The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is once again delaying implementation of the “2 midnight” rule for hospital admissions of patients in Medicare. In the face of criticism from physicians and hospitals, CMS now says recovery auditors cannot use the rule until after September 30. The rule was originally set to go into effect on March 31.
Intended to reduce costly admissions in cases better suited to outpatient treatment, the rule stipulates that auditors can assume that an admission is reasonable and necessary if the patient spent 2 days as an inpatient, defined as spending 2 midnights in a hospital bed.
President Obama’s federal budget proposal would close the loophole that allows physician self-referrals for physical therapy services—a change long supported by APTA that would improve quality of care and lower Medicare costs.
If adopted by Congress, the FY 2015 budget would eliminate exceptions that now apply to physical therapy, radiation therapy, anatomic pathology, and advanced imaging. The Office of Management and Budget estimates that closing the loophole for these services would provide a savings of just over $6 billion over 10 years.
A recent Wall Street Journal article highlights the rise in popularity of sandbag workouts—and the importance of sound advice from a physical therapist (PT) before taking on any new exercise regimen.
In a short article published March 3, WSJ reporter Laura Johannes describes how special sand-filled bags are replacing standard weights in workouts. The sand in the bags shifts with motion, something that supporters say works out a wider range of muscles.
Physical therapists (PTs) hoping for a little more light to be shed on the details of health plans available through state health insurance marketplaces can take heart: the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) may have just what they need.
Recently HHS launched a new website with state-by-state charts that include copayment and other benefit information for the health plans available in states that did not set up their own exchanges. Many providers had complained about inadequacy of earlier information from HHS.
An APTA member’s review of a new documentary on traumatic brain injury (TBI) has been featured on ESPN. Stephania Bell, PT, CSCS, OCS, senior writer for ESPN, gave a strong, positive review for the new documentary “The Crash Reel,” but perhaps just as important, seized the opportunity to provide readers with valuable education on consecutive TBI and its impact on developing brains.
“The Crash Reel” follows the rise, devastating injury, and recovery of elite snowboarder Kevin Pearce, who at age 22 suffered a head injury during training for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. Pearce’s recovery continues, and he is now a motivational speaker and sports equipment consultant. Earlier this month he carried the torch at the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics in Sochi.
The “polio-like illness” found in 5 California children “appears to be very, very rare,” according to the author of a study on these cases, but could point to an “emerging” infectious syndrome. In a recent press release the study’s authors stated that 20–25 similar cases are now being investigated.
The illnesses involve paralysis of 1 or more limbs with rapid onset and a peak in severity at about 2 days. Of the 5 children affected, 3 had respiratory illnesses before the polio-like symptoms began. All 5 had been vaccinated against the polio virus.
Want to witness the power behind the next generation of artificial muscles for prosthetics and exoskeletons? Look in your fishing tackle box.
According to a recent announcement from researchers at the University of Texas – Dallas, a process that twists and coils fishing line results in an artificial muscle that can lift more than 100 times the weight of a similar-sized human muscle and can be controlled by relatively simple temperature changes. The research has been reported in Discover magazine, Health24, and WebMD, among other outlets.
A study of nearly 36,000 men over a 24-year span has revealed that walking significantly contributes to prevention of hip fractures to an even greater extent than more strenuous activity. Researchers also found that “contrary to expectation,” sedentary behavior can serve a preventive role too—particularly when accompanied by 2 or more hours of walking per week.
In the study, e-published ahead of print in the American Journal of Public Health, researchers examined data from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, a project that uses biennial questionnaires to track the health and lifestyle of about 51,000 men. Authors of the hip fracture study focused on reports of 35,996 men aged 50 to 75 from 1986 through 2010.
The 2014 APTA Strategic Plan has been posted on the association website and features updated objectives for each of 4 goals that have been carried over from 2013: effectiveness of care, patient- and client-centered care across the lifespan, professional growth and development, and value and accountability.
Approved by the APTA Board of Directors during its December 2013 meeting, the 2014 plan is a bridge to the new vision that APTA adopted at the June House of Delegates—”Transforming society by optimizing movement to improve the human experience.” As in 2013, the 2014 plan places highest priority on objectives related to the development of the physical therapy outcomes registry (PTOR) and advancement of a more appropriate payment system, proposed as the physical therapy classification and payment system (PTCPS).
$27.00 [3.00 CE Hours]
This course reviews rehabilitation guidelines following Autologous Chondrocyte Implantation (ACI) on the tibiofemoral joint. This surgical technique, which has become an established technique for repair of full-thickness chondral defects, is discussed as well as the factors proposed to influence patient outcomes. Components of pre-operative patient education and conditioning are presented as well as the 7 stages of post-operative rehabilitation.
$18.00 [2.00 CE Hours]
This course reviews a clinical study that evaluates the effectiveness of cervical traction in addition to exercise for patients with cervical radiculopathy. This common diagnosis is based clinically on the presence of neck pain extending into the arm accompanied by signs of nerve root compression during physical examination. Patients were randomized to 4 weeks of treatments with exercise, exercise with mechanical traction, or exercise with over-door traction. A discussion of the results indicate which treatments demonstrated lower disability and pain.