for a special e-mail today from APTA that includes important information about
sequestration and other time-sensitive issues that have a significant impact on
physical therapists (PTs). Included in the e-mail is a new video featuring APTA
President Paul A. Rockar Jr, PT, DPT, MS, outlining 2013 policy implementation
dates that PTs need to know and how they can support APTA's advocacy efforts.
more information, go to APTA's recently updated 2013 Medicare Changes webpage,
which includes the video, a new graphic and Heard on the Hill podcast, and
other resources to help members comply with the latest policy
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently released a final rule reforming its
universal service support program for health care. Specifically, the rule transitions
FCC's existing Internet Access and Rural Health Care Pilot programs into a new
Healthcare Connect Fund. This fund will expand health care provider access to
broadband, especially in rural areas, and encourage the creation of state and
regional broadband health care networks.
the rule, FCC notes that "Whether it is used for transmitting electronic
health records, sending X-rays, MRIs, and CAT scans to specialists at a distant
hospital, or for video conferencing for telemedicine or training, access to
broadband for medical providers saves lives while lowering health care costs
and improving patient experiences." In particular, FCC acknowledges the
role of telemedicine in helping patients with stroke avoid lasting damage.
final rule also includes examples of how telehealth applications save health
care providers money. For example, a South Carolina provider consortium funded
by the Commission's Rural Health Care Pilot Program saved $18 million in
Medicaid costs through telepsychiatry provided at hospital emergency rooms.
Another pilot project in the Midwest saved $1.2 million in patient transport
costs after establishing an electronic intensive care unit program, known as
will post a summary of the rule in the near future to www.apta.org.
Four physical therapists (PTs) from the Michigan Chapter presented posters at the
Clinical Trial Awareness Day held at the state capitol on January 30. This
inaugural event, sponsored by state Rep Gail Haines (43rd District), chair of
the House Health Policy Committee, aimed to educate citizens about the clinical
trials taking place in Michigan and encourage lawmakers to create a
research-friendly environment. More than 20 research participants represented
the state's major universities and hospitals. The PTs spoke with many state
representatives and senators on the importance of medical research and how
physical therapy contributes to the advancement of patient care.
her opening remarks,
Hines noted that there are more than 3,400 clinical trials under way in
(Left to right) Cathy Larson, PT, PhD, University of Michigan Flint; Susan Talley,
PT, DPT, C/NDT, Wayne State University; Michael Shoemaker, PT, DPT, PhD, GCS,
Grand Valley State University; and Lucinda Pfalzer, PT, PhD, FAPTA, University
of Michigan Flint.
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