• News New Blog Banner

  • Innovation 2.0 Projects Selected For May Workshop

    A total of 21 projects will be part of APTA's Innovation 2.0 program aimed at bolstering the impact of physical therapy in innovative and emerging models of health care. The selected projects were the highest-rated among 59 proposals submitted to a review team of physical therapist clinicians, researchers, administrators, and educators.

    The projects will move on to the next phase of the Innovation 2.0 process—a 2-day workshop in May that will connect project leaders with researchers, clinicians and other experts to help refine the proposals and ready them for submission to a final round of review. During that final round, reviewers will select recipients for funding and in-kind services that could include environmental scans, policy analyses, collaboration with other researchers, statistical support and analysis, and consultation.

    For a complete listing of the proposals selected, visit the Innovation 2.0 web page.

    Medicare Spending Differences Still a Mystery

    Just about everyone knows that Medicare spending varies depending on geography. Just about no one knows why.

    A recent Health AffairsHealth Policy Brief reviewed current theories on why, for example, Medicare spent an average of $15,957 per beneficiary in Miami, Florida, and $6,569 per beneficiary in Grand Junction, Colorado, and found most explanations lacking. "Even after multiple factors are considered, some geographic differences remain unexplained," the report states. In 2012, Medicare spent a national average of $9,503 per beneficiary.

    The policy brief reviewed research around possible explanations for the disparities, including the amount Medicare pays for services, the health status of beneficiaries, and variations in use. Authors couldn't point to a consistent explanation, nor were they able to discount a 2013 Institute of Medicine report that asserted that higher costs were not always related to better outcomes.

    Further complicating matters, according to the report, is the idea that the geographic differences seem to be specific to Medicare. "When researchers look at health care spending for different populations, such as people with private insurance or those covered by Medicaid, they do not find the same patterns seen in Medicare spending," the authors write.