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  • APTA Member Input Brought to CMS Meeting on FLR; CMS Provides Information on Claims Processing

    APTA members' willingness to share their experiences of claims processing errors and payment delays related to functional limitation reporting (FLR) enriched the information that APTA staff provided to representatives of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) during a recent meeting. During that same meeting CMS provided information on how claims on "1500" forms are processed that APTA believes may help physical therapists (PTs) avoid split claims in the future.

    Over the past 2 months, APTA received numerous complaints from members about FLR, which in turn helped association staff pinpoint specific systems problems in claims processing. The systems issues were brought to CMS as part of a discussion around changes that could be made to the program.

    As part of that discussion CMS explained that its current system can accommodate no more than 13 line items on a 1500 claim form. Given this information, APTA believes that PTs may experience more efficient processing and find their claims less likely to be split if they submit claims with no more than 12 line items.

    The FLR program was implemented in October 2013 after being delayed from its original July 1 launch. System difficulties were prevalent enough that APTA developed an FLR webpage that provides guidance to PTs experiencing problems with the system. That resource includes a complaint form (members only) that allows members to share examples of their problems. APTA encourages members to continue to provide feedback on FLR processing so that the association can continue its collaborative work with CMS to correct system issues.

    New APTA Webpage Offers Evidence-Based Document Resources

    Whether you’re first exploring evidence-based care issues, looking for information on how to create clinical practice guidelines, or trying to learn about ways to conduct guideline appraisals, a new APTA webpage can make the work a little less daunting.

    The association's new Resources for the Development of Evidence-Based Documents webpage brings together offerings that not only help physical therapists (PTs) access current guidelines and research, but provide PTs with materials that will help them learn how to contribute to the growing pool of evidence-based physical therapy research. The page includes links to APTA's PTNow research resource, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Systematic Review Data Repository, and the PEDro Physiotherapy Evidence Database, as well as information on how to conduct critical appraisals and develop recommendations.

    The new page is part of APTA's strategic objective to better enable physical therapists to consistently use best practice to improve the quality of life of their patients and clients.

    Health Professions Regulation Conference Will Look at High-Risk Industry Examples

    What do pilots, deep sea oil rig workers, and physical therapists have in common? More than you might think, particularly when it comes to regulation.

    The World Health Professions Regulation Conference in May will include a keynote address by Professor Rhona Flin, a director of a UK-based industrial psychology research center, who will explore the connection between health care and high-risk industries by showing how failures in communication and decision-making can trigger adverse results. The address is part of the conference, titled "Health Professional Regulation—Facing Challenges to Act in the Public Interest" and set for May 17-18 in Geneva, Switzerland.

    The conference will bring together health professionals and regulators from around the world to explore approaches to regulation including competency-based models. The meeting is being hosted by the World Health Professions Alliance (WHPA) and will take place immediately before the World Health Organization’s World Health Assembly in Geneva.

    More information and registration materials can be accessed through the conference website. WHPA is an alliance of global organizations representing more than 26 million of the world’s physical therapists, physicians, dentists, nurses, and pharmacists, in more than 130 countries. APTA is a member of the World Confederation for Physical Therapy, which is a part of WHPA.