Author: Flex Therapist

FlexTherapist CEUs provides professional online training to Physical Therapists and Physical Therapist Assistants. Our courses are approved by boards throughout the United States for CE renewal. We blog about news and research related to the field of physical therapy that will keep licensed professionals informed.

2020 Presidential Address

Madam Speaker, delegates, and APTA members, I am grateful for this opportunity to address you tonight in these unprecedented times. The presidential address and the House of Delegates are longstanding rituals in our association’s history, but never have we conducted them like this.

I am delivering this address from our media center at LSU Health-Shreveport to the sound of silence. You are receiving this address wherever you are — spread across the country and time zones, staring into your computer in a quiet workspace, or just as likely from the kitchen table of a hectic home, surrounded by family members doing the same thing we’re all doing right now: adapting to our unusual new normal.

The first confirmed case of COVID-19 in America was reported on January 21. Less than two months later, there were confirmed cases in all 50 states, President Trump declared a national emergency, large public gatherings were canceled, schools were closed, and Americans were instructed to stay at home in most instances.

Full article at APTA

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

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

Message From President Dunn on Racism and Systemic Inequality in America

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the House is being conducted virtually this year, so a few weeks ago I recorded my address from the media center at LSU Health-Shreveport. As you’ll see when we post the address widely tomorrow night, my address touches on the public health emergency caused by the coronavirus, about its effect on our profession, and about our need to act.

What it doesn’t touch on, given when I recorded it, is what’s top of mind for so many of us right now — the death of George Floyd and the unrest that has followed as Americans have responded to what’s only the latest act of unnecessary violence and intimidation against a person of color in this country.

George Floyd’s death was horrific and entirely preventable. Because it was captured on video it has forced us, yet again, to confront the deeply seated racism in this country that many of us — mainly those like me with the privilege of whiteness — have spent too long complacently believing was largely a relic of our past. Yesterday as Americans celebrated the launch of humans into space while protests filled our streets, I couldn’t help but wonder what decade we’re in. For all the progress we’ve made as a society, we have an inexcusably long way to go, and we must make progress faster.

Full message at APTA

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

New framework for assessing and managing people with serious spinal pathologies

Rehabilitation clinicians and other health care professionals now have a framework for assessing and managing people who may have serious spinal pathologies. Detailed in a position statement about red flags for serious spinal injuries and disease, this new guidance for clinical practice was developed for the International Federation of Orthopaedic Manipulative Physical Therapists (IFOMPT) and published online this month in the Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy® (JOSPT®).

IFOMPT drew on the expertise of 100 experts from 19 countries to synthesize current research and reach consensus on the framework. Seventy clinicians from 13 countries, supported by patient partners, reviewed the information and approved the final version of the framework and its decision tools.

The framework covers four serious spine pathologies: cauda equina syndrome, compression of the nerve roots at the base of the spinal cord; spinal fracture, which accounts for the largest number of serious pathologies of the spine; spinal malignancy, which includes cancers that have spread from a primary cancer site to bone; and spinal infection, which includes infectious disease affecting spinal structures. For each pathology, decision tools summarize the red flags; outline the risk factors, symptoms, signs, and initial investigations; and offer a series of scenarios illustrating how red flags may raise suspicion of that condition.

Full article at News Medical

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

APTA Report: 44% of PTs, 54% of PTAs Say They Lost Income During Pandemic

The physical therapy profession has experienced some significant setbacks during the COVID-19 pandemic — many of them on a personal level. But results of a new nationwide survey conducted by APTA also reveal how PTs and PTAs are using their resilience to adapt to a changed professional landscape.

APTA summarized results of the survey conducted April 24-May 11 in a new report titled “Impact of COVID-19 on the Physical Therapy Profession.” The report is also the first resource to be released using APTA’s new logo and brand, which will be officially adopted in June.

The report, based on a survey results from 6,500 PTs and PTAs across the country, makes it clear that the COVID-19 pandemic has exacted a literal cost on PTs and PTAs, with 44% of PTs and 54% of PTAs reporting decreased income during the health crisis. Furloughs also were disturbingly high, affecting 17% of PTs and 27% of PTAs. Layoffs were less frequent — though no less troubling — with 5% of PTs and 13% of PTAs reporting job loss.

Full article at APTA

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

WFOT Public Statement: Occupational therapy and rehabilitation of people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has a profound impact on the lives, health and wellbeing of individuals, families and communities worldwide. As a professional organisation representing over 550,000 occupational therapists around the world, the World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT) recognises the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic for how people engage in their daily activities and occupations as result of disruptive changes in community access, resource availability and individual health and well-being. Populations around the world have been required to adjust and make compensations to usual routines in order to participate in ongoing or newly acquired occupations that are necessary for daily life.

Occupational therapy offers a broad variety of rehabilitation services to people of all ages, groups and communities affected by COVID-19 to enable their full inclusion in occupations in the home, education, work and leisure environment. Engagement in healthy occupations is needed to support survival, promote health and well-being and allow populations, communities, families and individuals to grow and flourish to realise their potential. Occupational therapists enable people to be active and productive in their community by using evidence-informed individual and population approach interventions, including skills training, education, group work and self-management strategies. Interventions reduce barriers impacting the mental, physical and cognitive health of people, their occupations and the environment in which they operate to promote meaningful lives where they live, love, work and play.

Full article at the WFOT

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

New Details Emerge on Delivery of Remote Services by Outpatient Department PTs and PTAs in Medicare

In early May, PT in Motion News reported about CMS guidance on a way for hospital outpatient department PTs and PTAs to provide remote care delivery to Medicare beneficiaries. More details have surfaced since then.

The original story is still worth a read, because it lays out the basics of how hospitals can use a patient’s address as a “temporary expansion location.” But since publication, additional information has come to light:

If the department is “non-excepted”: The CMS interim final rule doesn’t change the status of any non-excepted off-campus departments — they are still considered to be non-excepted during the COVID-19 public health emergency, even if they relocate. That means these non-excepted departments will continue to be paid the physician fee schedule rate. It also means they don’t need to apply for the relocation approval outlined in the earlier PT in Motion News story.

Full article at APTA

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

PTJ Virtual Issue Puts COVID Research and Perspectives on the Fast-Track

The COVID-19 pandemic demands that PTs, PTAs, and other rehabilitation professionals stay on top of what’s being learned about the disease and how the role of physical therapy is evolving because of it. PTJ, APTA’s scientific journal, is doing its part to deliver the latest research with minimal delays. In fact, says PTJ editor-in-chief Alan Jette, PT, PhD, FAPTA, the journal’s latest project is offering information in ways that are about as “real-time” as you can get.

Now available on the PTJ website: the PTJ COVID-19 Virtual Issue, a platform that allows the journal to share its latest COVID-19-related research and perspectives at a rate not possible through the normal PTJ publication process. The journal is free to members, and the virtual issue contains open-access work, free to everyone.

Full article at APTA

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

APTA Advisory: Humana Adopts Telehealth for PTs, OTs, SLPs

Another major commercial payer has acknowledged the value of telehealth provided by PTs: this time, it’s insurance giant Humana, which is now reimbursing PTs for services delivered via real-time video-based telehealth. Humana is among the last large national payers to make the shift.

In a May 15 update, Humana announced that it has expanded its temporary telehealth provisions to include a wider range of providers — PTs, occupational therapists, and speech-language pathologists among them. The expansion applies to both participating/in-network providers and specialty providers, so long as the services don’t violate state laws and regulations.

Similar to CMS, Humana previously had adopted many of the CPT codes commonly used by therapists as billable through telehealth, but didn’t include PTs, OTs, and SLPs among the providers able to bill for telehealth services using the codes. That’s no longer the case — even for Medicare — and PTs are now able to bill for telehealth services.

Full article at APTA

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

Sourcing PPE, Spotting Scams, and Evaluating Need: Six Resources

As the COVID-19 pandemic wears on, providers continue to struggle with sourcing the personal protective equipment they need. And now there’s an increasing danger that some of the PPE being offered for sale is counterfeit — nearly identical to the real thing but not up to performance standards. On top of that, limited supplies of PPE mean that providers have to be well-versed in the usage life of various pieces of equipment. In other words, when it comes to use of PPE, it can be easier said than done.

Note: there’s been some confusion about where PTs and PTAs stand in terms of establishing Amazon Business accounts to purchase PPE (when available) through the mega-retailer. Here’s where things stand: Currently PTs and PTAs can sign up for an Amazon Business account; however they are not yet included in the “Medical Professionals” category for supply ordering. APTA is working to change this Amazon policy.

Full article at APTA

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