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IRFs Could See 2.5% Increase From CMS in FY 2020; Additional Reporting Requirements in FY 2022

*PT in Motion News

CMS wants to gather more information on social determinants of health.


CMS Adds to DMEPOS Prior Authorization List

*PT in Motion News

Seven of the 12 new codes are related to power mobility devices, with the additional 5 related to pressure-reducing support surfaces.

The Good Stuff: Members and the Profession in the Media, April 2019

*PT in Motion News Traumatophobia, "citizen science," and improving health in Vietnam, among other notable mentions of members in the media.

New Phys Ed Studies Say There's More Work to Do

*PT in Motion News


Attendance in PE classes hasn't changed much. But that's not necessarily a good thing.

APTA Annual Report: 2018's Achievements Are Shaping the Future of the Profession

*PT in Motion News

It's a story of how how creating connections can pay off—not only in meeting current challenges, but in setting a course for the profession's future.

PTJ: Falls Are 'Critical Health Hazard' for Individuals With Upper Limb Loss

*PT in Motion News Single-fall prevalence for this population is higher than for older individuals and community-dwelling stroke survivors.

CDC Reiterates Limits of Opioid Prescribing Guideline

*PT in Motion News

The CDC clarification is consistent with APTA messaging in its #ChoosePT campaign and elsewhere.

Foundation Announces 2019 Grant Opportunities

*PT in Motion News

A lifetime APTA member made a new major grant a reality.

New Pilot Study Opportunities Available From CoHSTAR

*PT in Motion News

As much as $25k per project is available for direct costs.

JAMA Oncology: Telerehab Makes a Difference in Patients With Advanced-Stage Cancer

*PT in Motion News

"Surprisingly modest functional losses and gains among individuals with borderline dependency…can profoundly affect their requirement for inpatient care."



CMS Home Health Preclaim, Postpayment Review System Again Ready to Launch in Illinois

*PT in Motion News

After false starts, restarts, postponements, and more than a little pushback from APTA and other stakeholders, CMS is ready to once again roll out a home health agency (HHA) payment program in Illinois that would force HHA providers in the state to participate in preclaim or postpayment reviews—or choose a third option that would involve "minimal" postpayment review but cut payment by 25%.

Student Loan Repayment Program to Include PTs? Health Services Corps Bill Reintroduced in US Senate

*PT in Motion News

It's back: APTA-supported legislation that would list physical therapists (PTs) among the professions included in a federal program to provide greater patient access to health care in rural and underserved areas has been reintroduced in the Senate. If passed into law, the program could open up access to a student loan repayment program for participating PTs—and help address the nation's opioid crisis in areas that have been especially hard-hit.

2019 House of Delegates Motions Now Posted

*PT in Motion News

The compilation contains 70 House motions.


Statehouse Roundup: Licensure Compact Progress; Chapters Press for Changes to Direct Access, Pain Management Policy, Payment, and More

*PT in Motion News

Providing all goes as hoped during current state legislative sessions, the Physical Therapy Licensure Compact could pass the halfway mark in its progress toward adoption in every state, with a potential for 28 states to be participating in the system that allows physical therapists (PTs) and physical therapist assistants (PTAs) licensed in 1 compact state to obtain practice privileges in others.

From PT in Motion Magazine: Regenerative Medicine and the PT

*PT in Motion News

Patient, heal thyself. Maybe that's not exactly what regenerative medicine is all about, but it's close: with its emphasis on enhancing the body's own genetically driven capabilities to repair damage and reestablish neural connections, regenerative medicine is pushing the boundaries of what we know about the healing capacities hidden in our own DNA. And physical therapists (PTs) are bringing an important perspective and set of unique skills to the field.

From Move Forward Radio: Motivated by Physical Therapy Experience, Woman Is Inspired to Give Back

*PT in Motion News

Move Forward Radio: great listening for you and your patients.


New DPT Honor Society Readies to Announce First Inductees

*PT in Motion News

Think current DPT students are impressive? The American Council of Academic Physical Therapy couldn't agree more.

It's Never Too Late: Study Finds Beginning PA Later in Life Reduces Mortality Risk Nearly as Much as Remaining Active From Adolescence

*PT in Motion News  

 Researchers were in for a surprise.

Too Much Focus on Productivity Increases Risk of Unethical Behavior, Say Researchers

*PT in Motion News

Too Much Focus on Productivity Increases Risk of Unethical Behavior, Say Researchers
Study: Light Physical Activity Could Help to Lower Risk of Coronary and Cardiovascular Problems

*PT in Motion News

Even light PA—walking, gardening, stretching exercises—can make a significant difference in risk of CHD and CVD, researchers say.
President's Budget Proposes Cuts to Public Health Programs, Health Research, Medicare, and Medicaid

*PT in Motion News

While the budget itself isn't likely to survive, there's a danger that some of the more damaging concepts could live on. Health Care Headlines President's Budget Proposes Cuts to Public Health Programs, Health Research, Medicare, and Medicaid
Researchers Find 'Only Positive Effects' From PTs in Primary Care Role

*PT in Motion News

Get thee to a PT.
The Good Stuff: Members and the Profession in the Media, March 2019

*PT in Motion News

Members looking at the relationship between sound and movement, among other Good Stuff. Check it out!
North Carolina PTs Get Decisive Dry Needling Win

*PT in Motion News

After a nearly 4-year battle, physical therapists (PTs) in North Carolina can finally claim victory in their fight to protect dry needling.

New APTA Partnership Aimed at Improving Health Care Throughout the Americas

*PT in Motion News

APTA will be doing even more to support access to rehabilitative services beyond US borders, thanks to its newest partnership, with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the world's oldest international public health agency.

Researchers: Aquatic Exercise Offers Similar Results With Less Pain for Patients With Chronic LBP

*PT in Motion News
Aquatic exercise, a common physical therapist intervention for patients with chronic low back pain (CLBP), shouldn't be viewed as "less strenuous or less effective" than land-based exercise, according to authors of a recent study in PTJ (Physical Therapy). In fact, they write, water-based exercise can be beneficial for people whose movement is limited by pain.

Your Help Needed to Guide Movement System Integration
<p><img src="" alt="*PT in Motion News" title="*PT in Motion News 800x400 (for FB)" /></p> <br />Your input is needed on an important next step for the movement system concept.</p>
Education Leadership Partnership Looks Back On a Productive Year

*PT in Motion News
The report recaps an important year.

CMS Promotes More Access to Nondrug Pain Management in Medicaid
CMS says states have a range of options for increasing access to nondrug approaches to pain treatment for Medicaid beneficiaries.

From PT in Motion Magazine: Health 'Consumerism' Is Changing How PTs Think About Care

*PT in Motion News

Patients are increasingly extending their consumer savvy to choosing health care providers—and that includes PTs

Large-Scale Investigation: Falls-Prevention Exercise Interventions Work

*PT in Motion News

Overall, exercise reduces the rate of falls by 23%.

APTA Working for You: Practice-Related Updates, February 2019

*PT in Motion News

APTA is providing the profession's perspective on a range of practice-related issues.

Can Cognitive and Physical Activity in Midlife Reduce the Risk of Dementia in Later Years? Researchers Say Yes

*PT in Motion News

Stay physically and intellectually active in midlife to reduce risk of later dementia.

New Medicare SNF Payment System Explained in Upcoming Q-and-A Sessions
PTs in SNFs will face an entirely new payment methodology beginning in October. APTA can help you get up to speed.

CPG: Avoid Surgery for Atraumatic Shoulder Pain
"Clinicians should not offer patients subacromial decompression surgery unprompted."
Crazy Little Thing Called (APTA) Love
The stories show how APTA builds connections, strengthens the profession, and provides opportunities for professional growth.
The Good Stuff: Members and the Profession in the Media, February 2019
APTA members are amazing ambassadors for the profession.

From PTJ: PT, PTA Injuries Related to Patient Handling Still Common in LTC Settings
More than half of the therapy personnel surveyed said that they"never" or "rarely" use resident-lifting equipment.

Proposed Rules on Electronic Health Information Seek Better Patient Access, More Interoperability
HHS is getting serious about making it as easy as possible for patients to access their health care records from just about any device, for free.
New APTA Policy Priorities Push for a More Wellness-Oriented, Value-Based, and Accessible Health Care System
APTA believes leaves too many Americans underserved, including people with disabilities, chronic conditions, and opioid addiction.
Check Your QPP Status (Again)

Medicare's Quality Payment Program applies to qualifying PTs. Does that mean you?


Researchers: Physical Therapy-Related Cochrane Reviews Largely Inconclusive
There may be good reasons for the higher rates, according to authors.

Study: More Evidence for Early Post-TKR Exercise Interventions 'Urgently Needed'
"Large variations between institutions and individuals exist as to what active inpatient therapy is prescribed."

APTA Volunteer Opportunities Now Available
Positions for several Board of Directors-appointed groups are open.

APTA, ACSM Partnership Agreement Formalizes Long-Time Collaboration
"Both organizations are founded in helping individuals live their best lives."
From PT in Motion Magazine: Recognizing—and Beating—Burnout
Burnout is being experienced by an increasing number of PTs and PTAs, sometimes before they even know it's happening to them.
Systematic Review: LBP Studies Make the Case for Early Physical Therapy
An encouraging picture is emerging.

New Medicare Home Health Payment System Explained in Upcoming Q-and-A Sessions
It's all free to APTA members.

Foundation Has a New Name, Logo, and Website
Same focus, different name--and a new logo.

New APTA Strategic Plan: Leading the Profession and Association Into the Next Century
The goals to be reached between now and the beginning of APTA's next century are as ambitious as anything the association has ever attempted.
'No Bigger Fan': US Surgeon General Believes the Physical Therapy Profession is a Key Player in the Fight Against Opioid Misuse
"Physical therapists are key to overcoming not only the opioid epidemic but in creating healthier societies," Adams said.
Study: Physical Activity and Higher Motor Skills Create a 'Cognitive Reserve' Even When Brain Pathologies Are Present
Yes, researchers found that participants who recorded higher levels of PA and motor skills also tended to score higher on cognitive tests than did those with lower PA and motor skills. But there was an even more interesting finding uncovered in postmortem examination of brain tissue.
APTA Breaks Ground on New Headquarters: APTA Centennial Center
Let the construction begin current and former APTA leaders gathered in Alexandria, Virginia, to celebrate the groundbreaking of APTA Centennial Center, a 7 story, 115,000 square foot building that will be the association's headquarters beginning in 2021.
Study of Cash-Based PT Services Hints at Possibility of Increased Cost-Effectiveness
A small scale study that looks at the effect of cash based physical therapist (PT) services on utilization points to the possibility that the approach could be associated with lower overall costs and greater patient reported levels of improvement—although authors
2019 Federal Advocacy Forum Coming March 31; Registration Open Through March 18
A new Congress, new priorities, new opportunities for delivering the physical therapy message.

The Good Stuff: Members and the Profession in the Media, January 2019
APTA members and the profession in the media.

From Move Forward Radio: Retreat Helps Veterans With Amputation—and Their Families
The latest from Move Forward Radio.

JAMA Study: 'Multicomponent' Exercise Interventions During Hospital Stay Can Reverse Functional Decline Among Patients 75 and Older
Could the right in-hospital exercise intervention reverse functional decline among patients who are elderly?

New Anthem UM Vendor in 5 States May be the Beginning of a Wider Shift
A new Anthem UM vendor is coming to 5 states. Are more on the way?

While You're in the Neighborhood: 2 Easy-to-Do Opportunities to Help the Local Community During CSM
Easy ways to help out while you're at CSM (and even if you're not attending).

Draft HHS Report Backs Nonpharmacological Pain Management, Calls for Better Payer Coverage of Physical Therapy
"There is a lack of uniformity in insurance coverage and lack of coverage alignment with current practice guidelines for pain management."
New CPT Codes Allow PTs to Conduct, Bill for Remote Monitoring
More details need to be shared, but the basic idea is that the new codes allow PTs to conduct some activities remotely.

From PTJ: Could Impaired Physical Performance Predict Hospitalization Risk?
Could PTs have a role in screening and intervention for hospitalization risk?

APTA Outcomes Registry Earns Key QCDR Designation for Use With MIPS
The Physical Therapy Outcomes Registry now offers more QCDR-related measures than any other physical therapy-only option.

2019 MPPR Calculator Now Available
This year's calculator offers some new features.

APTA Partners With VA to Raise Vets' Awareness of Physical Therapy, Create Practice Opportunities for PTs and PTAs
"APTA finds its roots in the military, and we are thrilled to be partnering with VA to give back to America's veterans and ensure that they are receiving the physical therapy care they need."

Relevant Reading: 2018's Top PT in Motion Magazine Stories
Want to get a feel for the reach and diversity of the physical therapy profession?

Getting an Eyeful: Top APTA Videos of 2018
APTA produced a wide range of videos in 2018. Here are the year's most-viewed.

Moving Forward With Move Forward Radio's Most Popular Podcasts of 2018
APTA's Move Forward Radio helps you connect with patients and clients.

Diverse Voices, 1 Community: The Top APTA Blog Posts of 2018
Different voices, new perspectives, and assumption-challenging calls to action.

The More Things Change, the More They…Change: CMS Announcements Dominate Top PT in Motion News Stories for 2018
Lots of interest in keeping up with CMS.

Move Forward Radio Catches a 'Big Wave' Surfing Legend
Can lessons learned as a big wave surfer be applied to recovering from a hip replacement? Totally.

CoHSTAR Announces Fellowship Opportunities; Applications Due by February 15
Application deadline is February 15, 2019.

DoD Moves to Include PTAs in TRICARE
TRICARE would mirror Medicare's requirements permitting PTA and OTA participation.

The Good Stuff: Members and the Profession in the Media, December 2018
Good Stuff: APTA members and the profession in the media.

APTA, NATA Joint Statement Calls for Collaborative Relationship
"It's in the best interest of our patients and our clients, and our members, to work together when possible." - APTA President Sharon Dunn, PT, PhD

Government Affairs and Public Service Awards Nominations Due January 18, 2019
Do you know of any standouts in federal government affairs leadership or public service? Now's the time send in nominations for two APTA awards.

Foundation Research Grant Awards, Kendall Scholarships Announced
The grants cover a wide range of important research areas.

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.

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