• Tuesday, July 09, 2013RSS Feed

    MACs Want to Know: How's Our Service?

    Physical therapists and other health care providers now have a chance to rate their Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs).

    The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is launching a new provider satisfaction measuring tool, the MAC Satisfaction Indicator (MSI) and in preparation is building a registry of participants. CMS will gather contact information from the registered Medicare fee-for-service providers from which to draw a random sample who will have an opportunity to express their level of satisfaction with their MAC.

    CMS and the MACs will use the results of the MSI to improve their service to all Medicare fee-for-service providers.

    Registration opened yesterday, July 8, and should take less than 1 minute to complete. Please visit the Medicare Contractor Satisfaction Indicator webpage for more information.


    Tuesday, July 09, 2013RSS Feed

    House Adopts New Vision of the Physical Therapy Profession

    The 2013 APTA House of Delegates adopted a landmark new vision of the profession of physical therapy: "Transforming society by optimizing movement to improve the human experience."

    Building on the foundation of APTA's Vision 2020 and working through a collaborative process of literature review, interviews and surveys, meetings, and input from the Board of Directors and others, a Board-appointed task force met the charge of the 2010 House of Delegates to bring a proposed new vision statement to the 2013 House for consideration.

    Most significant about the new vision is its outward perspective. This reflects physical therapy’s maturation from an inward-facing profession that aspired to the elements outlined in Vision 2020—autonomous practice, direct access, doctor of physical therapy, evidence-based practice, practitioner of choice, and professionalism. Now that the profession has largely achieved these aspirations, it can envision the impact that physical therapy can and must have on individuals, communities, and populations. APTA Board of Directors member Lisa Saladin, PT, PhD, the Board liaison for the vision-related motions brought to the House floor, assured delegates that these elements haven’t been lost in the concise, bold new vision. They are addressed in companion Guiding Principles to Achieve the Vision, which the 2013 House also considered and adopted. These 8 principles demonstrate how the profession and society will look when this new vision is achieved:

    Identity explains the importance of validating the movement system along with other body systems and affirming the physical therapy profession’s responsibility to define it, promote it, and evaluate and manage it in patients and clients.

    Quality commits the profession to establish and adopt best practice standards.

    Collaboration charges the profession to join others in solving the health-related challenges that society faces.

    Value includes accountability in demonstrating that services are safe, effective, patient-centered, timely, efficient, and equitable.

    Innovation describes the creativity and proactivity of the profession that will enhance health services delivery and increase the value of physical therapy to society.

    Consumer-centricity indicates that patient/client/consumer values and goals are central to all efforts of the profession.

    Access/equity acknowledges the profession’s obligation to recognize and ameliorate health inequities and disparities.

    Advocacy identifies the profession’s role to advocate for patients/clients/consumers as individuals and as a population. [RC 14A-13, RC 15-13]

    Draft language adopted by the 2013 House of Delegates will be available on the House Community no later than July 12. Final language for all actions taken by the June 2013 House will be available by September after the minutes have been approved.

    See more results of the 2013 House of Delegates by following this link, or click on July 9 from the News Now calendar.



    APTA Director Lisa K. Saladin, PT, PhD, discusses the 2013 APTA House of Delegates adoption of a new vision for the profession.

    Watch other dispatches from Salt Lake City.


    Tuesday, July 09, 2013RSS Feed

    Academic Council Designated as an APTA Component

    Amendments to the APTA bylaws have granted component status to the newly named American Council of Academic Physical Therapy (ACAPT). ACAPT, originally established in 2010 as the Academic Council of the Board of Directors, provides leadership and direction for physical therapist academic and clinical education, such as facilitating collaboration across institutions to develop new education models; defining metrics of quality and excellence to enhance academic programs, departments, and schools; and influencing policy and regulation related to academic physical therapy.

    ACAPT's voting members are academic institutions with CAPTE-accredited physical therapist programs, represented by individual APTA members per the bylaws amendments. ACAPT is meant to bridge a gap between APTA and PT education—APTA establishes goals and priorities that impact education, but educational institutions have the authority to change educational policies and practices. As educational institutions, the voting members of ACAPT will both determine and implement policies and practices in collaboration with APTA and other stakeholders.

    As a component, ACAPT will send a representative to the annual House of Delegates as a consultant to respond to inquiries as directed by the speaker of the House. [RC 2-13, RC 3-13]

    Draft language adopted by the 2013 House of Delegates will be available on the House Community no later than July 12. Final language for all actions taken by the June 2013 House will be available by September after the minutes have been approved.

    See more results of the 2013 House of Delegates by following this link, or click on July 9 from the News Now calendar.


    Tuesday, July 09, 2013RSS Feed

    US Health Care System Should Meet Individual, Community, and Population Needs

    APTA updated its policy on principles and objectives for the US health care system, aligning it with the association's outward-facing vision of what’s best for the health of society. The renamed policy, Principles and Objectives for the United States Health Care System, features a higher focus on patient-centered care; conveys that health care providers, including physical therapists, should be able to practice and be paid for their full scope of practice; recognizes the provision of care for maintenance of health; and emphasizes equitable and value-based payment. A new principle, Team-Based Care, reflects current health policy laws, regulation, and culture and calls for health care team leaders to be identified based on the patient's needs, changing as the patient's needs change. [RC 16-13]

    Draft language adopted by the 2013 House of Delegates will be available on the House Community no later than July 12. Final language for all actions taken by the June 2013 House will be available by September after the minutes have been approved.

    See more results of the 2013 House of Delegates by following this link, or click on July 9 from the News Now calendar.


    Tuesday, July 09, 2013RSS Feed

    Standards of Practice Recognize Ongoing PT-Patient Relationship

    "Discharge" is being discharged from the physical therapy profession's lexicon as the term to describe conclusion of an episode of care, per revisions to the House of Delegates "Standards of Practice for Physical Therapy." Adopted changes to Section III of the Standards of Practice acknowledge that physical therapists (PTs) develop long-term professional relationships with their patients/clients that may stretch over many years throughout the continuum of the patient's/client's lifespan. Rather than "discharging" a patient, PTs conclude an episode of care, with the possibility of future services and fostering a professional patient/client relationship.

    Specific areas that this culture shift addresses include but aren't limited to:

    • Wellness and prevention visits without the presence of disease or illness
    • Single-visit follow-ups after an episode of care to ensure patient adherence and progress
    • Single visits or a brief series of visits outside the historical pattern of referral for a finite series of visits
    • Intermittent care of patients/clients with chronic conditions

    APTA staff will incorporate "episode of care" and related terms into its publications, documents, and communications as materials go through planned review and revision cycles and will encourage adoption of the terminology as appropriate to members and external constituents.

    Similarly, APTA will consider when to use "physical therapist services" or "physical therapist practice"' as the preferred terms when referring to the provision of physical therapy, as opposed to "physical therapy services" or "physical therapy practice." Staff will incorporate these terms, as appropriate, into materials during planned review and revision cycles. [RC 17-13, RC 18-13, RC 21-13]

    Draft language adopted by the 2013 House of Delegates will be available on the House Community no later than July 12. Final language for all actions taken by the June 2013 House will be available by September after the minutes have been approved.

    See more results of the 2013 House of Delegates by following this link, or click on July 9 from the News Now calendar.


    Tuesday, July 09, 2013RSS Feed

    Corresponding Membership Available for Students

    An amendment to the APTA bylaws provides for student rates for APTA student members to join additional state chapters. The cost to be a corresponding student in an additional chapter can't exceed the chapter's student physical therapist or student physical therapist assistant dues. Before the amendment, the only corresponding member rates available were full physical therapist (PT) or full physical therapist assistant (PTA) member rates. The corresponding student member rate offers affordable access when, for example, a student wants to be a member of her or his home chapter, her or his DPT/PTA program's chapter, and the chapter during a clinical affiliation or residency. [RC 1-13]

    Draft language adopted by the 2013 House of Delegates will be available on the House Community no later than July 12. Final language for all actions taken by the June 2013 House will be available by September after the minutes have been approved.

    See more results of the 2013 House of Delegates by following this link, or click on July 9 from the News Now calendar.


    Tuesday, July 09, 2013RSS Feed

    Resolution Calls for Broadened Efforts to Reduce Administrative Burdens That Limit Care and Increase Recognition of Value of Physical Therapist Services

    As further evidence that the physical therapy profession is moving away from an internal focus and looking out toward the needs of health care consumers and society, APTA has resolved to focus advocacy efforts on demonstrating to society the value of physical therapist (PT) participation in the health care system and on achieving access for consumers to necessary PT services. At the same time, the association rescinded a House of Delegates policy calling for attainment of "physician status" under Medicare (HOD P06-05-16-08). Because of drawbacks to pursuing "physician status" APTA noted that efforts were better directed toward the goals of the new resolution, Public Policy Efforts to Improve Consumer Access to Physical Therapists. Under this resolution, the association can pursue multiple strategies to improve access to physical therapist services and take any statutory opportunities that present in the current and evolving environment. [RC 19-13, RC 20-13]

    Draft language adopted by the 2013 House of Delegates will be available on the House Community no later than July 12. Final language for all actions taken by the June 2013 House will be available by September after the minutes have been approved.

    See more results of the 2013 House of Delegates by following this link, or click on July 9 from the News Now calendar.


    Tuesday, July 09, 2013RSS Feed

    Documentation Should Reflect Clinical Reasoning and Decision Making

    As health care reform evolves, and the profession seeks a new payment system that moves away from fee-for-service and toward recognition of the clinical reasoning and decision making of the physical therapist (PT), the House of Delegates charged APTA to pursue documentation standards that align with this goal, reflecting the PT’s clinical reasoning and decision making. Supporting comments to the House motion argued that PTs should be recognized for (and, therefore, documentation for payment should be based on) the “why”—our unique knowledge and skill set that helps individuals improve movement and function, instead of strictly on the "what" or "how"—the procedures performed. [RC 24-13]

    Draft language adopted by the 2013 House of Delegates will be available on the House Community no later than July 12. Final language for all actions taken by the June 2013 House will be available by September after the minutes have been approved.

    See more results of the 2013 House of Delegates by following this link, or click on July 9 from the News Now calendar.


    Tuesday, July 09, 2013RSS Feed

    APTA Pledges to Support Health Care Access for People With Chronic Disability

    Noting that "the current model of management involving episodic care is not adequate to meet the needs of those living with chronic disability and relying on both Medicare and Medicaid for the reimbursement of physical therapy services," a new APTA position pledges action on the issue.

    The Role of Physical Therapy in Health Management for People With Chronic Disability emphasizes that government agencies are the insurers of "last resort"for most people with chronic or degenerative disabilities who are classified as "dual eligible"(beneficiaries of both Medicare and Medicaid). APTA resolves to "support and advocate"for that population’s "timely and regular"access to physical therapist services, needed equipment, and assistive and adaptive devices.

    A companion motion commits APTA to develop a plan to meet the motion’s intent. An interim report is due to the House of Delegates in 2014 and a final report in 2015. [RC 25-13, RC 26-13]

    Draft language adopted by the 2013 House of Delegates will be available on the House Community no later than July 12. Final language for all actions taken by the June 2013 House will be available by September after the minutes have been approved.

    See more results of the 2013 House of Delegates by following this link, or click on July 9 from the News Now calendar.


    Tuesday, July 09, 2013RSS Feed

    PTs as Prescribers of DME Could Improve Patient Access to Equipment and Related Services

    Recognizing physical therapists (PTs) for their expertise in evaluating for, training in, and prescribing durable medical equipment (DME) will lead to more timely access to appropriate and necessary equipment and services, APTA said in adopting a resolution that supports PTs as authorized prescribers of DME, which is integral to PT patient/client management.

    Even after a PT evaluation has determined that DME is needed, patients often experience delays in getting a prescription by those now authorized to prescribe, the resolution argues. The delays force those individuals to remain immobile or at reduced function and safety while waiting on their DME.

    Our profession would demonstrate its commitment to patient- and client-centered care by advocating for the support of choice, access, quality, and adequate funding for DME and related services, which would include authorizing PTs as prescribers. [RC-27-13]

    Draft language adopted by the 2013 House of Delegates will be available on the House Community no later than July 12. Final language for all actions taken by the June 2013 House will be available by September after the minutes have been approved.

    See more results of the 2013 House of Delegates by following this link, or click on July 9 from the News Now calendar.


    Tuesday, July 09, 2013RSS Feed

    Training Program Will Foster Consistent, High-Quality Peer Review

    The House called upon APTA to review current resources and develop needed new resources to provide and promote a process for the training and recognition of physical therapists (PTs) to perform peer review of physical therapist services. APTA’s existing position (HOD P06-04-16-15) that only PTs should review physical therapist services hasn’t yet been realized; the lack of trained and qualified reviewers is partly to blame, supporting comments for the motion indicated.

    A report outlining the process and a timeline for completion is due to the 2014 House of Delegates with plans for implementation due no later than January 1, 2015. [RC 29-13]

    Draft language adopted by the 2013 House of Delegates will be available on the House Community no later than July 12. Final language for all actions taken by the June 2013 House will be available by September after the minutes have been approved.

    See more results of the 2013 House of Delegates by following this link, or click on July 9 from the News Now calendar.


    Tuesday, July 09, 2013RSS Feed

    APTA Announces Other Results of House of Delegates Activity

    In addition to the motions reported on separately today, he House of Delegates debated and resolved several motions related to operations and governance:

    • After a long and mindful debate, a motion to give section delegates voting rights was defeated. [RC 4-13]
    • Delegates referred to the Board of Directors a proposed resolution to support management of pediatric overuse injuries. The Board is expected to review it in terms of potential special interest resolutions in general and look for ways to address these interests other than individual House resolutions. [RC 22-13]
    • Per previous years' progress toward governance review and reform, motions passed that clarify and define the powers of the House, the Board, and the Reference Committee; and codify the election classes for the Board of Directors. [RC 5-13, RC 7-13, RC 8-13, RC 10-13]
    • Responsibilities were clarified for submitting House motions, preparing background papers on motions, and submitting delegate names and information for an upcoming House. [RC 11-13, RC 12-13, RC 13-13]

    Draft language adopted by the 2013 House of Delegates will be available on the House Community no later than July 12. Final language for all actions taken by the June 2013 House will be available by September after the minutes have been approved.

    See more results of the 2013 House of Delegates by following this link, or click on July 9 from the News Now calendar.


    Tuesday, July 09, 2013RSS Feed

    Parliamentarian John Stackpole Named Honorary APTA Member

    John Stackpole, PhD, PRP, CPP, became an honorary APTA member on June 26 by a unanimous vote. Stackpole was parliamentarian to the House of Delegates from 1994 to 2011, offering guidance from the dais based on his knowledge of parliamentary procedure. He helped 4 different speakers of the House keep order during the annual proceedings—no small feat. [RC 30-13]

    Draft language adopted by the 2013 House of Delegates will be available on the House Community no later than July 12. Final language for all actions taken by the June 2013 House will be available by September after the minutes have been approved.

    See more results of the 2013 House of Delegates in News Now by following this link, or click on "July 9" from the News Now calendar.


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