTU address
as an invited guest of Sen Mark Kirk (R-IL). He was the senator's primary
physical therapist at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago following a
stroke in January 2012 that paralyzed the left side of Kirk's body.
Being among so many of the nation's
leaders—those on the floor of the House of Representatives and in the House
gallery—was a "unique experience," Klonowski said.
Certain parts of the address were
well received by all attendees. In particular, the audience came together to
cheer the president's call for advancements in education, particularly in
science and math. "We have seen how clinical research can improve care and
patient outcomes on RIC’s new recovery unit and AbilityLab, where Sen Kirk was
treated. Embracing science and innovation is how we lead the world into
the future," said Klonowski.
Before the address, Klonowski
visited with Kirk in his office. "He's not shying away from his stroke
recovery," said Klonowski, noting the odds the senator has overcome and
how his spirit and drive have allowed him to return to a high level of
function. "He's more and more like himself."
"All the hard work Mark did in
rehab is paying off," Klonowski said. "He returned to work better
prepared [to take on his role in the Senate]."
Long-stay home care clients who receive rehabilitation have improved
outcomes and lower utilization of costly health services, say authors of an article published
online in Archives of Physical Medicine
and Rehabilitation. The findings suggest that investment in physical
therapy and occupational therapy services for relatively short periods may
provide savings to the health care system over the longer term, they add.
This observational study conducted
in home care programs in Ontario, Canada, included 99,764 home care clients
with musculoskeletal disorders who received a baseline screening using the
Resident AssessmentInstrument for Home Care, 1 follow-up
assessment, and had discharge or death records between 2003 and 2008.
The effects of physical therapy and
occupational therapy services on transitions in function state, discharge from
home care with service plans complete, institutionalization, and death were
assessed using multistate Markov models.
Home care clients with deficiencies
in instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) and/or activities of daily
living at baseline and who received home-based rehabilitation had significantly
increased odds of showing functional improvements by their next assessment (for
a state 3 → 2 transition OR = 1.17; for a state 2 → 1 transition OR = 1.36).
Receipt of physical therapy or occupational therapy also significantly reduced
the odds of mortality and institutionalization in this group.
With increasing numbers of older
adults with chronic conditions and limited funding for health care services, it
is essential to provide the right services at the right time in a
cost-effective manner, the authors add.
APTA member Donald Jackson, PT, was elected the 16th president of Hastings College on February 4. Located in Hastings, Nebraska, the college was founded in 1882
and has been named a "best" college by numerous publications.
Jackson joined the college administration in the
fall of 2012 after serving more than 21 years as the chief operating officer of
Easter Seals. Previously, he founded and directed the expansion of
Rehabilitation Systems Inc, a multistate health care company focused on
physical therapy services. In addition to having served as vice chair of the
Hastings College Board of Trustees, he served as vice chair of the Hastings
College Foundation Board of Directors.
Jackson is a 1970 Hastings
graduate. He holds a master of
science degree in rehabilitation services administration from DePaul University
and a certificate in physical therapy from Northwestern University.
APTA believes that Jackson is the first
physical therapist to be elected president of a college or university in a
comments on his new position, and a Q&A with reporters, in this video press conference.
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