What’s New


The APTA announced continued efforts to include PTAs in TRICARE reimbursement. While there is no guarantee, efforts are being made to include bringing support personnel into the reimbursement system. Read more by clicking here.


There will be a lot of discussion in the coming months regarding recent recommendations for PT clinical education. A task force had some interesting recommendations regarding a new model for the clinical portion of PT education. There will be listening sessions at the NEXT conference in June and more. Be sure to talk to your House of Delegates representative with your concerns. Read the recommendations here: Best Practice for Physical Therapist Clinical Education Task Force 2017 (1) Find the schedule of in person and online feedback sessions by clicking here.


There has been a lot of talk of bundled payment systems in the last few years. Specifically, a large pilot with over 65 participating hospital systems started in April of 2016 for total joint replacements. There are mixed reviews regarding the bundled payment model and there is question if the bundled payment model will survive in the Trump administration. Medscape published an article last month that gives a nice summary of where we are and where we may go in the near future related to bundled payments. Read the article by Medscape by clicking here.


It is that time of year again. The House of Delegates met and voted on motions that affect the profession. HOD updates 2016 gives you a brief overview of the motions and what passed. The one that affects everyone the most is the amendment to the “Consumer Protection Through Licensure of the Physical Therapist and Physical Therapist Assistant” HOD statement which outlines how a PT and PTA should write their credentials and letters of designation. Click on the summary above to read the results and see examples of how you should sign your name.


Did you know that the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT) conducts a survey every four years regarding PT and PTA practice? They use this information to construct the content on the national licensure exam for PTs and PTAs. The results of this survey can also influence policies and curriculum in schools so that curriculum reflects contemporary practice.  The FSBPT has contracted with the social science research firm HumRRO to conduct the surveys. Be looking for the surveys in June or July of this year and take a few minutes to describe what you are doing in the clinic.


If you have watched any of the NFL playoffs, you have seen lots of Kinesio tape in use. We thought we would share a common technique that you can use with your patients in the clinic. Click here to watch a technique to use with general knee pain or patellofemoral pain. You can also find the history of Kinesio tape and continued course information on the website for the Kinesio Taping Association International by clicking here.

Are you wondering what happened at the House of Delegates this June? Was it the year of the PTA as hoped? The short answer… No. Click here to read the full  Summary of 2015 HOD Motions Affecting the PTA


The APTA has a number of resources that they post for the general public.  A recent search of their site found some great links that you can use at home or with your patients:
Summer time means “pool time” for everyone. Click here for 10 exercises you can do in the pool on a hot summer day!
Are your kids driving you crazy yet? Send them outside! Click here for FUN activities that promote development.
Do you have an older child who is in athletics? Every parents fear is to see their child tear an ACL on the field or on the court. Are you treating patients with ACL tears?
Click here to learn more about ACL injuries and how to avoid them.


Are you seeing young patients with neck pain? You have probably addressed posture in standing, sitting and with work activities but did you address their smartphone? Are they victims of “text neck”? The prolonged flexion with texting and gaming is causing stress of the cervical spine. Share this article with your patients to encourage better “texting and smartphone” posture!


The APTA announced that S. 436/H.R 829 was introduced again on “February 10 and would promote safety in youth sports, including provisions related to concussions, heat stroke, and sudden cardiac arrest. In particular, this legislation would allow for the development of concussion management guidelines that address the prevention, identification, treatment, and management of concussions in school-aged children and include physical therapists in return-to-play decision making.”  You can read the bill text by clicking here. As mentioned in past posts on PTAonly.com almost all states already have laws regarding concussion management. (Click here to review the current law in your state.)  This bill would allow for funding of education and equipment if passed.

In addition to addressing education about cardiac conditions, emergency response including provision of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) at schools, and heat related illness/emergency, the bill also includes efforts aimed at energy drink consumption of athletes/ children. Specifically, the SAFEPLAY Act would direct the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to:

•        Develop information on the ingredients used in energy drinks and the potential side effects of energy drink consumption

•         Recommend guidelines for the safe use of energy drink consumption by students

Be sure to check out all the FREE concussion resources on our website under links, including the APTA position statement on concussion management.


From Michael Matlock at the APTA on 4/14/15,”the Senate voted to approve a permanent fix for the sustainable growth rate (SGR) by a vote of 92 to 8.  The bill now heads to the President’s desk for signature.
As part of consideration of the SGR bill, Senators Cardin (D-MD) and Vitter (R-LA) proposed an amendment to permanently repeal the Medicare therapy caps.  Under agreement established by Senate leadership the amendment required 60 votes to pass.  Despite obtaining the most votes of any amendment offered this evening, the therapy cap repeal effort failed by a vote of 58 to 42.
The overall legislation to repeal and replace the SGR is expected to be signed by the President.  Under the bill, the therapy cap exceptions process will continue for 2 years until December 31, 2017.
Tomorrow, APTA will issue additional information regarding Medicare claims processing along with additional information regarding structural changes planned as the replacement for the SGR.  APTA applauds and thanks the thousands of APTA members who weighed in with legislators in support of repealing the Medicare therapy cap.”


On Thursday, March 26 the House of Representatives passed the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (H.R. 2) by a vote of 392-37.  This legislation included provisions to repeal and reform the current flawed sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula, but only an extension of the Medicare therapy cap exceptions process through 2017.  The Senate did not vote on the legislation and has recessed for two weeks.   Click here to go to the APTA Advocacy page to learn more about contacting your Senator to support a permanent repeal of the cap.


The APTA has sent an urgent message to all therapists to contact their legislators today! As per Mike Matlack, “the U.S. House of Representatives is currently negotiating a permanent policy to fix the flawed sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula in order to prevent a 21% cut in Medicare provider payments.  Although we support passage of necessary SGR reform, we remain concerned that an extension of the current exceptions process rather than a full repeal of the Medicare therapy cap may be included in this legislation.  This is a threat to beneficiary access to necessary therapy services if there is no longer a legislative vehicle to pass further extensions or repeal of the therapy cap.  APTA remains active with Congress as these negotiations move forward but we need your help to weigh in with you legislators to ensure a full repeal of the therapy cap is included in any final permanent SGR deal.” Please contact your representative today to voice your opinion that a permanent SGR deal should include a permanent solution to the therapy cap. Your voice matters!
Find your representatives by clicking here.


The PTA Caucus has released an in-depth summary of the motions that will be entered at the APTA House of Delegates this summer. There is a great historical summary of events in case you haven’t been keeping up on this issue. Be sure to take a few minutes to read this newsletter from the PTA Caucus of the APTA.


February is Heart Month and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and  Million Hearts® are encouraging Americans to lower their blood pressure.  You can find resources for you and your patients on the CDC website by clicking here. Be sure to check out the resources offered by Million Hearts to help you or your patients lose weight and eat healthier.  Get access to free recipes and a 28 day meal plan created custom for you by clicking here!  Enter your weight, your goal for weight and see what a custom meal plan shopping list looks like for 28 days!


Happy New Year! If you or your patients are looking to improve health by increasing the amount of physical activity in a day, check out these free resources from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. There are helpful videos and links that patients can use and click here to see an adult guide for activity that you can handout.

What’s New 8-2014 to 12-2014 Archive available here.