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  • APTA Names Polvinale Interim CEO, Launches Search Process

    The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) announced today that Bonnie Polvinale, CMP, will serve as interim chief executive officer (CEO) until a permanent CEO is hired to lead the organization. In addition, the association has officially launched the search process for a new CEO with the hiring of an executive search firm and the appointment of a CEO Search Board Workgroup (CEOSWG).

    Polvinale has served in various leadership roles at APTA over the past 34 years. She is currently APTA's vice president of member relations and is responsible for a 34-person division that encompasses the departments of member services, membership development, professional development, meeting services, and minority and women's initiatives. She will continue to serve in this capacity during her tenure as interim CEO. Polvinale's other leadership roles at APTA have included vice president of governance, components, and meetings, and director of conferences and meeting services. Polvinale will succeed APTA CEO John Barnes, who will be leaving the organization effective July 31.

    "Bonnie's broad and deep understanding of the association and the profession will serve us well as we conduct the search for a new CEO," said APTA President Paul Rockar Jr, PT, DPT, MS.

    In addition to her work with APTA, Polvinale is a member of the Professional Convention Management Association and has served on the Hilton Hotels Corporate Advisory Panel. She has also been very involved in community outreach through ALIVE! and other charitable organizations in the Alexandria, Virginia, area.

    In conjunction with Polvinale's appointment, APTA also announced the hiring of executive search firm Isaacson, Miller, to lead the effort. In addition, a CEOSWG was appointed, comprising members of APTA's Executive Committee and members representing various constituencies of the association, including chapters, sections, new professionals, and those with long-term association experience.

    Executive Committee members are:
    Paul Rockar Jr, PT, DPT, MS
    Sharon Dunn, PT, PhD, OCS
    Laurie Hack, PT, DPT, MBA, PhD, FAPTA
    Roger Herr, PT, MPA, COS-C
    Elmer Platz, PT

    Other members of the CEOSWG are:
    Susan Appling, PT, DPT, PhD, OCS (TN)
    Steve Anderson, PT, DPT (WA)
    Daniel Dale, PT, DPT (GA)
    David Emerick Sr, PTA, BBA (VA)
    Colleen Kigin, PT, DPT, MS, MPA, FAPTA (MA)
    Craig Moore, PT, MS (FL)

    Hack and Dunn will co-chair the CEOSWG.

    APTA's goal is to hold the first meeting of the CEOSWG by teleconference in mid-July, when members will begin developing the desired criteria for a new CEO. Advertising for the position will begin shortly after the first workgroup meeting, and candidate interviews will be held throughout the fall, with the goal of having a new CEO on board in early 2014.

    This announcement and future updates concerning the CEO search will appear on the APTA Staff page of APTA.org.

    Texas Adds Title Protection for the DPT Degree

    The title "DPT" is now a protected designation for licensed physical therapists in Texas who have earned a doctoral degree in physical therapy.

    On June 14, Texas Gov Rick Perry signed bill SB 1099, which amends the Texas physical therapy statute to add "DPT" as a protected title; the legislation also adds "MPT." Texas law already protects the licensure designations "PT" and "PTA," as well as the terms "physical therapy" and "physiotherapy," and titles "physical therapist" and "physical therapist assistant."

    "Providing recognition and protection for the doctor of physical therapy degree is an important goal for APTA and its state chapters," said APTA President Paul A. Rockar Jr, PT, DPT, MS. "Term and title protection laws are key to ensuring public protection, as well as recognition for the PT profession. We applaud the Texas Chapter for advocating on this important legislation."

    "In the past, Texas has not had any language in statute to protect clinical degrees pertaining specifically to physical therapy. We are excited to pass this legislation that protects the DPT and MPT, adding to the already protected professional designations," said TPTA’s Government Affairs Committee Co-Chairs Michael Connors, PT, DPT, OCS, and Brant Capps, PT, DPT, MS.

    In addition to advocating for SB 1099, the Texas Chapter was busy this year pushing for improved patient direct access in the Lone Star state. Thanks to the efforts of TPTA members, 2 direct access bills (House Bill 1039 and Senate Bill 402) were filed with a total of 4 legislative sponsors between them. HB 1039 made the crucial step of being passed out of the House Public Health Committee, but it did not get scheduled for a vote by the full Texas House of Representatives before a key deadline.

    Medicaid/CHIP Report Discusses Access to Adults With Disabilities

    Among the conclusions of the June 2013 MACPAC report is that more research is needed on how nonphysician practitioners could improve access to care for Medicaid enrollees with disabilities.

    The Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC) released its Report to the Congress on Medicaid and CHIP last week. The report, issued annually, includes a chapter on access to care for adults with disabilities. Based on large-scale population surveys, provider and stakeholder data, consumer interviews and other qualitative data, and state Medicaid program data, MACPAC reported that access to health care among Medicaid-only enrollees with disabilities is comparable to that of other insured persons with disabilities; that unmet need among Medicaid-only enrollees with disabilities is lower than that of individuals with disabilities covered by private insurance or Medicare only; and that preventive services are underused among Medicaid enrollees with disabilities, although findings vary by service.

    In addition to the need for research on nonphysicians and access to care, MACPAC reported that other areas in need of further research are the impact of enabling services on access to care, disability competency and accessibility in Medicaid provider networks, and evaluation and best practices in risk-based managed care and in service delivery for enrollees with disabilities.

    Also in the report are chapters on Medicaid and CHIP eligibility and coverage for maternity services, the newly implemented increase in Medicaid physician payment for primary care services, the availability of data on Medicaid and CHIP that can be used for oversight and program monitoring, ways to improve the effectiveness of program integrity efforts, and the interaction between Medicaid benefits and the health insurance exchanges.