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Large-Scale Study Finds Connection Between Early Physical Therapy and Lower Opioid Use
There was an average 10% drop in the likelihood of opioid use for patients who had early physical therapy for knee, back, neck, or shoulder pain.

Cochrane Researchers 'Confident' in Pelvic Floor Muscle Therapy as Effective UI Treatment
Strong support for pelvic floor muscle training.

New Draft CPG on Locomotor Function Seeking Comments: Deadline December 21

A draft of the CPG is available for review and public comment until December 21—all physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, and students are invited to comment. 


Study: PTs, Family Physicians Similar in Knowledge of LBP Management
Authors believe the results point to the need for further study of the potential for PTs in primary care settings, an issue that APTA is exploring.
2019 Slate of Candidates Posted
The 2019 Slate of Candidates for APTA national office is now posted on the  APTA website.
PTJ: Physical Therapy Continuity of Care Linked to Lower Rate of Surgery, Lower Costs
"Health care systems could find this opportunity appealing, as physical therapy provider continuity is a modifiable clinical practice pattern."
Listen Up! APTA Podcasts Keep You Inspired, Motivated, and In-the-Know
More content and variety than ever before.

Study: Early Physical Therapy for Neck Pain Associated With Lower Imaging Rates, Opioid Prescriptions, and Overall Cost
Early physical therapy was associated with fewer opioid prescriptions, reduced imaging rates, and lower overall costs.
PT in Motion Magazine Looks at PTs in Primary Care
PTs as primary care providers isn't a pie-in-the-sky idea.

Study: Clinic Ball Pits Carry Bacterial Risks
Have a ball pit at your clinic? Proceed with caution.

Ready for MIPS? Take This Quick Quiz
Are you ready for what's coming? Take this quick quiz to find out.
CSM Delivers: Aging

As the US population continues to age, PTs and PTAs will take on an even more transformative role in the health of society. Are you ready?


What's New at PTNow? More Guidelines and Systematic Reviews Enrich an Already-Robust Resource
The evidence you need is just a few clicks away.

New Resource Page Helps PT, PTA Students Explore Options for Financial Aid, Loan Forgiveness, Post-Degree Loan Repayment, and More
It's not easy being a PT or PTA student--but APTA helps to make it a little less overwhelming.

Revised Pediatric Concussion Guidelines Address Assessment, Return-to-Play, More
Nine conclusions and 7 recommendations on pediatric sports-related concussion.

PTJ: Physical Therapy Outcomes Registry as a Potential Leader in 'Systems Science'
The Physical Therapy Outcomes Registry could be the place where the profession meets systems science.

Study: Number of Pills Prescribed Is a Stronger Predictor of Opioid Consumption Than Pain Severity Postsurgery
"Anchoring and adjustment."

The Good Stuff: Members and the Profession in the Media, November 2018
Our members are doing (and saying) some good stuff. Check out this month's collection of members and the profession in the media.

New Physical Activity Guidelines Stress the Importance of Movement of any Duration
You want blunt? HHS can do blunt.
Proposed Medicaid, CHIP Rule Reflects State Movement Toward Managed Care Systems
As states continue to move toward wider use of managed care organizations in their Medicaid systems, CMS is looking at ways to guide the evolution while maintaining state flexibility.
European Psychiatrists Recommend Physical Activity in the Treatment of Severe Mental Illness
November 9, 2018: Could the effect of physical activity (PA) on the brain extend beyond a general sense of well-being? The European Psychiatric Association (EPA) thinks so and has issued guidance that recommends supervised PA as potentially effective treatment for individuals with severe mental illnesses (SMIs) such as schizophrenia and major depression. The recommendations are supported by the International Organization of Physical Therapists in Mental Health.
Survey Finds 'Considerable Variation' in Postsurgery ACL Rehab
Authors call the results "surprising."

APTA Members Eligible for Interdisciplinary Orthopedic Conference Discount
Sessions include everything from improving patient outcomes to understanding how concepts such as "Medicare for all" could affect individual practice.
From PT in Motion Magazine: A Primer on Major Medicare Payment Changes
November 6, 2018: 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.
CMS Finalizes 'Site Neutral' Outpatient Plan; New Approach to DMEPOS Bidding
CMS is ending payment rates that favor hospital-owned outpatient facilities.

Physician Fee Schedule and QPP: A New Payment World Awaits PTs in 2019
"It's now critically important that physical therapists learn as much as possible about QPP and how they can best navigate the new system."
Final Home Health Rule Keeps New Payment Model—With a Few APTA-Supported Changes
Coming in 2020: a major shift to an entirely new payment methodology.

JAMA Study Supports Physical Therapy as First-Line Approach to Meniscal Tears
The results again point to the validity of physical therapy as first-line option for treatment.
Physical Activity May Decrease Mortality Risk in Frail Older Adults, Say Researchers
Authors believe it's the first study to look at the effects of physical activity on mortality among frail and prefrail older adults.

CMS Wants Medicare Advantage to Increase Telehealth Coverage
Under the proposed rule, Advantage plans would be allowed to offer what are known as "additional telehealth benefits" as basic benefits.
New APTA Public Awareness Video Features Adaptive Surfing Champion PT Dani Burt

APTA member Dani Burt, PT, DPT , has a knack for turning inspiration into…more inspiration. Now a new APTA video helps to tell her story to the public. As a teenager, Burt underwent an above-knee amputation as a result of injuries suffered in a motorcycle accident. During her recovery, she became inspired

CSM Delivers: Management and Leadership
Brush up your management and leadership skills—and help achieve the profession’s transformative vision—with these CSM 2019 sessions.
CSM Delivers: Practice Tips
Learn something new that you can apply to your practice right now at the 2019 CSM.

APTA Working for You: Federal Advocacy Updates, October 2018
Advocacy for patients and the profession never stops. APTA helps its members by staying on top of changes and bringing the physical therapy profession's voice to the table on a wide range of payment and care related issues. Here's a
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.
APTA Members: AMA Seeks Critical Input on New CPT Code Values
APTA members are being alerted to be on the lookout for 2 important surveys that APTA will disseminate for the American Medical Association (AMA) that will help to shape values for new current procedural terminology (CPT®) codes.
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.
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?
USBJI Young Investigators Program Accepting Applications for 2019 Program
Physical therapist investigators have an opportunity to receive guidance in getting their research funded and "other survival skills required for pursuing an academic career" through a program that connects them with experienced researcher-mentors.
APTA Named 'Best in Business'
Member engagement, financial operations, and involvement in the local community were all factors in the award.

CSM Delivers: Pain Science and the Challenge of Opioids
The 2019 CSM delivers information on pain science, opioid use among athletes, and more.

CSM Delivers: Students and Early-Career PTs and PTAs
Preparing PT and PTA students, maintaining early-career engagement--it's all coming to CSM.

The Good Stuff: Members and the Profession in the Media, October 2018
Check out what physical therapy students at Brenau University are doing in this month's "Good Stuff."

Study: Many Gaps Still Exist in Insurer Coverage of Nondrug Treatments for LBP
Physical therapy and occupational therapy do well in terms of medical necessity. But the coverage itself is inconsistent.

US House Members Echo APTA, Coalition Members' Call for Reduced Use of Prior Authorization by Medicare Advantage Plans
Reps called many of the prior authorization requirements "onerous and often unnecessary."
Updated MedPAC 'Payment Basics' Series Provides Medicare Payment System Overview
Areas covered include outpatient therapy, skilled nursing facilities, home health services, hospital acute inpatient services, and more.
New Report Looks at Link Between Surgery-Related Opioid Prescriptions, Later Opioid Abuse
TKA patients were found to have a 15.2% rate of later misuse of opioids.

It's World Arthritis Day: 5 Great Resources
According to a 2016 study,  25% of Americans will have arthritis by 2040.

APTA Advocacy for EMG, Other Diagnostic Services Results in Payment Clarification from CMS
The announcement was made after APTA and other stakeholders pressed CMS to clear the air in order to end payment reductions or outright denials to PTs providing EMG and related diagnostic services.
From PTJ: Unwarranted Variation in Pelvic Floor Muscle Function Terminology an Obstacle to Advances in Treatment
Is a lack of standardized terminology limiting advances in treatment for pelvic floor muscle function issues?
New White Paper Presses for Consistent Mobility Assessments, More Outcome Measures for Hospitalized Older Adults
The white paper advocates for a shift in "a hospital culture that does not value or prioritize mobility."
Massive APTA-Supported Opioid Bill Ready for President's Signature
The final version of the legislation echoes many of the recommendations included in an APTA white paper on the opioid crisis.
What's New at, Fall 2018 is an evolving resource.
APTA-Backed Bill Protecting PTs Traveling With Sports Teams Likely to Become Law
"This is a big win for PTs, but an even bigger step forward in safeguarding the health of athletes."
Celebrate National Physical Therapy Month: Support #ChoosePT
October is National Physical Therapy Month, an opportunity to amplify and promote the benefits of physical therapy and raise awareness of APTA’s #ChoosePT campaign.
Jeanne Fischer, Pediatric Physical Therapy Pioneer and Distinguished Mentor, Dies at 94
Fischer was a founding member of the former Section on Pediatrics(now the Academy of Pediatric Physical Therapy).

From PT in Motion Magazine: Moving Away From Opioids
PT in Motion magazine looks at how APTA is helping to shape policy around nonopioid approaches to pain management.

APTA Continues PTA Advocacy: Pushback on PTA Differential, Timeline for TRICARE Startup, More
Physical therapist assistants (PTAs) play a crucial role on the care delivery team, and APTA is bringing that message to multiple stakeholders. Here's a rundown of some of the latest happenings in the association's advocacy for PTAs.
Student-Led Flash Action Highlights Physical Therapy's Role in Pain Management
It was a message that came through loud and clear—to the tune of nearly 7,000 contacts with lawmakers and their staff
Get 'Caught Doing Good,' and APTA May Donate $500 to Your Charity of Choice
Making plans for the Global PT Day of Service coming up on October 13? Snap a picture of what you're up to, and your charity of choice could wind up with a $500 donation from APTA. Now
APTA Working for You: Commercial Payer Updates, September 2018
The commercial payer world is varied and continually evolving. APTA helps its members by staying on top of changes and bringing the physical therapy profession's voice to the table on a wide range of private payer related issues. Here's a
Get Involved: Flash Action September 26-27 Will Focus on Physical Therapy's Role in Pain Management


Getting involved is easy.

APTA Media Tour Brings #ChoosePT Message to Local, National Media Outlets
A few were broadcast live, but the majority of interviews were recorded for later playback - meaning there's a chance you could hear an interview in the coming days or weeks.
Research Roundup Underscores 'Go4Life' Healthy Aging Message
Even though the National Institutes of Health's "Go4Life" month is wrapping up, the initiative will continue to offer resources to providers and the public. And for good reason.
Are You Fall-Savvy? Take This Quick Quiz
What's your falls IQ?

Donations Now Being Accepted for Florence Relief

Now's your chance to help.


State-Level PT Advocates Honored at 2018 Policy and Payment Forum
This year's state legislative award winners (from left) Emilie Jones, PT, DPT Derek Gerber, PT, DPT and Cynthia Driskell, PT. Not pictured Mark Bishop, PT, PhD, FAPTA. Jones, Driskell, and Bishop received State Legislative Leadership Awards.
The Good Stuff: Members and the Profession in the Media, September 2018
Positive stories about members and the profession.

Women in Physical Therapy Summit: Fueling Change in the Profession
This year's Women in PT Summit is expected to draw more than 100 attendees.
APTA, Other Health Care Leaders Call for CMS to Rethink Evaluation and Management Payment Plan
The change would unfairly impact providers who see sicker patients.
APTA Provides CMS With Extensive Comments on Proposed 2019 Medicare Fee Schedule Rule
MIPs, PTA differential, the opioid crisis, and more.

From PTJ: Getting at the Risk Factors for Falls Post-TKA
Surprisingly, fallers were also more likely to be younger.

APTA Honors and Awards Nominations Now Open
Now's the time to honor the contributions of APTA members by nominating them for national recognition through the APTA Honors & Awards program.
Help Aging Communities 'Go4Life' in September
September is Go4Life month.
Researchers Say Mobility Is Key Quality-of-Life Issue for Individuals With SCI
Authors say their study helps to more specifically pinpoint which factors most affect HRQoL among individuals with TSCI.
Study: Some Changes in Care Occurred After Jimmo Settlement
The median number of therapy visits rose from 7 to 8 after the Jimmo settlement, and patients are more likely to have 12 or more visits than before Jimmo.

Study: Functional Limitation Reporting Isn't Delivering the Data Goods
"FLR adds burden and complexity without producing much in the way of useful data."
New Pediatric mTBI Guidelines from CDC Take Comprehensive Approach
A number of APTA's comments on the guidelines were included or addressed in the final version.

From PT in Motion Magazine: Making the Switch From Clinician to Manager
Is a management role right for you?

Aetna's Policy Clarifications Increase Access to PT Care

 The clarifications help to answer questions related to the company's physical therapy policy, specifically around payment for evaluations and the ways direct access provisions can affect payment.

5 Ways to Raise Awareness During National Physical Therapy Month in October
Time to start thinking about National Physical Therapy Month coming in October. Here are 5 ideas for getting involved.

Study: PTs in Emergency Departments Reduce Likelihood of ED Revisits for Falls
Authors of the study say that despite data supporting consultation by a PT in the ED for falls-related visits, the incidence of PT involvement is rare.

Study: Listen to the CPGs—Cardiac Rehab Works
Despite its proven effectiveness, CR remains "significantly underused," authors say.

Past APTA President Ward Named Presiding Officer for Upcoming WCPT Meeting
Ward brings a wealth of experience and expertise in governance, leadership, scholarship, and international service.
QPP, MIPS, AAPMs: Learn What’s What With New Payment System Webinar Recordings
Get ready for what could be next in payment.

Study: Widespread Fall-Risk Screening Efforts, Followed by Appropriate Interventions, Could Produce 'Striking' Results
Widely-used fall-risk screenings and targeted interventions could make a huge difference, according to the study.

An APTA National Student Conclave Sneak Peek, Courtesy of the Pulse Blog
Want to get a taste of what NSC will be delivering? Check out these APTA Student Pulse blog posts.
PT, PTA, Student Involvement in Special Olympics is Improving Health…and Changing Attitudes

"The importance of the contributions of PTs, PTAs,and students can't be overstated."

MedPAC Recommendations for PT Payment Decreases Met With Strong Responses From APTA, Private Practice Section, Alliance
"MedPAC's proposal to reduce reimbursement for physical therapy short-sighted and unfounded."
What's the Latest at CMS? Your 2018 Guide to Recent Proposed and Final CMS Rules
Fee schedule, SNFs, home health, and more: some major changes are on the way.

Study: Emergency Department PTs Are Just What the Doctor Ordered
"This review is consistent with a position that APTA has supported for several years—that PTs have an important role to play in the ED."
The Good Stuff: Members and the Profession in the Media, August 2018
Innovators, business leaders, and ninja warriors--all in this month's "Good Stuff."
2018 ELI Fellows Class Brings APTA's Educational Leadership Program Past 100 Graduates
The ELI Fellowship strives to provide developing and aspiring program directors in physical therapist and physical therapist assistant education programs with the skills and resources they need to be innovative, influential, and visionary leaders.
Short-Term Insurance Rule Adds More Uncertainty to Care
"We're concerned that, perhaps unknowingly, patients who purchase these plans may be moving onto plans that don't cover physical therapy or that offer very limited physical therapy benefits."
CoHSTAR Seeks Postdoctoral Fellow

The successful candidate will work with the Comprehensive Post-Acute Stroke Services (COMPASS) trial.

Study: Estimated 1 in 3 Medicare Beneficiaries Receiving Inpatient/SNF Rehab Report No Improvement in Function
Does health literacy play a role?

A Stark Reality: APTA Continues Efforts to Shore Up Self-Referral Law
"Until HHS creates a more level playing field between these different types of providers, physical therapists will be unable to meaningfully participate in Medicare and Medicaid APMs, despite their desire to do so."
From PTJ: Common Activity Trackers May Be Inaccurate for Patients With PD
Authors speculate that the inaccuracies may have something to do with a lack of tracker sensitivity to steps taken "in environments with greater discontinuity, where starting, stopping, and turning occur frequently."
From PT in Motion Magazine: How to Defend Yourself Against Scams and Cyberattacks
As technology and information sharing evolves at a rapid pace, it becomes harder to keep up with criminals and scammers—even if you are an experienced professional. Last year, a staggering 83% of physicians said they had experienced some form of cyberattack, according to an American Medical Association report. What kind of scams are out there? What should you be wary of? What new threats are emerging?
SNF, IRF Final Rules Follow Through on Proposed Shifts in SNF Payment Systems, IRF Reporting Requirements
The situation is far from a "same as usual" scenario.
2018 State Policy and Payment Form Offers a Packed Agenda
Registrations are now open for this important members-only gathering in Kansas City, Missouri.
Tiered Coding for PT Evaluations: New APTA Podcast Series Answers Common Questions
The 5-part series covers a general overview of the coding change and addresses common questions.
Proposed CMS Outpatient Rule Would Adopt Further 'Site Neutral' Payment Policies

Should Medicare be reimbursing outpatient facilities owned by hospitals at higher rates than it does independent providers' facilities? CMS doesn't think so.

CMS to Host Fee Schedule Webinar for APTA Members
The webinar is free, but space is limited.

At the State Level, a Very Good Year for PTs and PTAs
Progress at the state level.

The 2019 Fee Schedule, Part 1: 5 Things You Need to Know About What MIPS Might Look Like for PTs Next Year
5 things to know about how MIPS may be rolled out for PTs in 2019.

The 2019 Fee Schedule, Part 2: Quality Reporting Options Other Than MIPS
There's more to the Quality Payment Program than MIPS.

The 2019 Fee Schedule, Part 3: The End of FLR, the Move to PTA-Specific Codes, and a Nod to Technology
Here's a rundown of 3 of the biggest non-Quality Payment Program-related changes included in the proposed physician fee schedule.
APTA Offers Help With Payment Denials
The letters make it easier for members to appeal a claim denial.

Study: Popular Shoulder Procedure Provides No Relevant Clinical Benefit Over 'Placebo Surgery'
Researchers noted "marked improvement" among all the participants, but that was the problem.
From PTJ: Are Pain Measures Asking the Right Questions?
July 20. 2018: From PTJ: Are Pain Measures Asking the Right Questions?
The Good Stuff: Members and the Profession in the Media, July 2018
Nice support of PTs from a clinical psychologist in this month's Good Stuff.
What's the Best Post-TKA Intervention in the Acute Care Setting? There's No Easy Answer, Say Researchers
Authors were able to come up with a definitive conclusion, albeit not the most rewarding one for those looking for guidance.
Proposed 2019 Fee Schedule: Goodbye Functional Limitation Reporting, Hello MIPS?
FLR could be a thing of the past. MIPS participation could be required next year.

APTA Helps Create New Grant Opportunities for PTs
The grants of at least $2,000 each are available to PTs.

OB-GYN Group Embraces 'Fourth Trimester' Concept, Acknowledges Role of Physical Therapy in Postpartum Care
"Formal recognition of physical therapy in the fourth trimester not only recognizes our expertise in this area of care but provides a clearly stated standard of care for physicians providing postpartum care options for their patients."
Innovative Collaborative Effort Between APTA, United Healthcare, and OptumLabs Could Introduce Important Changes to Pain Management Policies
What would happen if payers encouraged patients with low back pain to explore low-risk treatments such as physical therapy by waiving copays for initial sessions? We may find out.

From the 2018 APTA House of Delegates: Rimmer, Corcos, Polvinale, Receive Honorary APTA Membership
Their contributions have allowed PTs and PTAs to better serve patients and clients.
APTA Input Included in Health Care Exec Group's Roadmap for Addressing Opioid Crisis
The recommendations are largely consistent with those developed by APTA in its white paper "Beyond Opioids: How Physical Therapy Can Transform Pain Management to Improve Health Care."
From PT in Motion Magazine: Pedaling Past Injury
No matter the kind of riding they do, all riders face some of the same challenges.
Proposed CMS Home Health Rule Includes Major Change to Payment System
A huge payment shakeup could be on the way for home health.

NEXT 2018: Rothstein Roundtable Takes on Reasons Payers Are Slow to Make Changes That Support Physical Therapy
This year's roundtable held true to its reputation for facing hot topics head-on.

Study: Ignoring Inappropriate Patient Sexual Behavior Doesn’t Work, but Other Strategies Might
The release of this study happens to coincide with action last week by APTA’s House of Delegates to strengthen the association’s position on sexual harassment in all forms.
NEXT 2018: Maley Lecture: Health Care Must Adopt a Biopsychosocial Model
News@NEXT: The health care system needs to evolve from a medical to a biopsychosocial model, asserted Robert Palisano, PT, ScD, FAPTA, in the 23rd Maley Lecture, delivered during NEXT 2018. "Healthy living is a societal and systems issue. The focus of the traditional medical model of health care is on the individual and acute conditions." The title of his lecture was "Lifecourse Health Development of Individuals With Chronic Health Conditions: Visualizing a Preferred Future."
2018 NEXT: Physical Therapy Can Play a Part in Addiction Treatment
2018 NEXT: The power of physical therapy to help prevent people from starting opioid use has been well-documented, but work now being done by physical therapists (PTs) and physical therapist assistants (PTAs) is showing that the profession also has an important role to play in the lives of those recovering from addiction. And that role has everything to do with applying the knowledge and skills PTs and PTAs already possess.
2018 NEXT: PTs Offer Guidance on Developing Leadership Abilities
News@NEXT: A panel of 5 physical therapists (PTs) in various stages of their careers offered NEXT 2018 attendees their advice on how to become leaders and succeed professionally. The PTs were Carrie Cunningham, PT; Michael Gans, PT, DPT; Matthew DeBole, PT, DPT; Stephanie Weyrauch, PT, DPT, MSci; and Elizabeth Nixon, PT, DPT.
From the 2018 House of Delegates: Envisioning a Community
The actions taken by the House make it clear: for the foreseeable future, APTA will be an outward-facing organization that understands its capacity to be a change agent.
What's New at, Summer 2018 is always evolving, and a great resource for members to share with patients and others to help increase public understanding of all that the profession has to offer.
2018 NEXT: Movement System Finding Its Way Into Education and Research
News@NEXT: As far as Paula Ludewig, PT, DPT, PhD, is concerned, the idea of anchoring physical therapy's identity in the movement system is, to put it simply, a big deal. "This is a huge opportunity for our profession," said the University of Minnesota professor and researcher. "We're at the doorstep of making significant change."
2018 NEXT: McMillan Lecture: Wisdom and Courage Exemplify the Best of Our Profession

News@NEXT: Both wisdom and courage are needed to effect positive change. Laurita M. (Laurie) Hack, PT, DPT, PhD, MBA, FAPTA, opened her delivery of the 49th Mary McMillan Lecture with these thoughts and with her insights into gaining more of the wisdom and courage that will move the profession forward. Hack addressed a capacity crowd on June 28 during APTA’s NEXT Conference and Expo.

2018 NEXT: Making the Case for the PT and PTA Role in Disaster and Emergency Responses
News@NEXT: A panel of 4 physical therapists (PTs) with firsthand experience in responding to Hurricane Harvey, the Orlando Pulse mass shooting, the Great White concert fire, and other emergencies agree: PTs and physical therapist assistants (PTAs) have an important role to play in responding to these situations. The problem, they say, is that not everyone fully understands that role—including many PTs and PTAs.
2018 NEXT: 'You're Changing People's Lives' NEXT 2018 Attendees Told
News@NEXT: Professional beach volleyball player Gabrielle (Gabby) Reece told attendees at the opening event of NEXT 2018: "To serve others and help other people is a really important thing. You're changing people's lives."
CMS Seeking Comments on Self-Referral Prohibitions in Stark Law
The general aim of the RFI would seem to run counter to APTA's own efforts to toughen up the rules against self-referral.
APTA 2018 House of Delegates Election Results Announced

June 25, 2018: The following members were elected to APTA's Board of Directors and Nominating Committee on Monday, June 25, at the 2018 House of Delegates in Orlando, Florida.

CDC: Concussion Rates Among High Schoolers May be Undercounted
Authors of the study say that's a number higher than some previous estimates, probably because the CDC study includes anonymous self-reports from the students themselves, many of whom may try to hide the injury from coaches and parents.
Multistate Practice Privileges to Become a Reality in 3 States
It's the first practical application of a concept that could revolutionize licensure mobility for the physical therapy profession.
Fighting the Opioid Crisis: APTA Releases White Paper Pointing the Way to Better Policies on Nondrug Pain Treatment
No lasting gains can be made in the opioid crisis until stakeholders and policymakers in the country's health care system embrace the value of nonpharmacological approaches to chronic pain.
Study: Progressive Strengthening Program Shows Promise Over 'Standard of Care' Rehab for Patients Post-TKA
"The lack of consensus between therapists and surgeons on the optimal timing and amount of rehabilitation... may potentially have important negative effects on postsurgical outcomes."
Collaborative Stop the Cap Efforts from APTA, AOTA, ASHA Receive National Award
This is the fourth national award APTA has received from ASAE in the past 2 years.

APTA Selects Rapport for Education Research Fellowship
"This is an important time for investigations into clinical education in physical therapy."
The Good Stuff: Members and the Profession in the Media, June 2018
Recent media coverage of physical therapy and APTA members, with an emphasis on how individual PTs and PTAs are transforming health care and society every day.
Study: A Few Tests (And Demographic Variables) Can Help Predict Success of Nonsurgical Treatment of ACL Injury in Athletes
Sometimes age can be an advantage.

CMS to Expand List of DMEPOS Requiring Prior Authorization
The additional codes will go into effect on September 1 of this year.
APTA Provides an Easy Way to Share Your Comments on Proposed SNF Rule
Want to make your voice heard on the proposed CMS rule for SNFs? APTA makes it easy.

From PT in Motion Magazine: Diversifying the Profession
"Increasing the diversity of the profession and providing information on the importance and understanding of cultural competence have been part of APTA's vision, guiding principles, and mission for many years."
CMS Reports High Levels of Participation in MIPS; Will It Be Expanded to PTs in 2019?
All indications point to PTs being required to participate in MIPS or APMs as early as 2019.
AMA: Drop in Opioid Prescription Rates Good News; More Nonopioid Pain Treatment Needed
Among the recommendations: a call for "all public and private payers...[to] ensure that patients have access to affordable, non-opioid pain care."

CMS Hopes to Reboot 'Pre-Claim Demonstration' Proposal for HHAs in 5 States
The project will be rolled out in 5 states, with the possibility for expansion.

Don't Miss Out: 4 Events at NEXT You Have to See for Yourself
There are 4 events—2 lectures, 1 panel discussion, and 1, well…something else—that should be on your "can't miss" list for NEXT 2018.
CDC: Rates of Outpatient Rehab Poststroke Low in Several States
Despite its proven effectiveness at helping individuals recover from stroke and its important role in preventing future events, outpatient rehabilitation poststroke is still underutilized in many states, according to a new study from the US Centers for Disease Control and
Study: Seeing a PT First for LBP Lowers Overall Costs, Reduces Chances of Later Opioid Prescription
Odds of receiving a later opioid prescription dropped 87% when patients visited a PT first for LBP.

Major Overhaul of VA Choice Could be On the Way—But Health Net Won't Be Around For It
It's a $52 billion package that proponents say will open up access to non-VA providers for many vets.

Study: Home Is a Better Bet Than Hospitals for Achieving More PA Poststroke
There's no place like home for engaging in the levels of physical activity (PA) that can aid in recovery poststroke—at least compared with the current hospital setting—according to a small study from Australia. For the study, researchers
APTA Weighs in on Opioid Use Disorder, Opioid Poisoning, Among People With Disabilities
APTA has contributed to an effort that may help shed light on an often overlooked facet of the opioid crisis—the impact of opioid use disorder on people with disabilities. While final directions have not been laid out, the comments are
Advanced Cancer Patients Can Benefit From Structured Exercise, Say Researchers
Incorporating structured exercise into supportive care can help improve the lives of patients with advanced cancer, say researchers in an article e published ahead of print in the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (abstract only available for free). In
2018 House of Delegates Motions, Background Papers Posted
May 18, 2018: Now available to APTA members: the complete first packet of motions, accompanied by background papers, to be considered by the 2018 APTA House of Delegates (House) when it convenes June 25-27, 2018, in Orlando, Florida.
PTs From the US Selected to Speak at International Physical Therapy Congress
May 18, 2018: A total of 13 physical therapists (PTs) from the US will be among the main speakers at the World Confederation for Physical Therapy (WCPT) Congress to be held in Geneva May 10–13, 2019.
The Good Stuff: Members and the Profession in the Media, May 2018
Members and the profession in national and local media.

CDC: Falls-Related Deaths in the US Rose 31% in 10 Years
Deaths increased by about 3% each year between 2007 and 2016.

CMS Offers Alternative Dispute Resolution for Some Providers With Unresolved Medicare A or B Appeals
CMS is offering alternative dispute resolution for some Part A or B appeals.

APTA Federal Advocacy Forum Brings the Profession's Energy to Capitol Hill
"The level of dedication and engagement at this year's forum was truly impressive."
APTA-Supported VA Change Will Expand Use of Telehealth for PT Services
The rule allows for telehealth services across state lines for VA beneficiaries in all US jurisdictions.
CMS Wants to Drop Functional Measure, 2 Quality Reporting Measures From IRF Requirements
Bye bye, Functional Independence Measure?
New Strategy Group Seeking Input on Physical Therapy PT, PTA Clinical Education Recommendations
The dialogue around best practices in PT and PTA clinical education continues.

Special Olympics Looking for PT, PTA, Student Volunteers
The offering was developed in collaboration with APTA as an extension of its partnership with Special Olympics.
$9.7 Million PCORI Grant Will Fund Research on Physical Therapy vs CBT for LBP
APTA member Julie Fritz, PT, PhD, is the principal investigator.
Study: Self-Reported vs Actual Levels of PA Usually Don't Match Up

Self-descriptions of PA levels were fairly consistent--just not very accurate, especially for Americans.


From PT in Motion: PTs Improving the Health of Communities
PTs and PTAs have a lot to offer when it comes to community health promotion.

Vitamin D Takes a Tumble in New Falls Prevention Recommendations
"Vitamin D supplementation has no benefit in falls prevention in community-dwelling older adults not known to have vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency."
CMS Proposes Major Change in SNF Payment System
CMS may be pulling the RUG out from under SNFs.

Proposed CMS Hospital Payment Rule Includes Payment Increases, Reductions in Reporting and EHR Requirements
More money for ACHs, fewer reporting requirements.

PTJ Special Issue Podcasts: Physical Therapy for Pain May Reduce Overall Costs, Opioid Use
One study found that after 2 years, hip surgery patients who received only physical therapy postsurgery had lower overall health care costs than those who only received opioids.
Successful WCPT Efforts in Africa Subject of Capitol Hill Meeting
The WCPT project is designed to strengthen the physical therapy profession in West Africa.
2017 APTA Annual Report Posted
Sharon Dunn: APTA's accomplishments were due to "a commitment to working together, sharing ideas, and learning from each other."

2018 House of Delegates Motions Now Posted
The posting includes proposed amendments to the APTA bylaws.

Joint Commission Wants Your Comments on Proposed Pain Assessment and Management Requirements
Your comments can help shape final standards and more clearly define the roles of PTs and PTAs.

2018 APTA Honors and Awards Program Recipients Announced
The list of winners includes 2 new award categories.

APTA's Member Renewal Efforts Earn National Award
The award-winning effort was part of the #APTA100K campaign.

The Good Stuff: Members and the Profession in the Media, April 2018
PTs as bicycle seat designers, app developers, virtual reality researchers--and 1 proud new father.

Foundation Announces 2018 Scholarship, Grant Opportunities
The Foundation is now accepting applications for the 2018 Kendall scholarships and 8 research grants.

APTA Adds Its Voice to Coalition Calling for Medicare Advantage to Rein in Prior Authorization
April 16, 2018: With nearly a third of the total Medicare population enrolled in a Medicare Advantage (MA) plan and growth expected to continue, it's time for the public-private hybrid system to evolve and move away from excessive use of prior authorization—that's the message being delivered to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) from a coalition of health care and consumer organizations including APTA.
Study: Primary Care Physician PT Referral Rates Dropped 50% Between 2003 and 2014
April 13, 2018: Over the past 20 years, there have been vast gains in direct access to physical therapists (PTs), and most providers and clinical practice guidelines recommend physical therapy as a “first-line treatment” for many musculoskeletal conditions.

Final Rule on ACA Insurance Exchanges Opens the Door for Market Instability, Disruptions in Care
"Consumers will be left with a confusing, unsteady coverage system that could disrupt their care--practically the opposite scenario from the original intent of the ACA."

As APTA's Financial Solutions Center Marks 1 Year, Student Debt Looms Large in the News
APTA's Financial Solutions Center is designed to help PTs, PTAs, and students respond to the challenges of student debt and financial management.

PTs Honored for International Volunteer Efforts
Only a small number of volunteers among all types of health discipline receive the prestigious award.

PTJ: To Avoid Adverse Events, Rehab Facilities Need to Get to the Root of the Problem
Adverse events were most often caused by staff errors in policy and procedures and communications.
Bill to Weaken ADA Met With Strong Opposition From Senators, APTA, Other Organizations
"This attempt to erode the rights guaranteed in the ADA runs counter to the values of the physical therapy profession and its commitment to assisting all people with disabilities to set and achieve high goals."

Researchers Say Frequent TV-Watching Comes With VTE Risk That Can't Be Eliminated Through Physical Activity
"These results suggest that sedentary behavior is not just the opposite issue from physical activity."

2018 APTA State Legislative Leadership Award Nominations Open
Know a leader in state legislative efforts?

From PT in Motion: PTs Pack a Punch When It Comes to Treating Combat Athletes
MMA, jiu jitsu, thai boxing, karate--all can put extraordinary demands on an athlete's body. That's where physical therapy comes in to play.

Experts: It's Time to Act on the Evidence for Low Back Pain
"Care for patients with chronic conditions such as low back pain is inherently multidisciplinary."

Upcoming Issue of PTJ Focuses on Building the Evidence Base for Physical Therapy in Pain Management
"These papers showcase diversity in approaches, techniques, and philosophies needed to make meaningful progress."

CMS, APTA: OIG Report on Outpatient Physical Therapy Claims Contains Possible Flaws and Questionable Assumptions
CMS and APTA are questioning an OIG report on outpatient physical therapy claims under Medicare.

Lynda Woodruff, Leader in Physical Therapy Education, Dies at 70
Lynda Woodruff, PT, PhD, an educator and trailblazer in the physical therapy profession, died at her home on March 20. The APTA lifetime member was 70. Woodruff was a visiting professor at Alabama State University (ASU) and
Researchers Say Tai Chi Shows Promise Over Aerobic Exercise for Fibromyalgia
Could the mind-body aspects of tai chi make a difference?

The Crisis Continues: Opioids in the News, March 2018
Among the highlights: "Americans Take More Pain Pills - but not Because They're in More Pain"
One Call Care Management to Change Referral Practices as Result of Court Settlement
One Call began implementing the payment policy changes, which are specific to California, in February
2018 Candidate Information, Statements Posted
New resources include candidate statements and biographical information.
Study: More 'Collaboration and Consistency' Needed Between PTs and Surgeons in TKA, THA Measures
Researchers say it's going to become increasingly important for PTs and surgeons to pursue more "collaboration and consistency" when it comes to outcome measures for TKA and THA.

Study: Adding Dry Needling to Exercise for Shoulder Pain Could Reduce Broader Costs
The study is an expansion of earlier published results...which indicated that including trigger point was just as effective as exercise alone at reducing shoulder pain intensity, and better at improving pain-related disability.

APTA's New Mission Statement: A Healthier Society Through a Strong Community
APTA has a new mission, and it's all about bringing people together.

Move Forward Radio: Avoiding Muscle Atrophy When Injured
People who regularly work out or participate in sports may fear losing muscle mass or gaining weight during recovery from injury. It doesn't have to be that way.

The Good Stuff: Members and the Profession in the Media, March 2018
"We really push physical therapy prior to surgery, as well as strengthening prior to chemotherapy. ... Physical therapy is quite important."

Study: Optimal Exercise Dose for Knee Disorders Still Unclear

Effect sizes varied widely because so many different outcome measures were used, even for the same conditions.


APTA Contributes to New 'Playbook' on Pain Management and Opioid Stewardship
Understanding the link between overreliance on opioids for pain management and the broader opioid crisis in the US isn't difficult identifying realistic steps to break that link is another matter. A high profile national partnership that includes APTA
Study: Falls Among US Adults 65 and Older Cost $50 Billion in 2015
Authors say that unless the US steps up its game, costs are certain to climb as the baby boomer generation continues to age.
JAMA Study: Opioids No Better Than Nonopioids in Improving Pain-Related Function, Intensity for Chronic Back Pain, Hip/Knee OA
Authors say there's no support for opioid therapy for some types of chronic pain.

Easier Said than Done: A Third of Patients Told to Lose Weight Have Functional Limitations That Could Make Exercise Difficult or Unsafe
Researchers see opportunities for PTs to make a difference.
From PT in Motion: PT 'Boomers' Offer Advice on Life in the Clinic and Beyond
Physical therapy, Roesch notes, "is hard physically, mentally, and emotionally, mainly because we get so involved."
Study: Opioids Don't Improve Quality of Life for Individuals With Chronic Noncancer Pain
For people with chronic noncancer pain, opioids probably aren't delivering on what many presume to be their primary function.
Washington Post: End of Therapy Cap a 'Long-Awaited Gift'
The therapy cap saga "reveals much about how health care financing often gets done—or undone—in Washington."
Humana Coverage Limitations: More of the Same
Not much has changed--but that isn't necessarily a good thing.

CMS to Study Administrative Burden of MIPS; PTs Can Participate
How burdensome is MIPS?
#PTTransforms Blog: Keeping the Patient at the Center of Pain Management
The #PTTransforms blog is back.
CDC Issues 'Call to Action' to Address Treatment Gaps for Children Experiencing TBI
"The management of TBI in children is complex and depends upon multiple service delivery systems that frequently do not provide systematic or coordinated care."

Pediatricians' Group Releases 'Choosing Wisely' List of Orthopedic Treatments to Question
Questions about the use of imaging, ultrasound, and orthotics.

APTA's Updated Defensible Documentation Resource Provides Insight, Practical Tips, and More
APTA's retooled webpage includes the latest on best practices in documentation.
2018 CSM Largest Ever; News and Videos Now Available
Don't miss out: daily news and videos are available online.
Payers Looking for More Coding Detail
The 59 modifier is a potential red flag for CMS and commercial payers.
Spending on Health Care Projected to Increase 5.5% Annually Through 2026
One-fifth of the GDP by 2026.
The Post-Therapy Cap System: 5 Basics You Need to Know
The budget deal didn't just remove a rule--it also launched a new system of payment thresholds and triggers.
Now Available: Recording of 'Insider Intel' Session on Therapy Cap, Home Health, More
Are you ready for what's coming?
CMS Offers Settlement Option for Providers With Denial Appeals in Limbo
CMS is offering some providers a chance to settle backlogged claims denial appeals at 62% of net allowed amounts.
Home Health Faces Challenges in Wake of Budget Deal
What does the federal budget deal mean for home health?

The Good Stuff: Members and the Profession in the Media, February 2018
"I still wasn’t whole." 
CMS Issues Coding, Other Details on Supervised Exercise Therapy for Peripheral Artery Disease
February 13, 2018: The US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has released details on how it will process claims made as a result of its decision to cover supervised exercise therapy (SET) in the treatment of peripheral artery disease (PAD).
New APTA Podcast Series Explores Big Picture and Details of Value-Based Care
February 12, 2018: Everyone's talking about "value-based care," but what does the concept really mean, and how will it affect your practice? That's the subject of a new 21-part podcast series now available for download from APTA.

A Permanent Fix to the Therapy Cap: Improved Access for Medicare Patients Comes With Pending APTA-Opposed Cut to PTA Payment
Ending the hard cap has been a high priority for APTA.
Now's Your Chance to Step up to APTA Committee Service
Ready to take a lead in shaping the future of APTA?
PT, PTA Education Leadership Institute Accepting Applications for a Program That Inspires, Empowers, and Connects
Being a director for a PT or PTA education program can seem as lonely as it is overwhelming—but it doesn't have to be that way.
From PT Pintcast: Now's the Time to Embrace Outcomes Registries
Association-run registries also serve another important function: helping providers get a handle on the seemingly inevitable move toward value-based health care.
Making Transformation Possible: Panelists at APTA Event Explore Paths Toward Rethinking Pain Management
"The truth is, most people don't feel really great on opioids."

'Choose More Movement and Better Health': APTA Releases New #ChoosePT Video

 "Choose more movement and better health. Choose physical therapy."

APTA Learning Center Offerings Will be Included in aPTitude CE Resource
In the coming months, APTA will add its complete catalog of Learning Center courses to aPTitude.
BuzzFeed Features Physical Therapy 'Success Stories'

  "I owe [my physical therapist] my mobility and my life without pain."

With Deadline Looming, APTA Members, Patients, Multiple Organizations Press on for Therapy Cap Repeal
Here's a quick rundown of what APTA and others have been doing to call attention to therapy cap repeal.

From PT in Motion: PTs Should Cultivate Their Knowledge of Medical Marijuana
Because it is often used to treat pain symptoms...marijuana is "very relevant" for a PT.

In Wake of Nassar Conviction, PT Points to Need for Patient Education on Legitimate Pelvic Physical Therapy
"For women with pelvic floor disorders, it is difficult enough to battle the stigma, shame and guilt often associated with these conditions."
APTA-Hosted Panel Discussion on Opioid Epidemic and Pain to Be Broadcast Live Via Facebook

"Beyond Opioids: Transforming Pain Management to Improve Health," will be streamed live via APTA's Facebook page on February 5 beginning at 8:00 pm ET.

Mid-Atlantic, Pacific States and Territories Will be First to See New Medicare Cards
Beneficiaries in 9 states, DC, and 3 US territories will be the first to receive the new cards, which won't rely on SSNs.
CDC: Most Middle and High School Students Don't Get Enough Sleep

Among high school students, 72.7% reported insufficient sleep, with about 20% reporting sleeping fewer than 6 hours a night.  

APTA Issues a 'Call to Action' for Patient Videos on Therapy Cap
Lights, camera, advocacy!
Study: Concussions Aren't the Link to CTE
The populations at risk for CTE may be larger than first suspected.

New Data on Musculoskeletal Disease Highlight its Position as Major Contributor to Health Care Costs
More than half of all adults in the US now report a chronic musculoskeletal condition—a rate that outpaces  respiratory conditions and circulatory condition.
Government Reopens Under Short-Term Deal That Leaves Medicare Patients in Limbo
"The time has come for resolution of this unacceptable situation."
Study Contradicts Popular 'Text Neck' Theory
Is there a connection between "text neck" and neck pain? Researchers from Brazil don't think so.

Major Health Industry Groups Look to Streamline Prior Authorization

While prior insurance authorization may be right up there with death and taxes when it comes to life's certainties, 6 major health industry groups believe the process could be much improved.


Study: To Avoid LBP, Runners Should Think Deep
“The deep erector spinae required the largest compensations when weakened individually.”
The Good Stuff: Members and the Profession in Local News, January 2018
The brave, the creative, the dedicated - all in this month's "Good Stuff."
Film Star Kathy Bates Helps to Spread the Word on Lymphedema Management in APTA Oncology Section's Journal
"We need awareness. …Please help me spread the word."

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