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  • Federal Government Shutdown Begins Today

    The federal government began a shutdown today that will affect daily operations of most federal agencies. At the time of writing, congress has yet to reach an agreement on a federal budget, leaving both duration of the shutdown and the final outcome of the budget for the next fiscal year uncertain.

    Payment for services provided to Medicare beneficiaries should not be impacted in the near term, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which stated that Medicare Administrative Contractors will continue to perform all functions related to Medicare fee-for-services claims processing and payment during the shutdown. Additionally any ongoing Medicare provider enrollment applications, revalidations or changes to enrollment will also continue to be processed.

    Members of APTA who are employed by the federal government should check with their agencies to find out about individual impacts. The Washington Post has published a helpful interactive guide on agency responses to the shutdown.

    Staff at APTA will continue to update members regarding congressional negotiations to resolve the budget impasse.

    Study: PTs' Unique Skills Help Dancers Recover From Injury

    Physical therapists (PTs) can be particularly effective at helping dancers recover from injury thanks to the unique matrix of evaluation, intervention, and communication skills they bring to their approaches, according to a recent study in the Journal of Dance Medicine & Science.

    The study, conducted by Megin Sabo, PT, DPT, LMT, OCS, describes the challenge of treating an injured dancer, whose rehearsal and training time is extensive, and who typically wants to return to full function as soon as possible with a minimum of missed practice. Treatment that fails to recognize these elements will tend to be less successful than approaches that are based in an understanding of the dancer's world, a willingness to incorporate modified dance techniques to encourage adherence to "relative rest," and sensitivity to the importance of communicating in ways relevant to the performer.

    Sabo's qualitative study incorporated interviews from PTs who had provided care to dancers and dancers who had received rehabilitation after a dance-related injury. Dancers were asked to recount their experiences and share the positives and negatives of their rehabilitation, while the PTs were surveyed on the range of approaches used.

    The results showed a high level of agreement among PTs and dancers that the most successful interventions involved in-depth reviews of technique—not just to correct potentially damaging habits but to identify ways for the dancer to incorporate periods of relative rest while minimizing missed rehearsal. Equally important, according to the study, is the PT's ability to understand dance vocabulary and to communicate with dancers in ways that demonstrate this understanding.

    APTA members can find the full text of this article in Open Door—choose Open Door's OneSearch Feature, go to Advanced Search, change Keyword to Title in the first field, and type in the article title, "Physical therapy rehabilitation strategies for dancers: a qualitative study."

    Facts, Fast: 10 Things You Need to Know for October 1

    Some of the biggest parts of health care reform launch today. Are you ready?

    Get up to speed fast with 10 Things You Need to Know for October 1, an APTA resource document that highlights some of the main issues affecting physical therapists in practice. The guide provides relevant information on how reform elements such as Health Insurance Marketplaces and Medicaid expansion may impact you.

    "10 Things You Need to Know for October 1" is the first in a series of many new resources that will be posted on our Health Reform: Expansion of Coverage page. Coming soon: A feedback form that will allow you to share how health reform implementation is working in your area and the challenges you are facing in this changed landscape. Until the form is posted, please e-mail your questions and concerns to advocacy@apta.org.