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  • KY Governor Appoints Physical Therapist to Health Exchange Board

    On September 18, Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear appointed Connie Hauser, PT, DPT, ATC, to the Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange Advisory Board. The 19-member Health Exchange Board will review program and policy issues and make recommendations for Kentucky’s new marketplace for health insurance mandated by the federal Affordable Care Act.

    "We need the insight and experience of a variety of Kentuckians to ensure that the Exchange not only meets the requirements of the law, but also meets the needs of Kentuckians who will be looking for affordable health insurance," said Beshear

    The Kentucky Chapter nominated Hauser to Governor Beshear because of her knowledge and understanding of health care and payment policy, and her experience as a clinician. Hauser, a private practice practitioner, previously served as Kentucky Chapter president, 2 terms on the APTA Board of Directors, and 1 term as APTA treasurer. Hauser also served as chair of APTA's Public Policy Committee (previously known as the Government Affairs Committee).

    The primary purpose of the state-based health exchanges is to enhance competition in the health insurance market, improve consumers’ choice of affordable health insurance, and give small businesses the same purchasing clout as large businesses. The Kentucky Health Exchange will facilitate the purchase and sale of health plans in the individual market, assist small employers in facilitating the enrollment of their employees in health plans, and provide 1-stop shopping by helping individuals enroll in health plans. The exchange also will enable individuals to receive premium tax credits and premium subsidies, and qualify small businesses for tax credits. For additional information on state health insurance exchanges, visit APTA's website.

    New Therapy Cap Resources Posted

    APTA has created 2 new resources to help members prepare for the October 1 implementation of the therapy cap to hospital outpatient settings and the start of the manual medical review process.

    • A prerecorded webinar and accompanying PowerPoint slides cover the changes to the therapy cap policy in detail.
    • A comprehensive document provides links to each Medicare Administrative Contractor's manual medical review information and preauthorization forms.

    These new resources and more can be found on APTA's Medicare therapy cap webpage.

    APTA Members Serve Important Roles in CDC-Funded Falls Prevention Project

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently awarded $800,000 to Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Rural Public Health and the University of North Carolina for a 2-year Policies, Programs, and Partners for Fall Prevention (PPPFP) project. APTA member Tiffany E. Shubert, PT, PhD, is a principal investigator for the initiative

    The project addresses the urgent need to identify more effective public health strategies for reducing falls, fall-related injuries, and fall-related rates of emergency room visits among the growing population of seniors. It also will develop strategies and train community health workers in Texas and North Carolina to help raise awareness about falls prevention and refer older adults to evidence-based programs. This includes the evaluation of a training program for physical therapists to understand and implement evidence-based fall prevention and to integrate these efforts with state and national fall prevention policies

    An important partner in this effort is the National Council on Aging's Falls Free© Initiative, led by APTA member (Bonita) Lynn Beattie, PT, MPT. The national initiative—composed of 42 state coalitions—works collaboratively to increase awareness, bring education and training to providers, and increase investment in effective community interventions.

    The timing of the award is noteworthy; September 22 is National Falls Prevention Awareness Day. (See related News Now   article posted Monday.) 

    Shubert is a member of APTA's clinical practice guidelines (CPG) group that is developing CPGs for falls.

    Moffat and Students 'Blitz' Morning Shows

    Marilyn Moffat, PT, DPT, PhD, FAPTA, CSCS, and New York University physical therapy students appeared in the crowd on the "Today" show and "Good Morning America" yesterday to raise awareness about the Foundation for Physical Therapy. They were easily recognizable by banners promoting the Foundation and their bright green shirts that flanked the outdoor areas of NBC and ABC studios in midtown Manhattan. Moffat organizes the annual "media blitz" of morning shows to promote the Foundation.

    Good Morning America - 09/20/12
    Moffat and students outside the "Good Morning America" studio.