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  • CMS to Provide Data on Dollars Accrued Toward Cap on October 8

    On Monday, the therapy cap with an exceptions process went into effect for outpatient hospitals. In addition, the manual medical review exceptions process for claims exceeding $3,700 became effective for phase I providers. Originally, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) had announced that providers would know the dollar amount that their patients accrued toward the therapy cap on October 1. Due to some systems challenges, this information was not available. CMS announced this week that the information will be available October 8 through eligibility inquiries. Physical therapists (PTs) should check with their Medicare Administrative Contractors to determine the best way to obtain the dollar amounts accrued. When the data is available on October 8, PTs can then determine whether there is a need to seek an exception to the therapy cap.

    To help PTs with the implementation of the cap and the manual medical review exceptions process, APTA has created a Medicare Therapy Cap Resources webpage. This webpage compiles relevant information available from APTA and CMS in 1 place.

    Heard on the Hill: 2012 Election Update

    In this month's Heard on the Hill podcast, Mike Matlack, APTA director of grassroots and political affairs, breaks down the races for the United States Senate and House of Representatives and discusses the toss-up states in the Senate and competitive seats in the House. He also explains how the Electoral College looks as the candidates head into the debates.

    Election Results - 10/3/12

    Source: National Journal 

    Message From Diabetes Meeting: Physical Activity Should be 'Part and Parcel' of Care

    Researchers at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes 2012 Meeting reported this week that higher levels of leisure-time physical activity cut the risk of cardiovascular and all-cause mortality in people with type 2 diabetes, says an article by Heartwire. People with diabetes who did little or no exercise at baseline and then substantially increased their leisure-time physical-activity levels over approximately 5 years cut their risk of death by almost two-thirds.

    The researchers used data on leisure-time physical activity, recorded yearly, from more than 15,000 men and women with type 2 diabetes included in the Swedish National Diabetes Register. Participants were grouped as either "low physical activity" (no regular exercise or exercise once per week) or "regular exercise" (between 3 times per week and daily exercise). If patients died during the course of the study, their last recorded physical-activity level was used for the analysis.

    Over a 5-year period, regular exercisers were significantly less likely to have a cardiovascular event or to die either from cardiovascular disease or any other cause.

    The investigators also looked at patients who reported doing little or no physical activity at baseline but who increased their regular exercise to at least 3 times per week by the end of the study period (a mean of 4.8 years). Cardiovascular deaths among these patients dropped by 67% compared with patients who did not improve their exercise habits. Rates of all-cause mortality were reduced by almost the same degree.

    Session moderator Nick Wareham, MD, stressed that the data "… should encourage us to focus on encouraging physical activity as part and parcel of medical care."