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  • Rockar Urges Physical Therapists to Prepare for April 1 Medicare Cuts

    Many physical therapists still may not be aware of the payment cuts that go into effect April 1. In a recent blog post, APTA President Paul A. Rockar Jr, PT, DPT, MS, urges physical therapists to review information at APTA.org and share it with colleagues to prepare for these reductions. APTA's 2013 Medicare Changes webpage provides the information that physical therapists need to know about the increase in the multiple procedure payment reduction (MPPR), and independent of the MPPR, the Medicare sequestration cuts. 

    Call for Section Nominations: Development of CPGs and CPAs Workshop

    APTA is conducting a workshop to support sections in the development of evidence-based documents such as clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) and clinical practice appraisals (CPAs). Sections are asked to nominate members who are interested in working to develop CPGs/CPAs in their area of clinical practice. Individual members who are interested in attending the workshop should ask their section leadership to nominate them. The workshop will be held July 24-26, 2013, at APTA headquarters. Nominations must be received by noon, Friday, April 26, 2013. Contact Sarah Miller at sarahmiller@apta.org if you have questions.

    2013 County Health Rankings Show New National Trends

    The 2013 County Health Rankings allow counties to see what medical and social conditions and behaviors are making its residents sick or healthy, and how they compare to other counties in the same state. This is the fourth year of the Rankings, published online by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. The rankings data help to lay the groundwork for health improvement efforts of governors, mayors, business leaders, and citizens across the country.

    The County Health Rankings examines 25 factors that influence health, including rates of childhood poverty, rates of smoking, obesity levels, teen birth rates, access to physicians and dentists, rates of high school graduation and college attendance, access to healthy foods, levels of physical inactivity, and percentages of children living in single parent households.

    Although the rankings only allow for county-to-county comparisons within a state, this year’s rankings show significant new national trends:

    • The counties where people don’t live as long and don't feel as well mentally or physically have the highest rates of smoking, teen births, and physical inactivity, and more preventable hospital stays.
    • Access to health care remains an important factor and this year, the rankings include residents' access to dentists and primary care physicians. Residents living in healthier counties are 1.4 times more likely to have access to a physician and dentist than those in the least healthy counties.

    NCOA Webinar: Policy Change to Advance Falls Prevention

    Join the National Council on Aging's (NCOA) free webinar on April 11 to learn how you can have an impact on falls prevention by changing policy in your state or community. Discover policy goals, discuss strategies for making them a reality, get resources, and listen as select states share their successes.

    To access NCOA's State Policy Toolkit for Advancing Fall Prevention, and other patient care resources, go to APTA's Balance and Falls webpage.

    As reported last week in News Now, 2 APTA members recently participated in the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute's (PCORI) Preventing Injuries From Falls in the Elderly work group meeting held in Washington, DC. More information and presentation slides from the meeting can be found on PCORI's website.