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  • Webinar Looks at Clinical Decision-Making in Home Health

    Physical therapists (PTs), physical therapist assistants (PTAs), and other health care providers can get the latest insights on clinical decision-making and the use of valid outcomes and measures in the home health environment through a free webinar being offered on May 21.

    The Alliance for Home Health Quality and Innovation's "Home Health After Hip and Knee Replacement: Physical Therapist Decision-Making" webinar will focus on the challenges and opportunities of the home health environment, and will feature a case illustration using an individual with a lower extremity joint arthroplasty. Roger Herr, PT, MPA, COS-C, APTA Board of Directors member, and Lisa Culver, PT, DPT, MBA, senior specialist in clinical practice for APTA, will be the featured presenters. Speaker bios and more information on the webinar can be found on the Alliance webinar page.

    The presentation is set to begin at 3:00 pm ET. To join the webinar, visit http://fuze.me/24341983 and select "launch" in the browser; to participate in the audio conference, call 201/479-4595* and enter room number 24341983#. Alternative access can be obtained by calling 855/346-3893.

    The Alliance for Home Health Quality and Innovation is a nonprofit organization with membership that includes nonprofit and proprietary home health care providers, academic experts, and 3 major trade associations for home health care (the Visiting Nurse Associations of America, the National Association for Home Care and Hospice, and the Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare).

    All VA Medical Centers to Undergo Audits

    In advance of congressional testimony set to begin this week, US Veterans Affairs Secretary Erik Shinseki has announced that his agency will conduct "face-to-face" audits of all Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centers across the country.

    According to a May 8 statement from VA spokesman Drew Brookie, the audits are being conducted "to ensure a full understanding of VA's policy and continued integrity in managing patient access to care," and were planned before members of Congress and the public began calling for the reviews.

    Shinseki is scheduled to testify before the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee in the aftermath of a report alleging that 40 or more veterans died due to delays in care at a Phoenix, Arizona, VA hospital. The findings and comments from Shinseki, members of Congress, and others have been widely reported in the media, including CNN, the Washington Post, and CBS News.

    The House Veterans Affairs Committee has also issued a subpoena for Shinseki to testify.

    Second US MERS Case Results in Quarantines, 1 Hospitalization

    The second reported case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in the US has surfaced at an Orlando, Florida, hospital and has prompted a quarantine of 19 health care workers and hospitalization of another after the employees came into contact with the infected individual. Health officials believe the second confirmed US case—another health care worker who had returned from Saudi Arabia—was contracted through close contact in a health care environment.

    In a press release, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Tom Frieden, MD, PhD, described the second case as "not surprising" given the increase in reported cases in the Arabian Peninsula. The CDC continues to describe the MERS risk to the public as "very low," and is not recommending that US residents change travel plans.

    The 19 individuals quarantined and 1 hospitalized were employed at Dr. P Phillips Hospital or the Orlando Regional Medical Center, and came into contact with the infected individual. The employee who was hospitalized "developed symptoms" but test results had not been received by the time of a report in the Palm Beach Post. The CDC is urging all health care workers to follow the CDC's recommendations for infection control.

    For more information on MERS protocols, visit the CDC webpage on interim prevention and control recommendations around MERS. Although it does not address MERS specifically, APTA's infectious disease control webpage helps physical therapists (PTs) and physical therapist assistants (PTAs) understand the protocols for reducing risk of disease transmission. APTA staff will continue to monitor the situation and add resources as they are needed.