Category: Physical Therapist Assistants

No quick fix: Missouri finds managing pain without opioids isn’t fast or easy

Missouri began offering chiropractic care, acupuncture, physical therapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy for Medicaid patients in April, the latest state to try an alternative to opioids for those battling chronic pain.

Yet only about 500 of the state’s roughly 330,000 adult Medicaid users accessed the program through December, at a cost of $190,000, according to Josh Moore, the Missouri Medicaid pharmacy director. While the numbers may reflect an undercount because of lags in submitting claims, the jointly funded federal-state program known in the state as MO HealthNet is hitting just a fraction of possible patients so far.

Meanwhile, according to the state, opioids were still being doled out: 109,610 Missouri Medicaid patients of all age groups received opioid prescriptions last year.

Full article at News-Medical.net

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

The Five Things I’ve Learned as a Cash-Based Physical Therapy Practice Owner

What’s the greatest number of patients you’ve treated in one day? My record is 43. I treated 43 patients one day, as a student. That’s more than four people per hour during a 10-hour workday. 

In that environment (and business model) I wasn’t able to spend any quality time with my patients or treat them the way I thought was most effective. I wasn’t able to work out, go to yoga, or even spend time with my wife. It was insane.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. 

Fast forward from my days as an exhausted student to today, where I am the proud owner of LeBauer Physical Therapy, a 100% cash-based practice in Greensboro, North Carolina. We help active people stay fit, healthy, and mobile without medications, injections, or surgery. And we do it without the time-consuming hassles from CMS or third-party payers who seem to constantly want to pay less for more.

Full article at APTA

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

Lawmakers Want Answers From CMS on Planned 2021 Payment Cuts

Explain yourself: That’s the message of a bipartisan letter to CMS signed by 99 members of the U.S. House of Representatives who are concerned about the agency’s plan to make cuts to Medicare that include an estimated 8% reduction in payment to PTs. APTA led efforts to inform legislators of the issue.

And if that’s not enough to get CMS to take another look at the planned cut, maybe a letter from a prominent U.S. senator might help.

In a February 5 letter, the representatives write that their constituents have concerns about whether the planned cuts will reduce access to health services. In order to respond to those concerns, the legislators are asking about the process CMS used to reach the decision to reduce the reimbursement for services furnished by certain providers in 2021 in order to accommodate increases to values of the office/outpatient evaluation and management codes, known as E/M codes.

Full article at APTA

Occupational Therapist continuing education courses

Is it good to run every day?

Running every day can have many benefits. However, the number of days in a row that it is safe to run depends on a person’s goals, their level of fitness, and whether they have any ongoing medical conditions.

A meta-analysis from 2015 found that in physically inactive adults, 1 year of routine running:

  • reduced body mass
  • lowered body fat ratio
  • reduced resting heart rate
  • increased maximum oxygen uptake
  • raised levels of high-density lipoprotein, or “good,” cholesterol

Full article at Medical News Today

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

Calf stretches and how to do them

The calf muscles run from the back of the knee to about halfway down the lower leg. Tightness in these muscles can cause soreness and pain.

People may develop tight calf muscles as a result of overactivity or insufficient stretching. Calf stretches can help relieve associated soreness and pain.

However, these stretches are unlikely to provide relief from other causes of calf pain — such as electrolyte, fluid, or nutrient deficiencies. In some people, calf pain results from more serious underlying medical conditions, such as deep vein thrombosis and peripheral vascular disease. These require medical attention.

Full article at Medical News Today

Visit Flex for Physical Therapist continuing education units and more

PTAs, Direct Access, Plans of Care, and More: APTA and Components Press for Changes

If CMS really wants to put “patients over paperwork” in physical therapy, it could start by allowing PTAs to provide maintenance care across settings and easing PTA supervision requirements. And while it’s at it, the agency could abandon outmoded approval requirements for plans of care, increase direct access to PTs, and expand PTs’ ability to bill for care provided by a qualified substitute when the primary PT is unavailable. Those are just a few of the options that APTA and two of its components put on the table in recent comment letters.

Ask and CMS shall receive
The most recent comment letters — from APTA, the APTA Academy of Geriatric Physical Therapy, and the association’s Home Health Section — were produced in response to a call from CMS to provide recommendations about eliminating Medicare regulations that require more stringent supervision than is required in existing state scope of practice laws, or that limit health professionals from practicing at the top of their license. CMS also asked for input on ways to strengthen its “patients over paperwork” initiative intended to ease administrative burden on health care providers as it relates to the specific areas in regulation that restrict providers from practicing to the full extent of their education and training.

Full article at APTA