• News New Blog Banner

  • APTA Statement on Proposed Legal Settlement of Medicare 'Improvement Standard' Case

    "APTA applauds the proposed legal settlement of the nationwide class action lawsuit directed toward ensuring Medicare coverage of reasonable and necessary therapy and nursing services for people with chronic and degenerative health conditions," says APTA President Paul A. Rockar Jr, PT, DPT, MS, in a statement issued today regarding the lawsuit Glenda Jimmo, et. al vs. Kathleen Sebelius. Plaintiffs in the lawsuit alleged that the US Department of Health and Human Services, Medicare contractors, and administrative review boards were arbitrarily limiting coverage for patients who did not show long-term improvement in their conditions, even though official Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services rules state these services should be covered.

    Under this proposed agreement, Medicare would pay for skilled therapy and nursing services if they are needed to maintain the patient's current condition or prevent or slow further deterioration.

    The New York Times highlighted how the policy change will result in significant cost savings in the long term by allowing patients to receive physical therapy and other services in community-based settings and avoiding expensive care in hospitals and nursing homes.

    APTA will continue its efforts to ensure access to appropriate physical therapy services. The association also will work with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and its contractors to ensure accurate and fair incorporation of revisions to the current Medicare manuals and regulations that reflect this significant change. In addition, the association will continue to analyze the proposed settlement for potential impact on Medicare policies regarding the reporting of functional limitations on the claim for outpatient therapy and the requirement to complete a functional reassessment at defined intervals under the Home Health Part A benefit.

    APTA plans to actively educate members to ensure proper understanding and application of the newly revised Medicare regulations.

    APTA Hosts Online Roundtable Discussion on Social Media

    Although 66% of online American adults use social networking sites, according to a 2012 Pew Internet Project study, many users remain skeptical about using social media for professional purposes. To demonstrate some of the potential benefits of social media, APTA hosted an online roundtable discussion Monday with 5 physical therapists and 1 student of physical therapy, all of whom actively use Twitter and other social media tools to network about physical therapy issues.

    The 53-minute discussion, conducted using Google+ Hangouts and archived via YouTube, covers the weekly #SolvePT tweetchat, ways that social media are effective in advocacy efforts, benefits of social media for physical therapy educators and students, and the challenges of discussing critical issues in a social media environment, among other topics.

    Participating in the panel were Allan Besselink, PT, Dip MDT, Christopher Bise, PT, DPT, MS, OCS, physical therapist student Matt DeBole, Selena Horner, PT, MS, GCS, Eric Robertson, PT, DPT, OCS, and Ann Wendel, PT, ATC, CMTPT.

    The roundtable is available on the Social Media Tips & Best Practices webpage of APTA.org, which includes links to APTA's policy on social media, a new video tutorial for Twitter, and other resources.

    Help Celebrate Extraordinary PTs and PTAs: Nominate for Honors and Awards

    Before National Physical Therapy Month ends, take the time to acknowledge your colleagues or students with an APTA 2013 Honor or Award nomination. By nominating the person or people you feel are most deserving of an honor or award, you can help APTA celebrate their many contributions to the physical therapy profession. 

    Your participation in the nominating process is extremely important. It's quick, easy—and in keeping with APTA's green initiative, all APTA national Honors and Awards applications are available for electronic submission.   

    Go to APTAs Honors and Awards page and submit your nominations online. All submissions must be received by December 1.

    E-mail questions to honorsandawards@apta.org or call 800/999-2782, ext 3233, for more information.

    NC 1 Forms Due November 1

    Time is running out to nominate yourself or an APTA-member colleague to national office. The online Nomination Form (NC 1) is available on APTA's website under "Leadership and Governance" and then "Elections and Nominations." The APTA Nominating Committee is seeking recommendations for the 2013 Slate of Candidates for the following positions: secretary, vice speaker, 3 directors, and 2 Nominating Committee members.