• News New Blog Banner

  • Open Door Forum Tomorrow on Manual Medical Review of Therapy Claims

    Tomorrow the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will hold a special open door forum, ­­3:00 pm-4:00 pm ET (conference call only), on the manual medical review of therapy claims. Physical therapists are encouraged to participate in the call, which will provide an opportunity to ask questions about the mandated manual medical review of therapy services October 1-December 31, 2012, which was enacted by the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012. 

    CMS will discuss therapy documentation requirements. The therapy cap applies to all Part B outpatient therapy settings and providers including:

    • private practices,
    • Part B skilled nursing facilities,
    • home health agencies (TOB 34X),
    • rehabilitation agencies (outpatient rehabilitation facilities), and
    • comprehensive outpatient rehabilitation facilities.

    Beginning this year, the therapy cap also will apply to therapy services furnished in hospital outpatient departments October 1-December 31, 2012. Before 2012, therapy provided in hospital outpatient departments did not count toward the therapy cap.

    Participants may submit questions prior to the special forum to therapycapreview@cms.hhs.gov.

    To participate, call 866/501-5502 and enter conference ID 34261274. (TTY Communications Relay Services are available for people with hearing impairments. For TTY services dial 7-1-1 or 800/855-2880. A relay communications assistant will help.)

    A downloadable transcript and audio recording of the forum will be posted to CMS' website.

    Visualize, Customize, and Share State-level Data From RWJF

    The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's (RWJF) new Data Hub tracks state-level data and allows users to visualize, customize, and share facts and figures on key health care topics. Users select a category and an indicator to create a map or rankings report, and can modify reports as appropriate by payer, income, educational attainment, race/ethnicity, or timeframe. Data Hub is part of RWJF's commitment to providing timely, accessible information and evidence to inform health policies and practices. The online resource establishes a system of priority measures for monitoring state-level progress toward improving the nation's health and health care.

    Military Leaders Call for Less Junk Food in Schools, Fitter Youths

    Being overweight or obese is the leading medical reason that young adults cannot join the military, with 1 in 4 too overweight to enlist, says a report issued today by Mission:Readiness, a group of more than 300 retired generals and admirals.

    Schools are selling 400 billion calories of junk food every year—the equivalent of nearly 2 billion candy bars—says Still Too Fat to Fight, which calls for stronger standards for foods and beverages sold at schools.

    According to the report, the military spends over a billion dollars a year on weight-related diseases. "Because our country has failed to improve fitness and reduce obesity among our youth, the military has had to work much harder than in the past to recruit and retain enough qualified men and women who can effectively serve our country," the authors say.

    This month the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is highlighting the critical role that schools play in improving the physical activity and dietary and behaviors of children and adolescents. CDC has synthesized research and best practices related to promoting healthy eating and physical activity in schools, culminating in 9 guidelines.

    Each of the guidelines is accompanied by a set of implementation strategies developed to help schools work toward achieving each guideline. For example, strategies to achieve guideline 4, which calls for the implementation of a comprehensive physical activity program with high-quality physical education as the cornerstone, include requiringstudents in grades K-12 to participate in daily physical education that uses a planned and sequential curriculum and instructional practices that are consistent with national or state standards for physical education, providing a substantial percentage of each student's recommended daily amount of physical activity in physical education class, and using instructional strategies in physical education that enhance students' behavioral skills, confidence in their abilities, and desire to adopt and maintain a physically active lifestyle.