After Heart Attack, Home Care Can Prevent a Return to Hospital

After Heart Attack, Home Care Can Prevent a Return to Hospital

Receiving home health care reduces heart attack survivors’ risk of hospital readmission after discharge, a new study finds.

In the United States, only a small percentage of heart attack survivors receive home care such as nursing and physical therapy, according to study authors.

The findings were presented recently at a virtual American Heart Association meeting. Research presented at meetings is typically considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

“Little is known regarding the impact of home health care on heart attack patients,” lead author Muhammad Adil Sheikh said. “Since patients who receive home health care tend to be older and sicker than others, and these characteristics themselves can lead to hospital readmission, we wanted to investigate the impact of home health care alone on readmission.”

Full article at US News

CEUs for Physical Therapists, Physical Therapist Assistants, and Occupational Therapists

Fearing the deadly combo of COVID-19 and cancer

Three Tuesdays each month, Katherine O’Brien straps on her face mask and journeys about half an hour by Metra rail to Northwestern University’s Lurie Cancer Center.

What were once packed train cars rolling into Chicago are now eerily empty, as those usually commuting to towering skyscrapers weather the pandemic from home. But for O’Brien, the excursion is mandatory. She’s one of millions of Americans battling cancer and depends on chemotherapy to treat the breast cancer that has spread to her bones and liver.

“I was nervous at first about having to go downtown for my treatment,” said O’Brien, who lives in a suburb, La Grange, and worries about contracting the coronavirus. “Family and friends have offered to drive me, but I want to minimize everyone’s exposure.”

Full article at News Medical

CEUs for Physical Therapists, Physical Therapist Assistants, and Occupational Therapists

Study shows social robot offers new strategies for pain management

Could furry social robots help bolster moods and reduce pain when human to human contact isn’t an option, for example, during a pandemic?

According to a new study by Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) researchers published in Scientific Reports, a one-time, hour-long session with a plush, seal-like social robot reduced pain and oxytocin levels, and increased happiness.

The Japanese social robot, PARO, emits seal-like sounds and moves its head and flippers in response to being spoken to and touched.

Full article at News Medical

CEUs for Physical Therapists, Physical Therapist Assistants, and Occupational Therapists

Pandemic forced insurers to pay for in-home treatments. Will they disappear?

After seven days as an inpatient for complications related to heart problems, Glenn Shanoski was initially hesitant when doctors suggested in early April that he could cut his hospital stay short and recover at home — with high-tech 24-hour monitoring and daily visits from medical teams.

But Shanoski, a 52-year-old electrician in Salem, Massachusetts, decided to give it a try. He’d felt increasingly lonely in a hospital where the COVID pandemic meant no visitors. Also, Boston’s Tufts Medical Center wanted to free up beds for a possible surge of the coronavirus.

With a push from COVID-19, such “hospital-at-home” programs and other remote technologies — from online visits with doctors to virtual physical therapy to home oxygen monitoring — have been rapidly rolled out and, often, embraced.

Full article at News Medical

CEUs for Physical Therapists, Physical Therapist Assistants, and Occupational Therapists

APTA, 52 Other Organizations to Congress: Stop Proposed Medicare Cuts to Avoid Post-COVID Disaster

It’s clear that the COVID-19 pandemic will have a profound effect on the nation’s health care system for years to come — a fact that only strengthens the argument that CMS’ proposed 2021 cuts to Medicare payment are monumentally ill-advised. That’s why we’ve joined with 52 other health care organizations and signed on to a letter to congressional leaders urging them to do something before it’s too late.

The letter, just a part of our extensive advocacy efforts to stop the proposed cuts, is directed at U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and urges Congress to “help fortify the health care delivery system and ensure long-term recovery” by suspending budget-neutrality requirements in the Social Security Act. Creating this kind of waiver would allow CMS to pursue its goal of increasing payment for evaluation and management codes, known as E/M codes, without being required to offset the cost through cuts to other areas.

Full article at APTA

CEUs for Physical Therapists, Physical Therapist Assistants, and Occupational Therapists

Neuroscientist discovers neuronal pulses in the human brain that activate after an injury

A neuroscientist’s neon pink arm cast led him and fellow researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis to discover previously undetected neuronal pulses in the human brain that activate after an immobilizing illness or injury.

The pulses appeared on MRI scans used to measure brain activity of the neuroscientist and, later, two additional adults whose arms were in casts.

The researchers compared those MRI images with scans of the scientists before and after their arms were put in casts.

The scans showed that the brain’s main circuits responsible for movement in specific areas of the body disconnected within 48 hours of a person wearing a cast that encumbered movement in such an area.

Full article at News Medical

CEUs for Physical Therapists, Physical Therapist Assistants, and Occupational Therapists

HHS Discrimination Decision Runs Counter to Profession’s Values

The recent U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ decision to abandon protections of individuals based on gender identity isn’t just controversial — it’s in direct opposition to the official position of APTA, and inconsistent with the physical therapy profession’s Code of Ethics. The association made its stand known to HHS before the rule changes were adopted, and will continue to press for person-centered care delivered regardless of gender. 

On June 13, HHS issued its final revision to a 2016 rule that reinforced nondiscrimination policies in the Affordable Care Act. The widely criticized change was aimed at weakening the ACA’s protections against discrimination based on “race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability” by eliminating a definition of “discrimination based on sex” that included gender identity.  

Full article at APTA

CEUs for Physical Therapists, Physical Therapist Assistants, and Occupational Therapists

Telemedicine helps patients with chronic pain receive support during lockdown

The covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated conditions for people living with chronic pain around the world and its long-term consequences are likely to be substantial, according to a new paper from researchers at the University of Bath’s Centre for Pain Research.

Their Topical Review, published recently in the journal PAIN, suggests that with many doctors specializing in pain being redeployed to focus on the immediate crisis, access to traditional services for patients suffering from acute conditions, such as nerve damage or arthritis, has been severely disrupted. Whilst this creates an immediate capacity challenge for healthcare professionals, it has also provided them an opportunity to move towards the greater use of ‘telemedicine’ with online consultation, say the researchers.

Chronic or persistent pain is characterized as pain that carries on for longer than 12 weeks despite medication or treatment. Whereas most people get back to normal following an injury or operation, sometimes pain carries on for longer, or comes on without any history of an injury or operation. Common examples include lower back pain, arthritis, fibromyalgia and persistent and frequent headaches. Globally the burden of chronic pain is as high as 1 in 4 of adults. Data from young people are similar.

Full article at News Medical

CEUs for Physical Therapists, Physical Therapist Assistants, and Occupational Therapists

New nonsurgical treatment reduces pain, improves function in patients with “frozen shoulder”

A new nonsurgical treatment decreases errant blood flow in the shoulder to quickly reduce pain and improve function in patients with adhesive capsulitis, also known as “frozen shoulder.”

According to a research abstract presented during a virtual session of the Society of Interventional Radiology’s 2020 Annual Scientific Meeting on June 13.

Frozen shoulder gradually causes significant pain and stiffness of the shoulder joint in an estimated 200,000 people in the U.S. each year. The symptoms are often treated with physical therapy or pain medications, until they resolve within one to three years.

“Patients with frozen shoulder are essentially told to tough it out until their symptoms improve, but considering the significant pain and decreased function many experience, we looked to determine if this treatment model of embolization, already in use in other areas of the body, could provide immediate and durable relief,” said Sandeep Bagla, MD, CEO of Vascular Interventional Partners, NOVA and lead author of the study.

Full article at News Medical

CEUs for Physical Therapists, Physical Therapist Assistants, and Occupational Therapists

House of Delegates Takes on PT, PTA Roles; Education Transparency; Workforce Issues; More

The physical therapy profession doesn’t shy away from a challenge — and that reality was on full display at the 76th APTA House of Delegates, which set the stage for the profession’s centennial by not only taking on important professional and societal issues but doing so in an entirely new way.

In many aspects, the 2020 House resembled its predecessors in terms of the range of topics addressed, from broad concepts such as telehealth to the nuts-and-bolts of internal House operations. But there was one major difference: The entire event was conducted virtually, as most of the country continued to live under travel and in-person meeting restrictions in light of the COVID-19 pandemic

Circumstances demanded that the House quickly adapt. APTA announced its decision to suspend all in-person meetings on March 11; by early June, the association was able to offer an online House experience that allowed for nearly every facet of an in-person version. Delegates learned the technical ins and outs and stepped up to the challenge, tackling a long list of items through, as always, lively debate.

Full article at APTA

CEUs for Physical Therapists, Physical Therapist Assistants, and Occupational Therapists