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  • July 10 DCoE Webinar Focuses on Concussion and Football Helmets

    Football helmets may "work," but what does that really mean in terms of concussions? Physical therapists (PTs) and physical therapist assistants (PTAs) can gain insight into the effectiveness of equipment in reducing concussion incidence while getting information on the pathophysiology of the injury through a free webinar from the US Department of Defense Centers of Excellence (DCoE).

    The 90-minute program is set for July 10, 1:00–2:30 pm ET, and will cover the latest consensus statements about helmets and concussion prevention, the biomechanics and pathophysiology of concussion, the role of acceleration information in characterizing brain injury risk, and the ways in which rule changes and better equipment could reduce risk of brain injury.

    Presenters include Kristy Arbogast, PhD, pediatrics co-scientific director for the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia's Center for Injury Research and Prevention; Donald Marion, MD, MSc, of the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center; and Steven Rowson, PhD, assistant research professor at the Virginia Tech School of Biomedical Engineering.

    Webinar participants can register in advance or on the day of the presentation.

    Log 'N Blog: Get Happy—and Help Physical Therapy

    Want to feel good about yourself? Add up all those miles you ran, or biked, or swam, or hours you worked out since February. Whoa, kind of impressive, right?

    Want to feel really good about yourself? Help physical therapy research by documenting those activities in the Foundation for Physical Therapy's Log 'N Blog campaign.

    And yes, there's still time. But not much.

    July 31 is the deadline to join the Foundation for Physical Therapy's "Log 'N Blog" initiative, the physical therapy student-led fundraiser in which teams and individuals compete by tracking their fitness activities. Proceeds from Log 'N Blog are used to support physical therapy research.

    And this year, there's good news for those arriving late to the competition: no matter when you sign up, you can log any activity that began after February 1. After the contest closes at the end of July, recognition will be given to the teams and individuals with the most miles and activity hours.

    Visit the Log 'N Blog website to sign up and check out the competition.

    CMS 2015 Home Health Payment Proposal Estimates .3% Net Decrease, Requires Reassessments Every 14 Days

    Estimating a net decrease of .3% to home health agencies for next year, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has released its proposed rule for the Home Health Prospective Payment System (HH PPS) for 2015. The rule proposes a home health market basket update of 2.2% adjusted for multifactor productivity as mandated by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and includes a requirement that functional therapy reassessments be conducted every 14 days.

    CMS will implement the second year of the ACA-mandated 4-year phase-in for rebasing adjustments to the HH PPS payment rate by decreasing home health payment by 3.5 percent. The proposed national, standardized 60-day episode payment for 2015 is $2,922.76. The proposed per-visit amount for physical therapy in 2015 is $139.73 for home health agencies (HHAs) in compliance with quality reporting requirements.

    Other rules have been proposed it the following areas:

    • CMS proposes to simplify the home health therapy functional reassessment by reversing the current requirements to complete the assessment at the 13th and 19th visits and/or at least every 30 days and instead require a qualified therapist (rather than an assistant) from each discipline to provide the therapy and functionally reassess the patient at least every 14 days. The requirement would apply to all episodes regardless of the number of therapy visits provided. The current documentation requirements to use objective measurement tools in this assessment would not change.
    • CMS proposes significant changes to the physician face-to-face encounter requirements. First, CMS would eliminate the narrative requirement. Second, CMS would consider only medical records from the patient’s certifying physician or discharging facility to determine if the patient is eligible for Medicare home health. Third, CMS would consider the physician Medicare claim for certification/recertification for home health services (not the face-to-face encounter visit) a noncovered service if the HHA claim was not covered because the patient was found ineligible for home health.
    • CMS proposes that HHAs submit both admission and discharge outcome and assessment information set (OASIS) assessments for a minimum of 70% of all patients with episodes of care occurring during the applicable reporting period. This threshold would increase by 10% each year until reaching a cap of 90% in 2017.

    Last, CMS invites comments on a pilot value-based purchasing (VBP) model for HHAs that would begin in 2016. CMS hopes to test the model in up to 8 states.

    APTA staff is conducting a complete review of the proposed rule and will provide a detailed summary in the coming days.