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  • APTA Members Eligible for Interdisciplinary Orthopedic Conference Discount

    In this rapidly changing health care environment, it's crucial that practitioners and administrators learn as much as possible from each other—and orthopedics is no exception. An upcoming conference aims to provide a platform for just such an exchange and is offering APTA members a discount on registration.

    The Interdsciplinary Conference on Orthopedic Value-Based Care, set for January 18-20 in Newport Beach, California, is an event that brings physicians, health care executives, nurses, and physical therapists (PTs) together to learn and share insights on everything from improving patient outcomes to understanding how concepts such as "Medicare for all" could affect individual practice. Sponsored by the American College of Perioperative Medicine, the conference features a long list of leaders in orthopedic care, including APTA Board of Directors member Kip Schick, PT, DPT.

    Registration for the conference is open now, with early bird discounts ending November 21. APTA members are eligible for an additional 10% discount—just enter "PERIOP" in the "promotion code" box on the registration form.

    From PT in Motion Magazine: A Primer on Major Medicare Payment Changes

    It's hard to overstate the Medicare-related changes that many physical therapists (PTs) will be facing come January, now that the US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has adopted a final rule that includes eligible PTs in the agency's comprehensive Quality Payment Program (QPP). There's a lot to learn about the new value-based payment system, and PT in Motion magazine can help you get started.

    In "Moving Toward Quality Payment" in the November issue of PT in Motion, author Christine Lehmann breaks down the QPP into its 2 paths, particularly focusing on the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and its reporting requirements. The article includes an easy-to-follow decision tree that helps you understand whether you'll be required to participate in MIPS, and, if not, whether you should consider voluntary participation (hint: APTA thinks it's a good idea).

    Lehmann's piece also covers the other QPP path, advanced alternative payment models, as well as the ways in which APTA's Physical Therapy Outcomes Registry could serve as an important resource for PTs moving to value-based payment systems. Sidebars to the article include information on the elimination of functional limitation reporting requirements, and a list of additional APTA resources to help you get up to speed on the changes ahead.

    "Moving Toward Quality Payment" is featured in the November Issue of PT in Motion magazine and is open to all viewers—pass it along to nonmember colleagues to show them one of the benefits of belonging to APTA. Printed editions of the magazine are mailed to all members who have not opted out; digital versions are available online to members.

    CSM Delivers: Management and Leadership

    APTA has a transformative vision for the physical therapy profession. Achieving that vision will require physical therapists (PTs) and physical therapist assistants (PTAs) to think beyond the clinician role and leverage their skills as managers—and change agents.

    The 2019 APTA Combined Sections Meeting, set for January 23-26 in downtown Washington, DC, provides multiple forums for learning more about this crucial area of the profession. Check out these suggestions, and find other relevant programming by searching the CSM programming page.

    Developing Your People: Preparing a Workforce for Value-Based Reimbursement
    In a payment environment driven by patient outcomes and high-quality care, it's crucial to have a well-developed workforce with exceptional clinical, management, and leadership skills. Find out how an organization that serves older adults in over 200 skilled nursing and outpatient facilities in 14 states responded to that challenge by creating a culture that embraces ongoing development and a core set of essential clinical behaviors. Discussions will include the importance of frontline managers and manager development, the selection of a leadership development model, and a multistage rollout of a leadership program. Thursday, January 24, 8:00 am–10:00 am.

    Success Strategies: Metrics That Matter for Private Practice Owners in 2019
    As a private practice owner, you know you need to use your data better, but there's barely enough time to do everything else you have to do. So how can you get at the right data without getting overwhelmed? This session provides an up-close look at how owners of a private practice learned which metrics are key to the success of a practice and which are just background, and will include interactive components during which attendees decide which metrics they should track in their individual clinics and how to best communicate the importance of data and dashboards to their teams. Thursday, January 24, 11:00am–1:00 pm.

    Global Volunteerism: From Organization to Boots on the Ground (3 sessions)
    PTs and PTAs can choose from a vast number of international opportunities for volunteering, but it can be difficult to know which organizations are legitimate when trying to participate in leadership. Join in a 3-part discussion on opportunities for global leadership in education, national organizations, and medical volunteer trips. The speaker, president of the World Confederation for Physical Therapy, discusses the creation of this organization and the opportunities for leadership in the physical therapy profession on a global scale, and reflects on being a woman in a national position of leadership. Thursday, January 24, 8:00 am–10:00 am (part 1); 11:00 am–1:00 pm (part 2); 3:00 pm–5:00 pm (part 3).

    Register for CSM by midnight ET on Wednesday, December 5 to grab advanced discounts and your chance to win 1 of 2 $500 in VISA gift cards.


    CSM Delivers: Practice Tips

    Staying engaged with the profession isn't just about tracking the latest research—it's also about learning new skills, techniques, and approaches.

    The 2019 APTA Combined Sections Meeting, set for January 23-26 in downtown Washington, DC, offers sessions that will challenge you to learn something new that you can apply to your practice right now. Check out these suggestions, and find other relevant programming by searching the CSM programming page.

    Get Rolling! Advanced Wheelchair Skills Training Empowers Optimized Mobility 
    This session is all about helping you understand, perform, and teach wheelchair skills to support wheelchairs users' independence, safety, and quality of life. The speakers will share guidance for optimal wheelchair selection and configuration, efficient education methods, and practical training techniques ranging from basic propulsion to advanced skills for extreme mobility and sports participation. In addition, you'll find out about an evidence-based approach for teaching wheelchair mobility, and get the latest on research and outcome measures. Friday, January 25, 11:00 am–1:00 pm.

    Strategies to Optimize ICU-Based Rehabilitation
    This session—led by an experienced interprofessional panel of stakeholders that includes clinicians, educators, and clinician-scientists—explores how to implement rehabilitation for those who are critically ill in intensive care. Get an update on key critical care literature that informs team management of this population, and explore implementation strategies to optimize clinical practice, including the importance of team communication and organization. Thursday, January 24, 8:00am–10:00 am.

    The Heart of the Matter: Advocating for Physical Therapy in Oncology Survivorship
    Physical therapists have a strong contribution to make in the developing field of oncology survivor care, particularly in the ways physical therapy can address cardiovascular and pulmonary dysfunction as a long-term effect of cancer and its treatment. Find out the considerations at play in providing physical therapy for the cancer survivor, and learn how to advocate for this important role in health care. Saturday, January 26, 11:00 am–1:00 pm.

    Register for CSM by midnight ET on Wednesday, December 5 to grab advanced discounts and your chance to win 1 of 2 $500 in VISA gift cards.

    CSM Delivers: Payment

    You can be on the cutting edge when it comes to the latest research in physical therapy, you can have a deep understanding of the technologies available to enhance patient care, and you can be an expert on tests and measures, but at the end of the day, you have to get paid. And to do that, you must stay on top of a payment landscape that's changing rapidly—and dramatically.

    The 2019 APTA Combined Sections Meeting, set for January 23-26 in downtown Washington, DC, offers multiple sessions all at 1 meeting that help clarify the sometimes-baffling ins and outs of payment, particularly around the Medicare and Medicaid systems. Check out these suggestions, and find other relevant programming by searching the CSM programming page.

    Emerging Issues in Medicare: Payment Updates and Hot Topics
    Medicare laws, rules, and policies are constantly changing and vary depending on the settings in which physical therapists (PTs) and physical therapist assistants (PTAs) practice. This session will explore the latest developments related to fee schedule payments, prospective payment systems, and payment reform. Find out how you can adapt your practice to keep pace with the changing laws and regulations. Friday, January 25, 8:00 am–10:00 am.

    Emerging Issues in Medicare: Quality Programs and Alternative Payment Models
    PTs and PTAs are facing some of the most comprehensive changes to payment in years, thanks to new quality programs—most prominently the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS)—and alternative payment models under Medicare. Get up to speed on the shifts that come with implementing comprehensive health care reform legislation; alternative payment models; quality reporting programs, including MIPS; and more. Will there be challenges? Yes. But there are also opportunities worth exploring. Friday, January 25, 11:00 am–1:00 pm.

    The Real World: How Therapists Can Thrive in Value-Based Care
    The transition from fee-for-service to value-based payment is upon us, and this new payment model is here to stay. How do therapists, while still being paid fee-for-service, prepare for a successful shift and show that they are ready for value-based care? Presenters at this session will crack the code to success in value-based care with real-life case studies demonstrating what innovative practices are doing to achieve success in value-based payment arrangements today and capitalize on the opportunities of the future. They'll also review the steps PTs should take now to research, prepare for, and realize the opportunities available to them under value-based care arrangements. Saturday, January 29, 11:00 am–1:00 pm.

    A Little Bit of This and a Little Bit of That: Billing and Payment in 2019
    Multiple billing and payment policies work in combination to affect your bottom line, but do you understand how they all fit together? This session looks at payment's component parts: how the monetary value of a CPT code is determined, the payment rates for the most common CPT codes billed under a physical therapy plan of care, elements of the multiple procedure payment reduction policy, the 2019 therapy dollar threshold and use of the KX modifier, and more. Also on the agenda: a discussion of Medicare's "8 minute rule" and the American Medical Association's definition of "substantial," and how they relate to billing determinations for individual visits. Thursday, January 24, 11:00 am–1:00 pm.

    Register for CSM by midnight ET on Wednesday, December 5 to grab advanced discounts and your chance to win 1 of 2 $500 in VISA gift cards. 

    CSM Delivers: Moving Evidence Into Practice

    The evidence base for physical therapy is growing stronger by the day, and patients, payers, and other stakeholders are taking notice. The next step: making the all-important connection between research evidence and real-world practice.

    The 2019 APTA Combined Sections Meeting, set for January 23-26 in downtown Washington, DC, has no shortage of sessions focused on how physical therapists (PTs) and physical therapist assistants (PTAs) can bring that evidence into practice. Here are a few suggestions (and you can always find more by searching the CSM programming page).

    The Ten Commandments for Fear of Falling: Evidence-Based Management Strategies
    This session provides evidence-based guidance for managing fear of falling in older adults in a variety of practice settings. Hear about the evidence for comprehensive interventions such as exercise, floor recovery, hip protection, cognitive-behavioral approaches, and functional mobility training as well as recent developments in emergency alert systems for older adults. The presenters will highlight community-based programs that target fear of falling reduction and fall prevention in older adults. Thursday, January 24, 8:00 am–10:00 am.

    Spotlight on Research: Translating Rotator Cuff-Related Research Into Practice
    Time to get interactive in a session that will present a series of rotator cuff-related abstracts accompanied by a 20-minute discussion focused on translating the evidence into practice, with plenty of opportunities for audience debate. The topics of this session can cover the spectrum of examination, rehabilitation, and treatment outcomes of subacromial pain pathologies, which may include areas such as rotator cuff tendinopathy, subacromial pain or impingement, tears, surgery, and postoperative management, depending on the research submitted to the section. Friday, January 25, 11:00 am–1:00 pm.

    Aquatic Therapy for the Lower Extremity: Applying CPG Recommendations to Practice
    In this session, a board-certified orthopaedic clinical specialist, aquatic therapy specialist, and clinician will review the importance of incorporating recommendations and findings of clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) into practice. The focus will be on linking recommendations from 3 lower-extremity CPGs to aquatic therapy interventions, with plenty of discussion of aquatic therapy research as it relates to the clinical decision-making process. Saturday, January 29, 8:00 am–10:00 am.

    Register for CSM by midnight ET on Wednesday, December 5 to grab advanced discounts and your chance to win 1 of 2 $500 in VISA gift cards.

    CSM Delivers: Technology and Physical Therapy

    Technology continues to advance at an exponential rate, but what does that mean for the profession? More important, what does it mean for patients in the here-and-now?

    The 2019 APTA Combined Sections Meeting, set for January 23-26 in downtown Washington, DC, includes multiple sessions that go beyond the wow factor of technology and gets to practical applications in the clinic. Check out these suggestions, and find other relevant programming by searching the CSM programming page.

    Why We Love AND Hate Our Robots: Implications for Everyday Clinical Practice
    When it comes to the utilization and efficacy of robotic technology in rehabilitation of individuals with neurological diagnoses such as stroke and spinal cord injury, the research can be both encouraging and discouraging. What's behind the discrepancy in outcomes? Learn about the good and the not-so-good in robotic technology, implications for clinical practice, and when other evidence-based therapies are worth considering. Friday, January 25, 3:00 pm–5:00 pm.

    Virtual Reality to Improve Mobility: Not Just Pretty Pictures
    While the availability, fidelity, and cost of virtual reality (VR) and gaming systems have improved dramatically, scientific evidence supporting their use has lagged. Here's your opportunity to glean information from several decades of combined speaker experience using VR and gaming technologies to scientifically study deficits associated with neurologic injury and disease. The session will include an overview of the range of currently available technologies, from complex and costly virtual reality systems to low-cost, easy-to-use clinic-friendly systems, as well as ideas from basic science and clinical experience that can be used to guide scientific study and clinical care. You'll also get tips on identifying the most appropriate VR or gaming technologies for your clinical applications. Thursday, January 24, 11:00 am–1:00 pm.

    Moving Technology to Clinical Practice: Sensors and Real-World Activity Assessment
    The growth of sensor technology provides an opportunity for the physical therapist to capture patient functions over longer periods of time in their unstructured, natural environments. Find out why measuring activity outside the clinic is important, and how these remote measures reflect (or don't reflect) clinical measures. You'll also get updates on current research and examples of sensors clinicians can use now, accompanied by examples from pediatric and adult patient populations. Friday, January 25, 11:00 am–1:00 pm.

    Register for CSM by midnight ET on Wednesday, December 5 to grab advanced discounts and your chance to win 1 of 2 $500 in VISA gift cards.

    CSM Delivers: Pain Science and the Challenge of Opioids

    Addressing the opioid crisis means not only steering health care's approach to pain treatment away from drugs but fostering a better understanding of pain itself. There's no time to lose.

    The 2019 APTA Combined Sections Meeting, set for January 23-26 in downtown Washington, DC, will deliver thought-provoking content on pain and opioids at a crucial time. Check out these suggestions, and find other relevant programming by searching the CSM programming page.

    Pain Talks: Conversations With Pain Science Leaders on the Future of the Field
    Join some of the most influential leaders in the field of pain science and rehabilitation for a discussion of the history of pain rehabilitation and how they personally became interested in the field, followed by an exchange on the current state of research on pain and its translation into clinical practice. The audience will be able to submit questions via text or email to the moderator for individual or panel discussion. Friday, January 25, 8:00 am–10:00 am.

    Opioid Issues in Athletes
    Opioid analgesics are the second most abused drug in the United States, with nearly half of students in seventh through twelfth grade having been prescribed these narcotics. These youth typically are athletes recovering from an injury or surgery—sometimes with devastating results. Find out about national efforts to address this issue, and hear the story of one athlete's journey from injury to addiction, and his long road back to health. Thursday, January 24, 8:00 am–10:00 am.

    Remapping Neuroplasticity and Pain in the Clinic: A Case Series Session
    There's growing evidence that graded motor imagery (GMI) can be used clinically to help desensitize a hypersensitive nervous system and provide hope for patients who are "too hot to handle." Body maps can be retrained within minutes through GMI, including normalizing laterality, motor imagery, mirror therapy, sensory discrimination, sensory integration, and more. Learn from published case studies and case series showcasing how brief GMI interventions can be readily applied in real-life clinics and result in immediate changes, thus accelerating recovery in people struggling with persistent pain. Saturday, January 26, 8:00 am–10:00 am.

    Interprofessional Pain Management for Older Adults With Cognitive Impairment
    Patients with cognitive impairment have difficulty or inability to communicate pain and discomfort because of cognitive, developmental, or physiologic issues, which is a major barrier to adequate pain assessment and achieving success in pain management interventions. This session is designed to help you respond to that challenge. You'll enhance your skills in recognizing pain in this population, identifying deficits and solutions through standardized tests and measures, and using interprofessional practice to improve outcomes. Saturday, January 26, 11:00 am–1:00 pm.

    Register for CSM by midnight ET on Wednesday, December 5 to grab advanced discounts and your chance to win 1 of 2 $500 in VISA gift cards.

    It's World Arthritis Day: 5 Great Resources

    World Arthritis Day, October 12, calls attention to a global problem in need of better public awareness: how exercise and education can reduce the impact of the disease. And there's little time to waste: according to a 2016 study, by 2040, an estimated 25% of Americans will have arthritis, and 1 in 10 will experience a disability related to the condition.

    In honor of the day, here are 5 great resources that can help you develop community-based arthritis programs.

    Understand the basics of evidence-based community arthritis programs.
    What physical activity programs should you be looking for? Why recommend one program over another? What do the programs have in common? This quick reference guide from APTA helps you learn the lay of the land.

    Find the best fit for you and your patients.
    A program's target population, program length, class size, availability, and instructor requirements, can all be important factors in deciding which program would work best for you. APTA's decision aid can help narrow down the options.

    Bring patients and other community members on-board with resources from MoveForwardPT.com.
    APTA's consumer-focused website helps to explain the importance of arthritis programs, and provides an overview of some of the most highly regarded offerings from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), the Arthritis Foundation, the Aquatic Exercise Association (, and others.

    Get help from the experts.
    APTA is a founding member of the US Bone and Joint Initiative (USBJI), a multidisciplinary education and advocacy group that provides extensive resources on arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions. The USBJI's "Experts in Arthritis" webpage is loaded with videos and other public education resources that can help you help your patients and others understand the disease and the role that exercise can play in countering its effects.

    Dive into a website that's all-things-arthritis.
    As a member of the Osteoarthritis Action Alliance (OAAA), APTA helped to create some of the content and educational offerings available on this expansive site built for both consumers and clinicians. Resources include monthly "lunch and learn" webinars, information for providers, and research roundups.

    [Editor's note: even more information on arthritis is available at PTNow, including tests and clinical guidelines.]

    What's New at MoveForwardPT.com, Fall 2018

    APTA's consumer information website, MoveForwardPT.com, is a continually expanding resource where patients learn about the many conditions and patient populations physical therapists (PTs) treat. The site includes everything from condition-based guides, podcasts, tip sheets, and videos, to our popular 'Find a PT' tool that patients can use to locate a member PT in their area. It's also home to APTA's national award-winning #ChoosePT opioid awareness campaign and toolkit.

    Bottom line: MoveForwardPT.com is an evolving resource. Members are strongly encouraged to help APTA drive traffic to the site to expand awareness of the physical therapy profession.

    Here are some recent additions to the site:

    National Physical Therapy Month resources
    October is National Physical Therapy Month, an opportunity to amplify our promotion of the benefits of physical therapy, and to make more people aware of APTA’s #ChoosePT campaign, the initiative aimed at raising awareness of physical therapy as a safe and effective alternative to opioids for the treatment of chronic pain conditions. Check out the #ChoosePT campaign toolkit for resources and ideas to help you highlight the ways physical therapy can address pain.

    Move Forward Radio podcasts
    The Risk of Cancer-Related Falls
    September 20, 2018: Although falls are common among the elderly, cancer survivors have a higher prevalence of falls than do people who haven’t been treated for the disease.

    Using Physical Therapy to Treat Pain in Addiction Treatment Centers
    September 6, 2018: America is in the grips of an opioid addiction crisis, much of which is linked to overprescribing for the treatment of pain, despite known and very dangerous risks. How does physical therapy work as an alternative?

    Fourth Trimester: What Is It and Why Is It Important?
    August 16, 2018: Most people know pregnancy is divided into trimesters. But what about the fourth trimester?

    The Benefits of Exercise on Brain Health
    August 2, 2018: The benefits of being physically active are well known: it can enhance your cardiovascular system, control your weight, and strengthen your bones and muscles. But now there’s a growing body of evidence that being physically active benefits brain health and can help slow the decline in brain function that comes with age.

    Former Kentucky and NBA Star Rex Chapman Speaks Out About His Experience With Opioid Addiction
    July 19, 2018: Addiction can happen to anyone, including Rex Chapman. The former star basketball player for the University of Kentucky enjoyed a 12-year career in the NBA, but what followed was a 14-year battle with prescription narcotics.

    Young Woman Overcomes Amputation Challenges, Becomes Physical Therapist and World Adaptive Surfing Champion
    July 5, 2018: Fourteen years ago, Dani Burt, a physically active teenager, sustained devastating injuries in a motorcycle accident. After being placed into a medically induced coma, she awoke to learn that her right leg had been amputated above the knee.

    8 Tips to Prevent Shin Splints
    Cancer-Related Balance and Falls: What You Should Know

    Newly Updated Condition-Based Guides
    Multidirectional Instability of the Shoulder
    Pes Anserien Bursitis
    Lower Extremity Stress Fractures
    Total Knee Replacement
    Below Knee Amputation