In The News

Mile High District Event - Sept. 17: "Dry Needling for Athletes"

Posted: September 12, 2019

Join the Mile High District for "Dry Needling for Athletes" presented by Freeborn Mondello, PT, DPT on Tuesday, September 17, 2019. The meeting will take place from 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm at Regis University, Room 409The event costs $20 for non-members, $10 for members and $5 for student members. 

Click here to register!

Action Alert for PTs, PTAs & Students: Please Oppose Flawed Proposed CMS Policy

Posted: Aug. 26, 2019

On July 29, 2019, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the 2020 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) proposed rule. Within this rule, CMS puts forth additional guidance regarding application of the new therapy assistant modifiers (CQ/CO modifiers for outpatient therapy services furnished by PTA or OTAs respectively). This builds upon CMS’s guidance issued in last year’s PFS final rule.

Now that the 2020 PFS proposed rule has been released and APTA has had a chance to review the proposed policy, APTA (and AOTA and other stakeholders) have serious concerns. In APTA’s view, the modifier policy proposed in this rule is not only inherently complex, but it is a gross overreach of CMS’s statutory authority, is not in line with congressional intent, and would result in drastic underpayments for outpatient therapy services beginning in 2022, severely restricting beneficiary access to vital therapy services, particularly in rural and underserved areas. The policy fails to put the needs of the patient first and ignores the therapist’s active engagement in treatment, reducing reimbursement not only for the assistant’s services but also the services performed by the therapist. Moreover, if CMS adopts this flawed policy, not only will it negatively impact providers treating Medicare beneficiaries, but commercial payers are likely to adopt the same flawed policy, thereby negatively impacting all outpatient physical (and occupational) therapy providers.

APTA is asking all PTs, PTAs, and students of physical therapy to submit comments to CMS opposing the proposed application of the 10% de minimis standard, using APTA’s template letter. It only takes 5 minutes! The template letter for clinicians and the template letter for patients can be found on APTA’s Regulatory Issues: Take Action webpage. Copied below is where the template letters can be found on the webpage. The letters can be accessed and personalized by anyone – members and non-members.

  • CMS 2020 Physician Fee Schedule Proposed Rule: The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued its proposed rule on the physician fee schedule and Quality Payment Program (QPP) for 2020. It outlines rules for applying modifiers when a PTA furnishes outpatient therapy services at least in part; sets reimbursement values for the new trigger point injection dry needling codes; and seeks feedback on opportunities to expand the concept of bundling to recognize efficiencies among services paid under the fee schedule. CMS also proposes revisions to QPP's MIPS program, including changes to the PT/OT measure set for 2020 and a new, simpler MIPS Value Pathways (MVPs) option starting in 2021 that would align activities across the 4 MIPS categories by specialties or conditions. APTA will provide comments, and individuals may submit comments independently using an APTA template letter developed specifically for the proposed rule (link below).  Deadline for Comments: Friday, September 27, 2019 Review proposed rule (.pdf) Review fact sheet Review press release Take Action: Submit comments | PTA Modifier Policy Template Letter for Clinicians (.docx) | Access to therapy services patient template letter (PTA modifier, SNF PDM, HHA PDGM, copays, prior authorization) (.docx)

Getting Older is NOT for the Weak: Geriatric Rehabilitation for the 21st Century

  • Colorado Continuing Competency Category 1: 6 Points
  • Hosted on the CU Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora
  • Featured Speakers: Jennifer Stevens-Lapsley, PT, PhD; and Daniel Malone, PT, PhD
  • Saturday, September 28, 2019, 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Defeating Hospital Associated Deconditioning: This course will present an evidenced based approach for the implementation of a high intensity progressive rehabilitation that focuses less on general conditioning and more on specific, targeted exercise training to improve strength, functional mobility and performance of activities of daily living. This approach, termed “iSTRONGER”, can be implemented by all rehabilitation professionals (PT & PTA; OT & COTA) in all settings from hospital to home.

Register today

Starting Friday, Physical Therapists are Allowed to Return Youth Athletes to Play after Concussion Evaluations

Posted: Aug. 1, 2019

As of tomorrow, Physical Therapists will be included in the list of providers to make Return To Play determinations for one subset of the Colorado population (11-18 youth organized athletes). PTs are currently managing Coloradan's of all ages with concussions and returning them to a variety of activities.

Physical Therapists with training and pediatric neurology or concussion evaluation and management can return these youth athletes to play. This is a self-determination of competency standard. You may have already received this training during your schooling. If you think you need more training, stayed tuned for training opportunities through APTA Colorado.

Other health care providers currently involved in RPT determination include: MD, DO, Nurse Practitioner, Physician Assistant, Doctor of Psychology with training in neuropsychology or concussion evaluation and management. Over 25 states allow for a PT to make this determination (HI, IA, NV, NM, OR, AZ, DC, AR, CA, DC, IN, ME, MD, MN, MI, MO, NE, NH, MT, ND, OK, SD, UT, VT, WA, WI, and WV).

Read the bill:  


Gregory Hicks Appointed to APTA’s Board of Directors

Posted July 31, 2019

Gregory Hicks, PT, PhD, FAPTA, has been appointed by the APTA Board of Directors to complete the leadership term of Sheila K. Nicholson, PT, DPT, MBA, MAfollowing her death in June this year.

Hicks, who has been an APTA member for 17 years, is chair of the Department of Physical Therapy at the University of Delaware, where he also is director of the school’s Advancing Diversity in Physical Therapy program, known as ADaPT.

In 2018, Hicks was named a Catherine Worthingham Fellow, APTA’s highest membership category, for demonstrating unwavering efforts to advance the physical therapy profession through leadership, influence, and achievement. Also that year, he received the University of Delaware College of Health Sciences’ inaugural Diversity Advocate Award.

“My Board colleagues and I are elated that Greg has consented to serve our association,” said APTA President Sharon Dunn, PT, PhD, board-certified orthopaedic clinical specialist. “Greg will bring wisdom, experience, and leadership to help propel our pursuit of APTA’s 3-year strategic plan.”

Hicks’ Board service begins immediately and ends with the completion of Nicholson’s 3-year term in June 2020, at which point the vacant seat will be filled through the annual slate of candidates process and election by the House of Delegates.

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