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  • Vision Survey Deadline Approaches

    APTA members have until July 6 to complete the Vision Environmental Scan Survey and provide their views about the physical therapy profession's future. The survey was e-mailed last week to all members for whom APTA has permission to e-mail, with a personal link to the survey. If you did not receive the e-mail and would like to participate in the survey, contact research-dept@apta.org.

    The analysis of the collected data will help APTA identify the preferred future direction of the profession that will culminate in the presentation of a revised vision to the 2013 House of Delegates for adoption. Responses also will be used to inform APTA's strategic planning process. All individual responses will remain strictly confidential, and results will be reported in aggregate form only. 

    Questions or requests for additional information can be sent to Marc Goldstein, EdD, APTA's senior director of research, at research-dept@apta.org.

    New Resource Helps PTs Improve Access to Care for Medicare Patients

    A new web resource helps physical therapists (PTs) provide Medicare beneficiaries with access to their services and remain in compliance with laws and regulations. Since 2005, Medicare beneficiaries have been able to access PT services without a referral or visit to a physician. The 2005 revisions to the Medicare Benefit Policy Manual eliminated the physician visit requirement. However, a patient must be "under the care of a physician," which is indicated by the physician certification of the plan of care.

    The Direct Access and Medicare webpage provides information on what the rules say, how they affect PTs, and how to report information on the certifying physician/nonphysician practitioner on claims for outpatient therapy services.

    Joint Commission Releases Hand-off Tool to Reduce Miscommunication

    A new tool available from the Joint Commission Center for Transforming Healthcare aims to help health care organizations with the process of passing necessary and critical information about a patient from 1 caregiver to the next, or from 1 team of caregivers to another, to prevent miscommunication-related errors.

    The Hand-off Communications Targeted Solutions Tool™ (TST) is an application that guides health care organizations through a step-by-step process to accurately measure their organization's actual performance, identify their barriers to excellent performance, and direct them to proven solutions that are customized to address their particular barriers.

    Using TST and the solutions from the center's Hand-off Communications Project, health care organizations have reduced readmissions by 50%, and have reduced the time it takes to move a patient from the emergency department to an inpatient unit by 33%, says the  Joint Commission. Health care organizations also report an increase in patient and family satisfaction, staff satisfaction, and successful transfers of patients.   

    TST is available on the Joint Commission's new Transitions of Care Portal

    A "Hands-On Approach to 'Hand Off' Communication," which appeared in the April 2010 issue of PT in Motion, provides an overview of APTA's position statement titled Physical Therapist of Record and "Hand Off" Communication.