• Thursday, August 20, 2015RSS Feed

    APTA 'Emerging Leaders' Announced

    APTA has 27 reasons to feel good about the future of physical therapy.

    Just announced: the 27 winners of APTA's 2015 Emerging Leaders awards, a program that recognizes physical therapists (PTs) and physical therapist assistants (PTAs) from APTA components for their roles as up-and-coming leaders who have demonstrated extraordinary service early in their careers.

    This year, emerging leaders from 21 APTA state chapters and 6 sections were selected based on nominations from their components. A complete list of this year's leaders (.pdf) is available through the Hub, the APTA communities platform, and the winners will also be the subject of a feature story coming in the October issue of PT in Motion magazine.


    Friday, August 14, 2015RSS Feed

    2015 House of Delegates Minutes Now Posted

    Minutes of the 2015 House of Delegates (House) have been posted within the 2015 archives folder of the House area on the Hub, APTA's center for online communities.

    The minutes provide information on how the House revised and voted on all motions and bylaw amendments brought forward this year.

    Newly adopted or amended House policies, standing rules, and bylaws will be posted to the Policies and Bylaws area of the APTA website by August 28.


    Thursday, August 06, 2015RSS Feed

    That Was Then, This Is Also Then: When a Patient's Past Affects a PT's Present

    Physical therapists (PTs) treat all kinds of people with a wide range of backgrounds. But what happens when something in a patient's past stops the PT in her or his tracks, and introduces doubts about whether treatment can continue?

    That's the focus of this month's "Ethics in Practice" column in the August PT in Motion, APTA's member magazine. Column author Nancy R. Kirsch, PT, DPT, PhD, FAPTA, presents a vignette that, without delivering any spoilers here, brings an engaged and well-meaning PT face-to-face with her own feelings about some sensitive issues, and whether those feelings make working with the patient impossible.

    The ripple effects of the scenario don't stop with the PT and her patient. The "Ethics in Practice" article also touches on issues that must be addressed by the PT's supervisor.

    Moral sensitivity, moral temptation, moral silence—and how those concepts resonate with the Code of Ethics for Physical Therapists. Check out this month's PT in Motion for the whole story.

    "Ethics in Practice" is just one part of this month's issue of PT in Motion, which includes articles on leasing vs buying equipment, getting the most from trade shows, and tapping into vendor marketing assistance. Printed editions of PT in Motion are mailed to all members who have not opted out; digital versions are available online to members.

    Want more "Ethics in Practice"? PT in Motion now offers members a free online archive of the columns.


    Wednesday, August 05, 2015RSS Feed

    Final National Academies Publication on Future of Home Health Includes PT Perspective

    The summary of a high-profile workshop on the future of home health has been finalized in both electronic and print form, and it includes a physical therapy voice, by way of Cindy Krafft, PT, COS-C, president of the APTA Home Health Section.

    The 156-page publication, now available through the National Academies of Sciences' National Academies Press, accounts in detail a 2-day IOM and National Research Council (NRC)-hosted meeting that brought together leaders in health care, academia, and the federal government to talk about the current state of home health care, Medicare's evolving role, and what future needs and opportunities might arise in workforce, infrastructure, research, technology, and policy. APTA was among the sponsors of the event.

    The summary is available for free as a pdf file (free registration may be required); hardcopy versions can be purchased.

    Chapter 7 of the summary focuses on the use of technologies in home health care and includes comments from the president of APTA's Home Health Section. In those comments, Krafft acknowledges the potential for some technologies to enhance home health but warns that agencies shouldn't make assumptions about a patient's ability to use them. She also notes how current payment methods can discourage the use of potentially effective technologies, particularly when those technologies are considered a replacement for a reimbursable therapy visit.

    Highlights of the workshop were featured in a September US News & World Report article. Videos from the workshop are available from the IOM website.

    The Home Health Section recently updated and vastly expanded its guidelines on home health care. The resulting publication, Providing Physical Therapy in the Home, is sold through APTA’s online store.


    Friday, July 31, 2015RSS Feed

    Get Inspired: PTs and PTAs Make a Difference at the Special Olympics

    We could write a bunch of words describing the volunteer efforts of physical therapists (PTs) and physical therapist assistants (PTAs) at the Special Olympics games now taking place in Los Angeles, but really, wouldn't you rather see for yourself?

    Take a few minutes to get a visual reminder of why you're a member of the profession, and how #PTTransforms—check out this Storify from the Special Olympics' FUNfitness tent, a popular screening service that is now a staple of the games' Healthy Athletes program.

    590 px Sliver for Storify


      Want to see more photos from the FUNfitness screening tent? Check out this special article from ESPN.


    Friday, July 17, 2015RSS Feed

    Popular ICD-10 Webinar Now Available for Free Download

    Did you miss the sold-out APTA webinar on ICD-10 implementation? It's now available to APTA members as a free recording.

    "ICD-10: Final Steps for Successful Implementation," is a 90-minute presentation that provides a brief history of ICD-10, an overview of how it's different from ICD-9, and strategies for using the system set to begin on October 1. The webinar includes case studies and audience participation. APTA staff members Gayle Lee, JD, and Matt Elrod, PT, DPT, Med, NCS, lead the session, which was presented on July 9 to a full virtual house.

    More information on ICD-10 and its effects on physical therapists is available on APTA's ICD-10 webpage.


    Tuesday, July 14, 2015RSS Feed

    NEXT Photos Available for Print, Download

    Don't let your memories of the 2015 NEXT Conference and Exposition fade—check out the event photos available for print or digital download.

    To purchase, go to the David Braun Photography website and click on "NEXT 2015" under "Recent Photos." Enter password: lumbar and click on the photo group you’d like to view. Select your photos and order through the shopping cart. The collection also includes photos from the 2015 APTA House of Delegates.

    Questions? Contact David Braun at info@davidbraun.com.

    To spark more memories from NEXT 2015, visit the NEXT webpage, which includes news coverage, video, and information for claiming CEUs.


    Wednesday, July 08, 2015RSS Feed

    PTs Make It to TV—And the Finish Line

    Physical therapists (PTs) are once again in the public eye, both for what they do for patients and clients, and the way they live out their professional values.

    Recently, Colette Pientok, PT, OCS, CFMT, was featured in an episode of "The Little Couple," a TLC reality program that follows the lives of Bill Klein and Jennifer Arnold, who both have skeletal dysplasia. Pientok appears about midway through the episode that first aired on June 16. In the episode, she assists with Klein's recovery from back surgery.

    In the "PTs walking-the-walk" department, Brad Cooper, PT, MS, MBA, MTC, ATC, CWC, took home honors as part of the team that captured the title in the 2-person division of the 2015 Race Across America, a 3,000 mile coast-to-cast bike race. Cooper and teammate Jerry Schemmel (announcer for the Colorado Rockies) parlayed the race into a fundraising effort that earned over $50,000 to help build an orphanage for special needs children in Haiti.

    In a press release announcing the results, Cooper explained that his role as the provider of a wellness coach certification program was a catalyst for his participation in the race.

    "Our mission … is to help individuals help others make meaningful and positive changes in their lives," Cooper said. "That often involves stepping out of our personal comfort zone. If we're encouraging others to do this, we need to be willing to do the same so we decided to give it a go."


    Thursday, July 02, 2015RSS Feed

    From PT in Motion Magazine: Value vs Volume

    Yes, physical therapists (PTs) should be judged by the value of their work; and no, that value should not be solely tied to cold statistics having to do with how many billable hours and services they can deliver. But applying that seemingly simple idea to real-world PT practice is, well … complicated.

    This month's issue of PT in Motion magazine takes on the issue of how PT performance is measured, with a particular emphasis on some employers' reliance on "productivity" metrics. APTA and other organizations believe this can ignore the importance of the PT's clinical judgment and challenge the PTs’ integrity in providing appropriate care.

    The article presents the debate as complex and multifaceted, with perspectives from PTs who (sometimes anonymously) recount their own experiences and fears about how productivity pressures impact ethical practice, as well as from PTs who understand that business realities force health care employers to scrutinize every cent of cash flow and adopt policies that allow them to survive in a world of shrinking profit margins.

    Further complicating the issue: health care's evolution away from fee-for-service models, a transformation that is already challenging the profession and its employers to rethink how to get at, document, and measure the "value equation" in care. The article looks at this issue in part through the eyes of Jim Dunleavy, PT, DPT, MS, who participates in an APTA work group focused on the topic and along with Lynn Steffes, PT, DPT, recorded a webinar on how PTs can help facilitate a transition from volume to value.

    The need to counterbalance volume-based metrics with a value-based model is clear and immediate, according to Dunleavy.

    "Because in an environment in which we're not generating dollars every time we touch someone, which is the way most of health care is headed, if we can't show why we're here and how we're helping, we're in trouble," Dunleavy says in the article.

    "Measuring by Value, Not Volume," is featured in the July issue of PT in Motion and is open to all viewers—pass it along to nonmember colleagues to show them one of the benefits of belonging to APTA. Printed editions of the magazine are mailed to all members who have not opted out; digital versions are available online to members.


    Tuesday, June 30, 2015RSS Feed

    PTA a Featured Career in Chicago Tribune Article

    A recent article in the Chicago Tribune not only makes the case for the physical therapist assistant (PTA) as a career that's growing fast, it describes those who pursue the profession as dedicated, knowledgeable, and tuned in to people.

    The June 21 article highlights the work of Lee Hatfield, PTA, who works in Los Angeles, California, describing him as spending his days "traveling to patients' homes and working with them to perform various exercises and help them with gait and balance training, mobility, and more."

    Overall, the article presents an accurate snapshot of the PTA's responsibilities, the education required to assume those responsibilities, and the relationship under the direction of a physical therapist. Despite a few minor oversights—for example, occasionally calling the PTA a "physical therapy assistant" (it's "physical therapist assistant"), and stating that licensure or certification is required in "most" states (it's required in all 50), the article captures the basics of the profession in a short amount of space.

    The article also provides Hatfield with an opportunity to explain why he chose the profession.

    "I enjoy working with people, helping them recover from injuries and illness," he says in the article. "I also enjoy exercise and educating patients on how to live a healthier and happier life."


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