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  • APTA Gives $1 Million to Foundation to Create the Center of Excellence for Health Services Research

    APTA has pledged $1 million to the Foundation for Physical Therapy to help create the Center of Excellence (COE) for Health Services/Health Policy Research. 

    The COE will provide training for physical therapy researchers to conduct health services/health policy (HS/HP) research. HS/HP research will examine physical therapy resource utilization, costs, and quality, and will identify the most effective ways to deliver, organize, finance, and assess outcomes of health care services.

    Academic institutions will compete for funds to start the nation's first training program to develop physical therapy investigators in HS/HP research. The selected institution must promote an intellectual environment that attracts members of the physical therapy profession to HS/HP research, provide research experience, mentorships, and opportunities for collaboration with scientists from other disciplines, and conduct pilot projects leading to future high-impact health services research studies.

    Read more about the COE at www.apta.org/.

    Final HIPAA Omnibus Rule Released

    Yesterday, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a final omnibus rule that  makes extensive modifications to the privacy, security, and enforcement rules established under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). 

    The final rule expands many of the requirements to business associates of entities that receive protected health information, such as contractors and subcontractors. Penalties are increased for noncompliance based on the level of negligence with a maximum penalty of $1.5 million per violation.

    The changes also strengthen the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Breach Notification requirements by clarifying when breaches of unsecured health information must be reported to HHS. An interim final version has been in effect since September 2009. The new version clarifies requirements for when a breach must be reported to authorities.

    The final rule will be effective March 26. However, covered entities and business associates have until September 23 to comply with the rule.

    APTA will post a summary of the rule in the future.

    APTA offers member information and links to learn about compliance with HIPAA regulations at www.apta.org/HIPAA/.

    HHS Issues Letter to Providers on Disclosures to Avert Threats to Health or Safety

    Prompted by the recent mass shootings across the country, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) this week released a letter to healthcare providers to emphasize that the Health Insurance Portability And Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule does not prevent a provider from disclosing information about a patient "…to law enforcement, family members of the patient, or other persons [who may reasonably be able to prevent or lessen the risk of harm], when you believe the patient presents a serious danger to himself or other people."

    Issued by HHS' Office of Civil Rights, the letter recommends that providers consult their state law, court decisions, and professional practice acts for any additional requirements related to disclosure of patient information to prevent or lessen the risk of harm.

    APTA Site Maintenance Scheduled for January 25-28

    APTA will upgrade critical systems the weekend of January 25. During this upgrade, website visitors will be able to access www.apta.org, log in to member-only content, work on an LMS course, use Find a PT, look up an individual in the Membership Directory, and use the fee calculator. However, they will not be able to pay membership dues, update their profile information, or register for an event. Please continue to use www.apta.org throughout the weekend. If, when you do, you see the image below, check back with us on Monday, January 28.

    Site Maintenance