Researchers identify link between decreased depressive symptoms, yoga and the neurotransmitter GABA

Researchers identify link between decreased depressive symptoms, yoga and the neurotransmitter GABA

The benefits of yoga have been widely documented by scientific research, but previously it was not clear as to how yoga exerts its physiologic effect.

Now a new study from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) proposes that yoga can increase levels of Gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA) in the short-term and completing one yoga class per week may maintain elevated GABA that could mitigate depressive symptoms.

Depression is a highly prevalent and disabling disease. According to the World Health Organization, depression affects approximately 16 million people in the U.S. every year and is the leading cause of disability worldwide. Given its high morbidity, extensive research has been done on effective treatment modalities for depression. GABA is an amino acid that acts as a neurotransmitter in the central nervous system and has been associated with decreased depressive symptoms.

Full article at Medical Xpress

Physical Therapist continuing education courses

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

How Early Intervention Changed My Son’s Life

The doorbell rings at our apartment eight times each week, and my son knows it’s time to play with one of his friends. Patricia helps him learn to walk up the stairs. Lauren helps him use both hands to roll Play-Doh. Alaina helps him profess his love for macaroni and cheese.

We have an All-Star team of cheerful and experienced therapists dedicated to helping him navigate the world. It has already changed his life, and it didn’t cost us a penny.

This is Early Intervention, a national program created in 1986 to help children under age 3 who have developmental delays and disabilities. In New York State, where we live, the program serves nearly 70,000 children each year who have conditions like autism, Down syndrome and vision impairment. Some children, like my son, have a mild disability, and others have more serious challenges.

Full article at the New York Times

25 OF THE MOST WHEELCHAIR ACCESSIBLE BEACHES IN THE WORLD

There is a broad range of wheelchair accessible beaches throughout the world, from a variety within the United States to internationally in some of the most popular vacation destinations. Finding a beautiful beach to visit is fairly easy depending on where you’d like to travel, but finding information about the accessibility can be difficult.

Many beaches offer boardwalks, ramps, and assistive equipment to help wheelchair users enjoy the sand and shore. These top 25 beaches are some of the most wheelchair accessible beaches in the world and are perfect for a vacation destination because of their wheelchair accessibility.

There are several amazing beaches along the coasts of the United States, and many of these beaches are wheelchair accessible, offering a destination that everyone can enjoy. The main accessibility features of these beaches include wider paved paths and handicap parking, while some may have accessibility equipment, ramps, and boardwalks.

Full article at Curb Free with Corey Lee

CMS Coding Reversal Will Apply to Claims Made Beginning January 1, 2020

Details are still emerging around exactly how CMS intends to walk back a decision to change coding methodologies that prevented PTs from billing an evaluation performed on the same day as therapeutic activities and/or group therapy activities. But we know a little more now: namely, that the decision is retroactive to January 1 of this year, the date when the short-lived system was set in place.

APTA pressed CMS for the logistics of how its do-over would be worked out as soon as its decision was announced on January 24. On January 28, CMS informed the association that while the agency is still working on its messaging to the Medicare administrative contractors, or MACs, the reversal will be extended to claims made from January 1, 2020, on.

Full article at APTA

Flex CEUs: Older Course Removal

Due to the age of the material, Flex CEUs will be removing the following courses from our library on 02/27/2020. After this date you will no longer be able to take these courses for CE credit.

Cervical Spine Injury Medical Treatment Guidelines

Hydrotherapy Outcome Measures for People with Arthritis

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Doctors average 16 minutes on the computer for every patient

For each patient they see, doctors spend about 16 minutes using electronic health records, a U.S. study finds.

Researchers examined approximately 100 million patient encounters with about 155,000 physicians from 417 health systems. They collected data on every keystroke, mouse click and second of time spent on various tasks in electronic health records (EHR) throughout 2018.

Across all specialties, physicians spent the most time in EHR doing chart review, which accounted for about 33% of total time using the records and an average of about 5 minutes and 22 seconds per patient. They spent about 24% of EHR time on documentation, averaging 3 minutes and 51 seconds per patient, and 17% of EHR time ordering things like lab tests, for an average of 2 minutes and 42 seconds.

Full article at Reuters