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  • New in the Literature: Effect of Postoperative Physical Therapy on LOS (J Arthroplasty. 2012 Mar 2. [Epub ahead of print])

    To study the isolated effect of physical therapy on total joint arthroplasty hospital length of stay (LOS), researchers from the University of Pittsburgh conducted a prospective cohort study on 136 patients with primary total joint arthroplasties (58 hips, 78 knees). LOS was determined by the operative start time until the time of discharge. On postoperative day (POD) 0, 60 patients remained in bed, 51 moved to a chair, and 25 received physical therapy (22 ambulated, 3 moved to a chair). LOS differed for patients receiving physical therapy on POD 0 (2.8 ± 0.8 days) compared with POD 1 (3.7 ± 1.8 days). There was no difference in physical therapy treatment based on nausea/vomiting, pain levels, or discharge location. Isolated physical therapy intervention on POD 0 shortened hospital LOS, regardless of the intervention performed.

    This article was published online March 2 in The Journal of Arthroplasty.

    DOD Contract Extends UnitedHealth to 'Every Part' of US Insurance Market

    The US Department of Defense (DoD) has awarded UnitedHealth, the nation’s biggest health insurer by revenue, its western military health contract valued at as much as $20.5 billion, says an article by Bloomberg. TriWest Healthcare Alliance Corp has held the contract since 2003.  

    UnitedHealth had $102 billion in revenue last year. In June 2011 it lost a separate challenge for a $23.5 billion contract for the south region, covered by Louisville, Kentucky-based Humana Inc.

    "It's a huge strategic win for them because they're not in the military space," said Ana Gupte, an analyst with Sanford C. Bernstein & Co in New York. "It just extends the reach of United into every part of health benefits in the United States."

    TriWest, Humana, and HealthNet Inc currently are the main managed care providers for Tricare, the military's health care program. The DoD contract replacing TriWest with UnitedHealth is effective April 1, 2013. The loss of the new contract essentially would erase much of TriWest's revenue stream, says Bloomberg

    The award comes after TriWest agreed to pay a $10 million fine in September to settle a federal whistleblower lawsuit. The suit, filed in US District Court in San Francisco by 4 former employees, accused the company of submitting claims to the government without including discounts negotiated with service providers.

    Registration, Abstract Submission Open for Falls Management Conference

    Registration is open for the 2012 Transforming Fall Management Practices Conference, to be held May 23‐24 in Clearwater Beach, Florida. Upon completion of this program, participants will be able to:

    • identify 3 best practices for safe patient mobility
    • evaluate technological solutions for safe patient mobility
    • successfully network with national, regional, and local experts across the settings of care
    • discuss special challenges associated with safe mobility in vulnerable populations
    • gain new insights in education, practice, administration and technology initiatives that can be transferred into current practice settings to improve patient safety

    Poster presentations for the meeting will be accepted until April 2. Abstracts should be 250 words or less and provide a brief, clear summary of the research/project/program. Content should include timely and relevant topics related to all aspects of patient safety (falls, wandering, and bed safety). Authors of selected abstracts will be notified by April 15. Submission information can be found on the Department of Veterans Affairs Web page

    APTA is a cosponsor of the conference. 

    Nominations Requested for Scientific Review Committee

    The Foundation for Physical Therapy is seeking individuals to serve on its Scientific Review Committee (SRC). Qualified physical therapist researchers will review doctoral, fellowship, and research grant applications received by the Foundation. To be considered, individuals must meet the criteria for SRC membership, posted on the Foundation's Web site. Self-nominations are welcome. E-mail your recommendations to info@foundation4pt.org.