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  • Hawaii Becomes Final State to Require Regulation of PTAs

    In a move that also provides title protection for PTAs and the doctor of physical therapy degree (DPT), Hawaii Gov Neil Abercrombie signed a bill (SB 1074) yesterday requiring the licensure of physical therapist assistants (PTA) in the state. Passage of SB 1074 signifies another landmark moment for the physical therapy profession in that all 50 states and the District of Columbia now regulate physical therapist assistants.

    SB 1074, which was advocated for by the Hawaii Chapter of APTA (HAPTA), will promote patient safety and quality of care by ensuring that only individuals who have met specific criteria are licensed to act in the capacity of a physical therapist assistant. Prior to passage of SB 1074, Hawaii was the only state in the union that did not provide for the state regulation of PTAs.

    In addition to providing for the licensure of PTAs, the new law enacts a number of changes. It establishes title protection both for the regulatory designation “PTA” and for the doctor of physical therapy (DPT) educational degree. The legislation also provides for changes to the composition of the state physical therapy licensing board by eliminating the seat reserved for a physician and replacing it with a seat for a physical therapist assistant.

    See more in the full press release.

    CMS Proposed Home Health PPS for 2014 Cuts Payment 1.5%

    The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the proposed rule for the Home Health Prospective Payment System for calendar year 2014. The rule affects services provided by home health agencies under Medicare Part A beginning January 1, 2014. The proposed national, standardized 60-day episode payment for 2014 is $2,860.20. CMS projects that as a result Medicare payments to home health agencies in 2014 will be reduced by 1.5%, or $290 million, based on the proposed policies.

    The rule proposes the following:

    • It would remove 2 categories of ICD-9-CM codes from the HH PPS Grouper: diagnosis codes that reflect severely acute patients that are not treated in the home health setting; and diagnosis codes for conditions that would not impact the home health plan of care. As such, these codes will not be included in the update to ICD-10-CM, which is effective October 1, 2014.
    • Per the mandate of the Affordable Care Act to rebase the HH PPS, it would reduce the national, standardized 60-day episode rate by 3.5% annually 2014 through 2017.
    • It would increase each of the per-visit payment rates for the low-utilization payment adjustment by 3.5 percent annually 2014 through 2017.
    • It would add 2 claims-based quality measures, “Rehospitalization During the First 30 Days of a Home Health Stay” and “Emergency Department Use Without Hospital Readmission During the First 30 days of Home Health.”

    The proposed rule will be open for comment until August 26, 2013. APTA will analyze the provisions of the proposed rule and submit comments. A detailed summary of the proposed rule will be available on the APTA website in the coming weeks.

    In addition to this proposed rule, CMS released the draft of OASIS-C1 to prepare for transition to ICD-10. APTA will submit comments on the draft, which are due August 20, 2013.

    New Vision of the Physical Therapy Profession Adopted

    The 2013 APTA House of Delegates yesterday adopted a landmark new vision of the profession of physical therapy: "Transforming society by optimizing movement to improve the human experience."

    To see the collaborative process of your House of Delegates in adopting this bold new vision—and of the other important motions debated and resolved—view livestreamed video from the 3 days of the 2013 House. A summary of the House activities will appear soon in PT in Motion News Now, but, meanwhile, go to the APTA Conference News webpage to see a video dispatch interviewing APTA Director Lisa Saladin, PT, PhD, about the new vision, and other updates on the House of Delegates meeting and APTA Conference.

    Move Forward Radio Discusses Cycling Injuries and Performance

    Just in time for the start of the Tour de France this weekend, today Move Forward Radio discussed cycling injuries and the role of physical therapists in managing recreational and elite cyclists with Erik Moen, PT.

    The founder and owner of BikePT in Seattle, Washington, Moen has treated and coached cyclists of all abilities and authored numerous articles and book chapters about cycling and body mechanics. In the interview, Moen outlines the benefits of cycling and notes common injuries and ways to avoid them.

    Move Forward Radio airs approximately twice a month. Episodes are featured and archived at MoveForwardPT.com, APTA's official consumer information website, and can be streamed online via Blog Talk Radio or downloaded as podcasts via iTunes.

    APTA members are encouraged to alert their patients and clients to the radio series and other MoveForwardPT.com resources to help educate the public about the benefits of treatment by a physical therapist. Ideas for future episodes and other feedback can be e-mailed to consumer@apta.org.

    Call for Nominees to the FSBPT Examination Committees

    APTA is asking physical therapist members to consider serving on a Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT) examination committee. Under the 1989 Transfer Agreement of the physical therapy licensing examination and a more recent settlement agreement, APTA is entitled to seat candidates for at least 40% of the positions on the FSBPT Examination Development Committees. This year APTA will be providing 2 nominees for the Examination Development Committee-PT (EDC-PT), 1 nominee for the Examination Development Committee-PTA (EDC-PTA), and 1 nominee for the Item Bank Review Committee-PT (IBRC-PT) .

    APTA nominees to all committees will be physical therapists and active APTA members. Experience as National Physical Therapy Examinations (NPTE) item writers or American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties (ABPTS) writers is desired but not required. For the EDC-PT, nominees must have expertise in neuromuscular, pediatric, cardiovascular/pulmonary, or integumentary physical therapy; for the EDC-PTA, nominees must have expertise in neuromuscular, cardiovascular/pulmonary, or musculoskeletal physical therapy; and for the IBRC-PT, nominees must have expertise in acute care, integumentary, or neuromuscular physical therapy. Learn more.

    To submit for nomination, complete and submit a Volunteer Application (.doc) and a current résumé/CV by Friday July 26, to Kim Wallace in APTA's Department of Clinical Practice and Research.

    Address any questions you have to Lisa L. Culver, PT, DPT, MBA, in the Department of Clinical Practice and Research.

    HHS Launches Health Insurance Marketplace Educational Tools

    The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has relaunched the HealthCare.gov website and added a 24/7 consumer call center to better help US consumers prepare for open enrollment and ultimately sign up for private health insurance. The new tools are intended to help Americans understand their choices and select the coverage that best suits their needs when open enrollment in the new Health Insurance Marketplace (also known as insurance exchanges) begins October 1.

    HealthCare.gov will add functionality over the summer so that by October consumers will be able to create accounts, complete an online application, and shop for qualified health plans. Key features of the website include integration of social media, sharable content, and engagement destinations for consumers to get more information. The site also will include web chatting to support additional consumer inquiries.

    For Spanish speaking consumers, CuidadoDeSalud.gov will also be updated to match HealthCare.gov’s new consumer focus.

    APTA 2013 House of Delegates Election Results

    The following members were elected to APTA's Board of Directors and Nominating Committee Monday night at the House of Delegates (House) in Salt Lake City, Utah.

    Laurie Hack, PT, DPT, PhD, MBA, FAPTA, was elected secretary.

    Stuart Platt, PT, MSPT, was elected vice speaker.

    Roger Herr, PT, MPA, COS-C, was reelected director, and Carolyn Oddo, PT, MS, FACHE, and Susan Whitney, PT, DPT, PhD, NCS, ATC, FAPTA, were elected director.

    Cecilia Graham, PT, PhD, and Peggy DeCelle Newman, PT, MHR, were elected to the Nominating Committee.

    These terms become effective at the close of the House on Wednesday.

    New Podcasts: Research Advocacy, Functional Limitation Reporting

    Hear updates on rehabilitation research and functional limitation reporting requirements in 2 new podcasts that APTA has recorded and posted online.

    In the latest "Heard on the Hill," APTA's Adnan Jalil, lead congressional affairs specialist, reports on activities that stemmed from a Section on Research fly-in earlier this year to Capitol Hill, including legislation (S 1027) that calls for follow-up to the National Institutes of Health's Blue Ribbon Panel Report on Medical Rehabilitation.

    The second podcast covers the Medicare Part B functional limitation reporting (FLR) requirements that move out of the testing period on July 1. If physical therapists don't include appropriate G-codes and modifiers on claims forms, Medicare will return the claims unpaid. Listen to Heather Smith, APTA's program director of quality, and avail yourself to APTA's other resources on FLR so you aren't caught off guard come July 1.

    APTA podcasts are prerecorded discussions and interviews, not live events. Transcripts accompany most podcasts. Members can listen to podcasts at their convenience by clicking on the links provided in News Now articles, visiting www.apta.org/Podcasts/, or subscribing to APTA podcasts on iTunes.

    Study: Outcomes From Physical Therapy vs Surgery for Cervical Radiculopathy Similar After 2 Years (Spine. 2013 Jun 17. [Epub ahead of print])

    "Structured physiotherapy should be tried before surgery is chosen," concluded researchers of a study comparing surgery followed by physical therapy and physical therapy alone for cervical radiculopathy. Even though the results of the 24-month randomized controlled trial, published this week in Spine, showed greater improvement in the first postoperative year, the differences between the groups decreased after the second year. The study compared 2 approaches to cervical radiculopathy: anterior cervical decompression and fusion (ACDF) with a physical therapy program (31 subjects) and the same physical therapy program alone (32 subjects). The physical therapy program included general and specific exercises and pain coping strategies. Outcome measures were disability (Neck Disability Index, NDI), neck- and arm-pain intensity using a visual analog scale (VAS), and the patient's global assessment. At 12 months, there was no significant difference between groups for NDI or VAS for arm-pain intensity. The surgical group scored significantly better on the VAS for neck-pain intensity, and 87% of patients in the surgical group self-rated their symptoms as "better/much better" compared with 62% of those in the physical therapy-only group. However, at 24 months, both groups showed significant reduction in NDI, neck pain, and arm pain.

    New FLR Toolkit Walks You Through Requirements

    Are you ready for the July 1 functional limitation reporting (FLR) requirements? APTA has a new online toolkit that explains the rules, lists the codes you need to report, provides examples, and links to other resources.

    Beginning July 1, the testing period ends for reporting functional limitations on claim forms for all outpatient Medicare Part B patients—if the appropriate codes are not included in claims for patient visits on or after July 1, your claims will be returned unpaid. "Functional Limitation Reporting for Medicare Part B Patients: A Toolkit" will help you get started on the process and file your claims correctly.

    APTA members can access the toolkit free; it soon will also be available for sale to nonmembers through the APTA online store.

    More CMS Guidance on July 1 Functional Limitation Reporting Requirements

    A new FAQ page within the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) web resources on functional limitation reporting confirms an e-mail communication from earlier this week about changes to requirements for submitting claims for current patients. It also clarifies other details related to the requirements.

    As a reminder, for patient visits on or after July 1, physical therapists must include the appropriate G-codes and modifiers to report functional limitation data in claims submitted for outpatient Medicare Part B beneficiaries, or claims will be returned unpaid. To reiterate the change for current patients, as APTA reported on Tuesday:

    • Therapy providers who have submitted functional limitation data (G-codes) on patients prior to July 1 will not need to restart functional limitation reporting on the first date of service on or after July 1. Instead, for these patients only, therapists can wait to submit functional limitation data until the next required reporting interval (eg, at the patient's 10th visit or at discharge).
    • For beneficiaries whose treatment began prior to July 1, but for whom functional limitation reporting information has not been submitted prior to July 1, therapists must submit data on the first claim with a date of service on or after July 1.
    • Functional limitation data will be required for all new patients as of July 1.

    The document also includes additional details on code reporting for patients under 2 plans of care and coding for observation patients in the acute care setting.

    For more information and resources on functional limitation reporting, please see APTA's Functional Limitation Reporting webpage, which includes a toolkit, links to PTNow's resources on appropriate tests and measures, and APTA's Functional Limitation Discussion Forum.

    Federal IT Spokesman Says No More Extensions for ICD-10

    The October 1, 2014, deadline for converting to ICD-10 from the ICD-9 medical coding system will not be extended again, according to Farzad Mostashari, MD, who said "There are no plans for any more extensions."

    Mostashari addressed this week's ICD-10 Forum hosted by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society and reported in Healthcare IT News.

    Mostashari oversees the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, a division of the Department of Health and Human Services.

    HHS delayed implementation of ICD-10 for a year, from October 1, 2013, to address providers' concerns about administrative burdens. The 2013 deadline also was an extension from the October 2011 implementation date originally set by the rule adopted in January 2009.

    APTA's ICD-10 webpage has resources to help physical therapists understand the transition to the new code set.

    PT Reelected to USBJI Board, New President Takes the Helm

    Anita Bemis-Dougherty, PT, DPT, MAS, APTA director of clinical practice, has been reelected as secretary of the United States Bone and Joint Initiative (USBJI).

    Steve Gnatz, MD, MHA, has taken over as the new president; he had been president-elect. Gnatz said 2 of his priorities as president will be gaining a better understanding of members' interests and looking for ways to serve those interests while advancing USBJI's mission. He said asking the question "How will this create or add value to our members?" is a good barometer for evaluating proposed new efforts. "This question can also help assess current programs and consider how they might be modified or enhanced," he added.

    Other physical therapists on the 21-member USBJI Board are Jan K. Richardson, PT, PhD, OCS, FAPTA, and Paul A. Ullucci Jr, PT, DPT, ATC, SCS, LAT, CSCS, C-Dsc.

    USBJI brings together US organizations concerned with musculoskeletal health. It is one of more than 60 national action networks of the worldwide Bone and Joint Decade, a global alliance endorsed by the United Nations and the World Health Organization.

    Foundation for Physical Therapy Center of Excellence Campaign Goes Public

    The Foundation for Physical Therapy plans to launch the public phase of a campaign to establish the nation's first center dedicated to expanding the number of physical therapy scientists in the field of health services and health policy. The announcement will take place June 27 at the Foundation's annual gala at this year's APTA Conference and Exposition.

    The mission of the Center of Excellence (COE) is to train the next generation of physical therapist investigators who will gain skills necessary to examine effective delivery, organization, financing, and analysis of outcomes.

    The one-year fundraising campaign has surpassed the half-way mark, with $1.7 million raised toward the goal of $3 million. Its progress so far is due in large part to a leadership pledge of $1 million from APTA and through 100% participation in the campaign from the Foundation's board members.

    Other significant contributors include APTA's Tennessee Chapter, Wisconsin Chapter, Section on Geriatrics, Home Health Section, Neurology Section, Orthopaedic Section, Private Practice Section, Section on Research, and the Sports Physical Therapy Section.

    CMS Changes July 1 Functional Limitation Reporting Instructions for Current Patients

    In response to concerns raised by APTA, providers, and other stakeholders, CMS has changed its functional limitation reporting instructions for claims submitted for each patient's first visit on or after July 1, 2013.

    As a result of the change, therapy providers who have submitted functional limitation data (G-codes) on Medicare Part B patients prior to July 1 will not need to restart functional limitation reporting on the first date of service on or after July 1. Instead, for these patients only, therapists can wait to submit functional limitation data until the next required reporting interval (eg, at the patient's 10th visit or at discharge).

    However, for beneficiaries whose treatment began prior to July 1, but for whom functional limitation reporting information has not been submitted prior to July 1, therapists must submit data on the first claim with a date of service on or after July 1.

    Functional limitation data will be required for all new patients as of July 1.

    CMS notified APTA of this change via e-mail yesterday. For more information on functional limitation reporting, including updated FAQs and a list of measures identified for high-volume conditions, visit APTA's functional limitation reporting resource page.

    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.

    APTA Joins Federal Policy Makers in Efforts to Reform Outpatient Therapy

    APTA continued its support today of congressional efforts to seek reform in the outpatient therapy Medicare benefit and called on policy makers to reject several misguided recommendations released by the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) in its recent report to Congress.

    While APTA applauds MedPAC for its recognition that a hard therapy cap without an exceptions process would be "inconsistent with the goal of ensuring appropriate access to important services for Medicare beneficiaries," the association remains concerned that several of the report’s recommendations do little to further real reform of this vital benefit and put patient care at risk. See APTA's press release to read more.

    PCORI Hopes Patient-Proposed Research Leads to Patient-Centered Care

    A web-based prototype crowdsourcing platform that lets users propose and support health-related research topics got a boost from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) last week with a $40,000 top prize in the PCORI Challenge.

    WellSpringboard, being developed by researchers from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, is designed to enable patients to propose, endorse, and pledge funds for research topics. Researchers then would apply for the funding to conduct studies on those topics.

    Other prize winners in the PCORI Challenge included these:

    • ACTONNECT allows users to search patient forums and other sites for health information and share the results graphically.
    • ResearchMatch is a national registry of potential study volunteers and researchers.
    • Estenda's Community-Driven Research lets patients, caregivers, and researchers share and rank ideas and establish collaborations.
    • S.T.A.R. Initiative is a mobile app that connects African-American women with researchers and educational curricula.

    APTA's PT in Motion explored crowdsourcing for health care research in its February 2013 issue.

    Move Forward Radio Presents Series on Boston Marathon Bombings

    Today MoveForwardPT.com kicked off a 3-part Move Forward Radio series examining the role of physical therapy for the victims of 2013 Boston Marathon bombings.

    Beyond Boston: The Road to Recovery starts with a firsthand account by Dave Nolan, PT, DPT, MS, OCS, CSCS, of the collaborative emergency care provided onsite at the finish line's medical tent. The series continues with interviews with Bill Waddell, PT, MS, and Bob Dorman, PT, DPT, GCS, of Massachusetts General Hospital, who provide insight about the treatment of burns. The series concludes with Ignacio Gaunaurd, PT, PhD, MSPT, of the Miami Veterans Affairs Healthcare System, who has worked extensively with the military's wounded warriors and discusses what is ahead for the victims with amputations.

    Links to all 3 episodes, debuting today through Saturday, can be found on MoveForwardPT.com and downloaded via iTunes.

    Move Forward Radio airs approximately twice a month. Episodes are featured and archived at MoveForwardPT.com, APTA's official consumer information website, and can be streamed online via Blog Talk Radio or downloaded as a podcast via iTunes.

    APTA members are encouraged to alert their patients to the radio series and other MoveForwardPT.com resources to help educate the public about the benefits of treatment by a physical therapist. Ideas for future episodes and other feedback can be e-mailed to consumer@apta.org.

    APTA Learning Center to Host First-Ever Virtual Conference

    In conjunction with the APTA Conference and Exposition in Salt Lake City, the APTA Learning Center will host its first APTA Virtual Conference on Thursday, June 27, and Friday, June 28. This groundbreaking event enables attendees to connect virtually with professional peers and experts, offering timely educational programming from nationally and internationally recognized experts, virtual participation in hot-topic debates, networking with colleagues and leaders, and review of current scientific research and findings.

    "APTA is committed to adopting innovative active learning opportunities that will enhance individual and collective abilities to provide optimal and collaborative patient- and client-centered care," explained APTA President Paul Rockar Jr, PT, DPT, MS. "APTA's first-ever virtual conference is a unique way to bring the vital information to a greater number of professionals and to facilitate knowledge exchange."

    The APTA Virtual Conference will feature educational programming offered through live and on-demand livestreaming on topics ranging from managing neck pain to musculoskeletal tissue healing. In addition, the famed Mary McMillan Lecture and John H. P. Maley Lecture will be streamed. The virtual conference will include a poster hall, networking lounge, resource center, and information booth, all reflecting imagery of a real-world convention center.

    The deadline to register for live participation is Tuesday, June 26. The recorded content will be available for purchase in the APTA Learning Center beginning July 9.

    APTA to Livestream 2013 House of Delegates

    For the first time, all APTA members can "sit in" on the House of Delegates—part of the association's efforts to increase awareness of how professional policies are created. APTA will broadcast the 2013 House of Delegates (House) live online for APTA members, June 24-26.

    Members can view the broadcast from APTA's livestream page, which will also host the broadcast of APTA's pre-House Board of Directors (Board) meeting on June 22.

    Although APTA has livestreamed the past 3 Board meetings, this is the first broadcast of the House. It's another step toward improving members' access to the association and its leadership, which this spring made 2013 House motions public for the first time and created comment areas to encourage discussion.

    Broadcast times for the livestreamed events can be found at www.apta.org/Livestream. Archives of these broadcasts will be available for members until July 27.

    In advance of the House, APTA members are encouraged to review the 2013 motions and provide feedback to their delegates.

    WCPT Participates in World Health Assembly

    WCPT representatives from the World Confederation for Physical Therapy (WCPT) were in Geneva last month at the World Health Assembly, the governing body of the World Health Organization (WHO) that meets annually. Not only did WCPT participate in discussions on disability during the main assembly, the representatives were also involved in the launch of the World Health Professions Alliance statement on collaborative practice and met with the WHO Disability and Rehabilitation Team and its partner organizations.

    "A global shortage of physical therapists and other rehabilitation professions is affecting access to health services to people with disabilities," said WCPT in a statement to the World Health Assembly on May 22.

    As statements of good intentions on improving access evolve into global action plans, WCPT said it will continue to do all it can to raise our profession’s profile with the world’s health decision makers and ensure that the expertise of physical therapists is utilized.

    Functional Limitation Reporting Tip: Submit Claims in Sequence

    To avoid payment challenges to functional limitation reporting when you file for outpatient Medicare services provided beginning July 1, submit your claims in sequence. As a reminder, the testing phase of the functional limitation reporting requirement ends June 30, after which outpatient Medicare claims will be returned unpaid if they don't include the required functional limitation reporting.

    On each beneficiary's first treatment date on or after July 1, physical therapists must report the appropriate functional G-codes and corresponding modifiers on the claim form (editor's note: see update below). This includes beneficiaries for whom functional reporting occurred during the testing period. Once Medicare receives the claim, its claims processing system will open a therapy reporting episode and start counting to the next 10 treatment dates of service per the progress reporting period, starting with the first claim containing the appropriate current and goal status G-codes and corresponding modifiers submitted on or after July 1. Submitting claims in sequence will facilitate tracking of treatment dates for the different reporting periods.

    For more information and resources on functional limitation reporting, please see APTA's Functional Limitation Reporting webpage, which includes links to PTNow's resources on appropriate tests and measures, and APTA's Functional Limitation Discussion Forum.

    Update - June 18, 2013: Some of the information reported above is obsolete, in light of recent changes by CMS. Learn more here: CMS Changes July 1 Functional Limitation Reporting Instructions for Current Patients.

    New Center to Coordinate Workers' Compensation Data

    To help prevent and reduce the severity of work-related injuries, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has launched the Center for Workers' Compensation Studies. The center will analyze trends in work-related injuries and illnesses and will coordinate with other organizations to integrate workers' compensation data with other health-related data.

    "This is important because coordinated workers compensation research has been conducted mostly at large commercial insurers, state-based insurers, or industry organizations, which have not always distributed their data or research findings widely," NIOSH said in its June newsletter announcing the center.

    Study: Patients Prefer Nonphysician to Waiting

    Given certain scenarios, consumers surveyed by the Association of American Medical Colleges preferred to see a physician assistant or nurse practitioner over a physician if their visit could be as little as 1 day sooner. The survey report was published in the June issue of Health Affairs and reported by ModernPhysician.com.

    When simply asked who they would rather see in a practice with a physician, physician assistant, and nurse practitioner, 50.4% preferred the physician, 29.9% had no preference, and 22.8% preferred a nonphysician. But when 2 scenarios were presented, the responses changed:

    1. Patients could see a physician tomorrow or see a nonphysician today for a worsening cough—59.6% preferred a same-day visit with a nonphysician; 15.1% had no preference or were unsure.
    2. Patients could see a physician in 3 days or see a nonphysician in 1 day for frequent headaches—66.6% preferred the next-day visit with a nonphysician; 11.3% had no preference or were unsure.

    The report was based on a survey of 2,053 adults who indicated that they or a physician believed that they needed medical care at least once in the past 12 months.

    Mark Your Calendars for World Physical Therapy Day

    World Physical Therapy Day, sponsored by the World Confederation for Physical Therapy, is celebrated on September 8, 2013. World Physical Therapy Day presents a unique opportunity for physical therapists from around the world to raise awareness about physical therapy's role in keeping people well, mobile and independent. Check out previous years' celebrations for ideas.

    Move Forward Ads to Air on Sirius/XM Radio Next Week

    Move Forward ads will run on select channels on Sirius/XM satellite radio during the weeks of June 10 and June 17. The 30-second spots highlight ways in which a physical therapist can help alleviate pain and restore and improve mobility, and encourage consumers to visit www.moveforwardpt.com to learn more and find a PT. The ads will run numerous times each week during Sirius/XM Stars (including Rosie O'Donnell, Barbara Walters, Martha Stewart, Dr Laura, and Deepak Chopra), CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, Bloomberg Radio, and Oprah Radio. Channels were chosen for ability to reach baby boomers, a key target market for APTA's branding campaign. Click on the following links to listen to ad 1 and ad 2.

    Give APTA Your Input on 'Guide to Physical Therapist Practice' Revision

    APTA's second edition of the Guide to Physical Therapist Practice has been undergoing extensive review and revision for a third edition, and we want to know your thoughts on the proposed changes so far. Numerous APTA sections, chapters, other member groups, and individual members have been involved in a series of field reviews, and all members now are being asked to provide input on some of the major themes in the draft revision, referred to as Guide3. You can find draft chapters 1-4 of Guide3, summary materials, and a link to the survey on the Guide website.Survey deadline is July 1.

    Ways to participate:

    1. On your own. After reviewing the chapters, the survey is expected to take about 45 minutes—an hour total. You can pause and save your responses, then come back later to complete the survey if you can't finish all at once.
    2. With a group. Plan a session with your colleagues to discuss the issues—either collaborating on your responses or "agreeing to disagree."
    3. With a class. Program directors can make a class project out of it—what do the profession's future clinicians, researchers, educators, or administrators want from the Guide?

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    More Than a Quarter Million Dollars Funded to Foundation Scholars

    The Foundation for Physical Therapy Board of Trustees recently awarded a total of $228,000 in Promotion of Doctoral Studies (PODS) I & II Scholarships and a New Investigator Fellowship Training Initiative (NIFTI) to 14 physical therapists. PODS I scholarships provide $7,500 each year to recipients; PODS II scholarships provide up to $15,000. This year's NIFTI awardee received $78,000. Read the press release to learn more.

    CMS Finalizes Rules on Small Business Health Options Program

    The final rule on the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) amends proposed regulations regarding triggering events and special enrollment periods for qualified employees and their dependents. It also implements a transitional policy regarding employees’ choice of qualified health plans (QHPs) in the SHOP. The Department of Health and Human Services released the final rule May 31.

    As part of the ACA’s provisions on affordable health insurance exchanges, a SHOP in each state will help qualified small businesses provide health insurance options for their employees. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) said business owners will have access to the program beginning October 1, and employee coverage is to begin January 1, 2014.

    APTA will post a summary on www.APTA.org in the near future.

    US Sen Kirk Credits Physical Therapy in His Stroke Recovery

    A recent article in the National Stroke Association's StrokeSmart magazine interviewed Sen Mark Kirk about his recovery from a stroke a year and a half ago. APTA member Mike Klonowski, PT, DPT, PCS, is featured prominently in the article as Kirk’s main physical therapist at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, where Kirk spent nearly 11 weeks.

    In the article, Klonowski reiterated 2 messages that physical therapists often cite in advocating for adequate rehabilitation for patients who have had a stroke. First, that "'it's no time to lie down and take it easy.' He explains that the time right after a stroke is the best opportunity for the brain to heal more quickly and the body to respond at its best levels. Working in rehab with a greater frequency and intensity creates an optimal environment for plasticity." And second, that "the myth that many stroke survivors have heard—that you stop improving six months or a year after the stroke—it isn't true. 'You will still see changes,' says Klonowski. 'They won’t be as dramatic. You'll continue to achieve once you get into an environment where you're doing what's important to you. Put in the time and preparation at the beginning and you’ll continue to improve.'"

    Klonowski also recounted his appearance at the State of the Union Address on February 12 as Kirk's guest.

    APTA's PTNow clinician’s portal includes clinical guidelines on stroke (member login required), among other resources, and the association's consumer guide to stroke is available on our MoveForwardPT.com website.