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  • Letter Helps PTs Send Unified Message to CMS on 2018 Fee Schedule, More Broad Medicare Changes

    The US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) is looking for comments on the proposed 2018 Medicare physician fee schedule—and on Medicare as a whole. Now APTA is making it easy to seize the opportunity for the profession to speak with a unified voice.

    Just added to the APTA website: a template letter to CMS that covers both the proposed fee schedule and more general Medicare issues. The letter supports the CMS decision to make no changes to current procedural terminology (CPT) codes that were identified as possibly "misvalued," and recommends that the agency do more to increase patient access to physical therapist (PT) services, particularly in the areas of prevention, preoperative rehabilitation, and pain management.

    The letter, a Microsoft Word file, includes areas for the sender to fill in information about specific services she or he provides, practice setting, and other information. Instructions for getting the letter to CMS—electronically or by regular or express mail—are provided.

    APTA also will submit comments on the fee schedule. As in past comments on proposed rules delivered to CMS this year, the association will in its fee schedule comments include its perspective on broader changes to Medicare.

    Deadline for comments to CMS on the fee schedule is September 11.

    From Move Forward Radio: Boston Marathon Bombing Survivor Dances to the Beat of a 'New Normal'

    After losing her lower leg in the Boston Marathon bombing, former professional ballroom dancer Adrianne Haslet feared she would never step out on the floor again. "My foot was my tool … and it was completely taken away from me," she says. "I thought my quality of life would be a nothing."

    But she was determined to dance again, and even run. With the dedication of her physical therapist (PT) and the rest of her health care team, Haslet did just that. She cried when she practiced her first dance step in her kitchen.

    Now available from APTA's Move Forward Radio: a conversation with Haslet, who shared her experience of recovery and her "new normal" —including running the 2016 Boston Marathon, where "just crossing the starting line" was a victory. The NEXT 2017 keynote speaker also was featured in a MoveForwardPT video about the value of physical therapy.

    Move Forward Radio is 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.

    Other recent Move Forward Radio episodes include:

    Preparing for the Latest Sports Craze: Obstacle Course Racing
    The latest sports craze of obstacle course races is full of physical demands. Physical therapist and certified athletic trainer Mike Ryan, PT, ATC, describes the allure of these increasingly popular physical challenges and how to successfully prepare for them.

    Success Story: Physical Therapist Collaborates With Surgeon to Solve Hip Impingement Diagnosis
    The pain that Annie Karp felt in her hip wasn’t intense, but it was unrelenting. For months she met with numerous health care providers in an attempt to resolve the issue. And for months she had no success, until a PT asked her a fairly simple question: "Are you a dancer?"

    Cancer-Related Fatigue and Physical Therapy
    Cancer-related fatigue isn’t unique to any type of cancer or cancer treatment, and it can occur even after treatment is complete. Marie Calys, PT, DPT, explains why exercise is 1 of the most effective ways to manage it.

    Rheumatoid Arthritis and Physical Therapy
    Unlike osteoarthritis, the effects of rheumatoid arthritis can be felt across a person’s entire body. Maura Daly-Iversen, PT, DPT, SD, FAPTA, discusses what we know about rheumatoid arthritis and how to effectively manage its effects.

    Osteoarthritis of the Hip and Knee
    Osteoarthritis can make movement difficult, and yet 1 of the best ways to manage osteoarthritis is to move. Mary Ann Wilmarth, PT, DPT, MS, doesn’t just treat people with the condition; she lives with it, too.

    Treatment of Core Muscle Injury (Don’t Call It Sports Hernia)
    These days, whenever ESPN injury analyst Stephania Bell, PT, meets an elite athlete who has undergone surgery to perform core muscle repair, she has a good idea about who might have performed the procedure.

    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 emailed to consumer@apta.org.