The Impact of HITECH on EHR Implementation

Software Advice, a trusted resource for buyers of software, recently published findings from a three-year study following the changing demand drivers among prospective buyers of eclectronic health record (EHR) software.

The study captured data over two sample periods: Q1 2010 (shortly after the HITECH Act was signed into law) and Q1 2013. In both sample periods, the reasons providers expressed interest in purchasing EHR software broadly fell into the following categories:

• Replacing paper records;
• Replacing existing EHR software;
• Opening a new practice;
• Replacing other software that wasn’t specifically designed for medical records; or
• Some combination of the above.

For both sample periods, replacing paper records was the most-mentioned reason for EHR purchases. However, the percentage of practices replacing paper records fell significantly from 2010 to 2013, while the percentage of respondents replacing existing software grew by almost 50 percent.

These findings seem to validate a hypothesis that the HITECH Act spurred some practices to adopt EHRs too hastily. For providers, this highlights the importance of having a rigorous selection process in place before making a purchase.

Digging deeper into the data allows us to determine why practices are replacing existing EHRs.

Mentions of being “unhappy with current EHR” grew by 11 percent from 2010 to 2013. Additionally, concerns with cost rose significantly, from only one mention in 2010 to being mentioned by one out of every eight participants in 2013. Customer service concerns grew by nearly 50 percent.

Replacing Paper
The percentage of buyers replacing paper charts decreased from 64.9 percent in 2010 to 50.9 percent in 2013.

In both 2010 and 2013, the top reasons practices mentioned for switching from paper to electronic records had to do with the general benefits of a paperless environment – decreasing paperwork, improving efficiency, and becoming more organized. These motivations suggest practices are interested in more than just stimulus dollars; they also seem to recognize the inherent value of electronic records.

Conclusions
Among potential EHR buyers, we observed a decline in the proportion of practices transitioning from paper to electronic records, contrasted with an increase in the proportion of practices replacing existing software. What our data points don’t show, by virtue of only including buyers in the market for an EHR, are the many providers who are not replacing their EHR solutions – those who have successfully implemented electronic records with great benefit to their practices.

With EHR replacements on the rise, we conclude by emphasizing the need for practices to perform due diligence before making a purchase decision. Careful research can be awarded with a system that contributes to improved patient outcomes as well as increased financial health for practices.

 

David Fried originally contributed this report to Software Advice, where he currently covers medical practice management, the EMR industry, and political and regulatory issues affecting doctors. View the full report, including methodology and limiting factors, here: Four Years Later: The Impact of the HITECH Act on EHR Implementations.

Medicare Therapy Cap Forecast Report

Chart Links, the providers of rehabilitation workflow management software, is pleased to announce availability of the Medicare Cap Forecast Report.  The purpose of this report is to aid outpatient rehabilitation facilities in managing the CMS Medicare Part B Outpatient Therapy Cap and Exceptions Process.

The Medicare Cap Forecast Report allows Chart Links Rehabilitation Software users to generate a list of patients who may be nearing the therapy cap threshold.  The report displays amount and visit utilization for occupational therapy services as well as physical therapy and speech-language pathology services combined.

To learn about the Medicare Cap Forecast Report, please contact the Chart Links Helpdesk at (877) 701-9191.

Claims-Based Data Collection for Outpatient Therapy

CMS Releases Transmittal 2603

Last week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released Transmittal 2603 regarding the claims-based data collection requirement for Medicare Part B outpatient therapy services.  Affecting claims for physical therapy (PT), occupational therapy (OT) and speech-language pathology (SLP), the mandate requires the reporting of 42 new nonpayable functional G-codes and seven new severity/ complexity modifiers.

These new codes and modifiers will be required on selected claims for all outpatient therapy services.  They will provide information about functional status at the outset of care, at specified points during treatment and at the conclusion of care.

Effective Dates 

Although this claims-based reporting will be effective for dates of service on and after January 1, 2013, CMS has enacted a testing period to give therapists time to ensure that systems work.  Claims without the G-codes and modifiers will be processed during a testing period from January 1, 2103 through June 30, 2013.  It is not until July 1, 2013 that claims might be rejected as a result of improper claims-based data reporting.

Chart Links to Release Software Solution

With CMS business requirements now released, Chart Links is developing a software solution that accommodates claims-based data collection.  The software will be released for testing prior to the deadline of July 1, 2013.

If you have any questions or concerns about this impending reporting requirement, please contact Chart Links, developers of rehabilitation software.

CMS Releases Transmittal 2457 Regarding Outpatient Therapy Cap

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), on April 27, 2012, released Transmittal 2457 (Change Request 7785).

This transmittal covers therapy cap manual review thresholds.  For calendar year 2012, there will be two therapy service thresholds of $3700 per year; one annual threshold each for

(1) occupational therapy services and

(2) physical therapy services and speech-language pathology services combined.

Services will accrue toward the thresholds beginning with dates of service on and after January 1, 2012 for services with and without the KX modifier.  Beginning with dates of service on or after October 1, 2012, contractors will apply the thresholds to claims exceeding it by suspending the claim for manual review.

Further, the National Provider Identifier (NPI) of the certifying provider identified for a therapy plan of care must be included on the therapy claim.

Also addressed in the transmittal is the temporary application of therapy caps to outpatient Part B therapy services furnished in outpatient hospitals other than Critical Access Hospitals on/after October 1, 2012 and on/before December 31, 2012.

To see the full transmittal, click here.

5010 Deadline Extended through June

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced an extension of enforcement discretion, through June 30, 2012, for any covered entity that is required to comply with the updated transactions standards adopted under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA): ASC X12 Version 5010 and NCPDP Versions D.0 and 3.0.

The Question is “When?” for ICD-10

February 17, 2012 · Posted in Industry News, Reimbursement · Comment 

Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen G. Sebelius yesterday announced that HHS will initiate a process to postpone the date by which certain health care entities have to comply with International Classification of Diseases, 10th Edition diagnosis and procedure codes (ICD-10).

The final rule adopting ICD-10 as a standard was published in January 2009 and set a compliance date of October 1, 2013 – a delay of two years from the compliance date initially specified in the 2008 proposed rule. HHS will announce a new compliance date moving forward.

“ICD-10 codes are important to many positive improvements in our health care system,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “We have heard from many in the provider community who have concerns about the administrative burdens they face in the years ahead. We are committing to work with the provider community to reexamine the pace at which HHS and the nation implement these important improvements to our health care system.”

ICD-10 codes provide more robust and specific data that will help improve patient care and enable the exchange of our health care data with that of the rest of the world that has long been using ICD-10. Entities covered under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) will be required to use the ICD-10 diagnostic and procedure codes.

If you’re a Director of Rehabilitation with questions about ICD-10, be sure to contact the Rehabilitation Specialists at Chart Links.

Study: Direct Access to Physical Therapists Associated with Lower Costs and Fewer Visits

January 10, 2012 · Posted in Health Reform, Industry News, physical therapy · Comment 

A study suggesting that “the role of the physician gatekeeper in regard to physical therapy may be unnecessary in many cases” could have significant implications for the US health care system, says the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA).

The study, published last fall in the journal Health Services Research (HSR), reviewed 62,707 episodes of physical therapy using non-Medicare claims data from a Midwest insurer over a 5-year period. Patients who visited a physical therapist directly for outpatient care (27%) had fewer visits and lower overall costs on average than those who were referred by a physician, while maintaining continuity of care within the overall medical system and showing no difference in health care use in the 60 days after the physical therapy episode.

The study is noteworthy because services delivered by physical therapists account for “a significant portion” of outpatient care costs in the United States, according to the study, and some health insurance plans require a physician referral for reimbursement of these services. In addition, although 46 states and the District of Columbia now allow some form of direct access to physical therapists for treatment/intervention, some of them nonetheless impose restrictions if patients have not been referred by a physician.

“Physical therapists have long known that direct access to our services is safe and effective,” said APTA President R. Scott Ward, PT, PhD. “The elimination of referral requirements and other restrictions has been a priority of APTA for decades. This study provides further evidence that direct access to physical therapists could go a long way toward helping to make health care more affordable and accessible for all. We encourage researchers and insurers to continue to further investigate this important issue that could have a profound impact on patient care.”

“When patients choose direct access to a physical therapist, it does not mean the end of collaboration with their physician, nor does it diminish continuity of care,” added Thomas DiAngelis, PT, DPT, president of APTA’s Private Practice Section. “We believe the results of this study will support our efforts to work with legislators and physician groups to establish policies that reduce unnecessary regulations, improve access, and build models of delivery that best serve the patient and the health care system. Although this study focused on direct access, it is not about the provider. It is about the patient. It means better opportunities to provide the proper care to those who need it, when they need it.”

Led by Jane Pendergast, PhD, professor of biostatistics and director of the Center for Public Health Studies at the University of Iowa, the study retrospectively analyzed 5 years (2003-2007) of private health insurance claims data from a Midwest insurer on beneficiaries aged 18-64 in Iowa and South Dakota. A total of nearly 63,000 outpatient physical therapy episodes of care were analyzed – more than 45,000 were classified as physician-referred and more than 17,000 were classified as “self-referred” to physical therapists. Physical therapy episodes began with the initial physical therapist evaluation and ended on the last date of services before 60 days of no further visits. Episodes were classified as physician-referred if the patient had a physician claim from a reasonable referral source in the 30 days before the start of physical therapy. Researchers found that self-referred patients had fewer physical therapy visits (86% of physician-referred) and lower allowable amounts ($0.87 for every $1.00 of physician-referred) during the episode of care, after adjusting for age, gender, diagnosis, illness severity, and calendar year. In addition, overall related health care use – or care related to the problem for which physical therapy was received, but not physical therapy treatment – was lower in the self-referred group after adjustment. Examples of this type of care might include physician services or diagnostic testing. Potential differences in functional status and outcomes of care were not addressed.

“Health care use did not increase in the self-referred group, nor was continuity of care hindered,” the researchers write. “The self-referred patients were still in contact with physicians during and after physical therapy. Concerns about patient safety, missed diagnoses, and continuity of care for individuals who self-refer may be overstated.”

According to Rick Gawenda, PT, president of APTA’s Section on Health Policy and Administration, the study should cause insurers and policymakers to rethink the physician gatekeeper concept when it comes to physical therapist services. “Evidence shows that, in the case of physical therapy, the physician gatekeeper model is doing exactly the opposite of what it was originally designed to do; it does not reduce ineffective and duplicate care nor reduce health care costs,” says Gawenda. “It’s time to end the physician referral requirement in every state, and it’s time for all payers to embrace direct access to physical therapists.”

Earlier research has supported direct access to physical therapists, but the new HSR study is the most comprehensive to date. A 1994 study analyzed 4 years of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Maryland claims data and found that total paid claims for physician referral episodes to physical therapists were 2.2 times higher than the paid claims for direct access episodes. In addition, physician referral episodes were 65% longer in duration than direct access episodes and generated 67% more physical therapy claims and 60% more office visits. The HSR study looked at a far more extensive number of episodes than the previous study, and also controlled for illness severity and other factors that could have affected the patients’ outcomes.

“In summary,” the researchers write, “our findings do not support the assertion that self-referral leads to overuse of care or discontinuity in care, based on a very large population of individuals in a common private health insurance plan with no requirement for PT [physical therapy] referral or prohibition on patient self-referral. We consistently found lower use in the self-referral group, after adjusting for key demographic variables, diagnosis group, and case mix. We also found that individuals in both groups were similarly engaged with the medical care system during their course of care and afterwards.”

The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) represents more than 77,000 physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, and students of physical therapy nationwide. Learn more about conditions physical therapists can treat and find a physical therapist in your area at www.moveforwardpt.com.

The Practice Practice Section (PPS) is the business section of APTA that fosters the growth, economic viability, and business success of physical therapist-owned practices to benefit the public.

The Section on Health Policy and Administration (HPA) is a specialty component of APTA. The mission of the HPA Section is to transform the culture of physical therapy through initiatives that enhance professionalism, leadership, management, and advocacy to foster excellence in autonomous practice for the benefit of members and society.

Coauthors of the study were Stephanie A. Kliethermes, MS, a doctoral candidate in biostatistics at the Center for Public Health Studies, University of Iowa; Janet K. Freburger, PT, PhD, research associate and fellow at the Sheps Center for Health Services Research and a scientist at the Institute on Aging at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; and Pamela A. Duffy, PT, PhD, OCS, CPC, assistant professor, Public Health Program, at Des Moines University.

The study was funded by a grant from APTA and its sections on Private Practice and Health Policy and Administration.

Reference
1. Pendergast J, Kliethermes SA, Freburger JK, Duffy PA. A comparison of health care use for physician-referred and self-referred episodes of outpatient physical therapy. Health Services Research. Published ahead of print September 23, 2011. DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-6773.2011.01324.x

CMS Gets a Fresh New Look on its Website

December 7, 2011 · Posted in Industry News · Comment 

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has expanded and enhanced its online presence by debuting a new look and feel for CMS.gov, and launching a brand-new site for the Medicaid program, Medicaid.gov.  CMS says these changes come in response to what users have said they wanted to be able to do on the site. 

Here’s what you’ll find on the new CMS and Medicaid sites:

  • A significantly improved search engine that gets you to the information you’re looking for, fast.
  • More in-depth information about what CMS is doing to implement the Affordable Care Act and other new initiatives, and details about how you can apply for new programs.
  • Up-to-date, real-time updates that reflect important developments and initiatives happening with CMS programs.
  • Medicaid program information that’s readily available, easy to find, and easy to use.
  • Easy-to-access links to Healthcare.gov, which will continue to be the primary site for consumer information.

While CMS has moved content around to make it easier to find, you shouldn’t lose access to any of the current Medicare and Medicaid information you rely on now. They’re launching an archive version of each of the websites so that historic information can remain online without adding clutter to their primary sites.

Check it out at CMS.gov and Medicaid.gov.

October is National Physical Therapy Month

October 5, 2011 · Posted in physical therapy · Comment 

National Physical Therapy Month (NPTM) is celebrated each October.

This is an opportunity for facilities to reach out to consumers and educate them about the unique benefits of treatment by a physical therapist:

  • Significant improvement in mobility to perform daily activities
  • Provision of alternatives to surgery
  • Management or elimination of pain without medication and its side effects

This year’s celebration is focused on sports injury prevention across the lifespan.

For more information, go to http://www.apta.org/NPTM/

ASHA Offers Online Conference for Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists

September 9, 2011 · Posted in audiology, Speech Therapy · Comment 

Audiologists and speech-language pathologists will be able to earn up to 2.85 CEUs from the American Speech & Hearing Association (ASHA) by attending an online conference called “Audiology 2011″ from October 12–24, 2011.

Audiology 2011 will provide audiologists and speech-language pathologists with in-depth discussions on Audiologic Rehabilitation (AR) for Adults. The broad range of topics will include:

  • audiovisual speech perception and how this can impact speech reading in older adults
  • the social psychology of acquired hearing loss with implications for practice
  • the value of including communication partners in the AR process
  • rehabilitation for auditory processing difficulties among adults
  • accommodating the needs of adults with hearing loss in the workplace
  • auditory training
  • the importance and evidence behind effective counseling
  • evaluation of the evidence and cost-effectiveness supporting the inclusion of AR services
  • subjective and objective measures of hearing aid outcomes

For more information and system requirements, go to Audiology 2011.

APTA’s Defensible Documentation for Physical Therapy

August 25, 2011 · Posted in Documentation, physical therapy · Comment 

The Practice Department of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) has recently developed  a resource called “Defensive Documentation for Patient/Client Management.”  The tool was created in response to issues related to physical therapy documentation.  APTA members can access the documentation here.

Scottsdale Healthcare Outpatient Therapy Services Implements Chart Links Rehabilitation Software

Electronic therapy documentation and scheduling software from Chart Links is now being used by more than 40 therapists in four locations at Scottsdale Healthcare, a community-based non-profit healthcare system in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Scottsdale Healthcare Outpatient Therapy Services is a leading provider of therapy related to orthopedics and sports medicine, balance and vestibular disorders, swallowing and voice disorders, pediatrics, geriatric disability, neurological disorders, work-related injuries and total joint replacement, as well as hand therapy, aquatic physical therapy and audiology evaluation. In 2010, approximately 5,300 evaluations and 42,000 visits were processed across four Scottsdale Healthcare locations.

“We chose Chart Links due to the flexibility of its clinical documentation design,” said Therapy Services Manager Melinda Richardson, PT, MA. “We see patients of all ages across a variety of rehabilitation disciplines, so we require a high level of specificity in our therapy documentation to individualize patient care. Our clinicians didn’t feel that the fixed templates offered by other products allowed for easy modifications based on patient need. With Chart Links, we got the flexible documentation we needed without sacrificing compliance with Medicare CCI edits, modifiers and time tracking.”

Chart Links software streamlines all of the daily tasks associated with a patient’s physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech language pathology, or audiology visits. The software manages adult and pediatric therapy treatment by automating evaluations, flow sheets, progress notes, patient education, clinical correspondence and plans of care. It also manages payer compliance, provider reimbursement, outcomes reporting, administrative functions, business intelligence and enterprise productivity.

“Electronic access to our patient records has made us much more efficient,” said Richardson. “Before Chart Links, we used transcription along with handwritten documentation and had a scheduling system that was separate from our billing system. We were constantly handling and hunting down paper charts, and were tracking and reporting information manually. The electronic integration of Chart Links into our existing systems makes for a more productive and seamless management of information from start to finish. We’ve eliminated our transcription costs and resources, and we document in less time. We’ve also cut out labor and paper intensive processes like chart management, faxing and manual charge entry.”

Chart Links is capable of interfacing in a Health Level 7 (HL7) format to inbound Admission/Discharge/Transfer (ADT) for patient registration data and to outbound billing systems. Interfaces also exist for inbound scheduling, outbound scheduling, outbound results, and customized ADT or billing, among others.

“Moving forward, we are poised for sharing information electronically across care settings, for example, with home health systems or accountable care organizations,” Richardson said. “It’s that kind of connectivity that will enable healthcare as a whole to deliver a higher quality of care with less administrative cost.”

About Chart Links, LLC
For more than 16 years, Chart Links has developed rehabilitation software that automates workflow for referrals, insurance authorizations, cross-discipline scheduling, documentation, charges, and more. Chart Links allows medical rehabilitation facilities to be more efficient and to provide a higher quality of care by delivering results in the areas of compliance, outcomes, analytics and revenue. For more information about Chart Links, visit
http://www.chartlinks.com

About Scottsdale Healthcare
Scottsdale Healthcare is the community-based, not-for-profit parent organization of the Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn Medical Center, Scottsdale Healthcare Shea Medical Center and Scottsdale Healthcare Thompson Peak Hospital, Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare, Scottsdale Healthcare Research Institute and Scottsdale Healthcare Foundation. Arizona’s first and only multihospital health system to earn Magnet recognition for its nursing care, Scottsdale Healthcare is a leader in medical innovation, talent and technology, founded in 1962 and based in Scottsdale, Ariz. For more information, visit shc.org. For information on Scottsdale Healthcare Outpatient Therapy Services, visit
http://www.shc.org/therapy/

Scottsdale Healthcare Outpatient Therapy Services Implements Chart Links Rehabilitation Software

Workflow management software enables more than 40 therapists in four locations to manage therapy documentation, scheduling, referrals, insurance authorizations, charges and more.

Electronic therapy documentation and scheduling software from Chart Links is now being used by more than 40 therapists in four locations at Scottsdale Healthcare, a community-based non-profit healthcare system in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Scottsdale Healthcare Outpatient Therapy Services is a leading provider of therapy related to orthopedics and sports medicine, balance and vestibular disorders, swallowing and voice disorders, pediatrics, geriatric disability, neurological disorders, work-related injuries and total joint replacement, as well as hand therapy, aquatic physical therapy and audiology evaluation. In 2010, approximately 5,300 evaluations and 42,000 visits were processed across four Scottsdale Healthcare locations.

“We chose Chart Links due to the flexibility of its clinical documentation design,” said Therapy Services Manager Melinda Richardson, PT, MA. “We see patients of all ages across a variety of rehabilitation disciplines, so we require a high level of specificity in our therapy documentation to individualize patient care. Our clinicians didn’t feel that the fixed templates offered by other products allowed for easy modifications based on patient need. With Chart Links, we got the flexible documentation we needed without sacrificing compliance with Medicare CCI edits, modifiers and time tracking.”

Chart Links software streamlines all of the daily tasks associated with a patient’s physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech language pathology, or audiology visits. The software manages adult and pediatric therapy treatment by automating evaluations, flow sheets, progress notes, patient education, clinical correspondence and plans of care. It also manages payer compliance, provider reimbursement, outcomes reporting, administrative functions, business intelligence and enterprise productivity.

“Electronic access to our patient records has made us much more efficient,” said Richardson. “Before Chart Links, we used transcription along with handwritten documentation and had a scheduling system that was separate from our billing system. We were constantly handling and hunting down paper charts, and were tracking and reporting information manually. The electronic integration of Chart Links into our existing systems makes for a more productive and seamless management of information from start to finish. We’ve eliminated our transcription costs and resources, and we document in less time. We’ve also cut out labor and paper intensive processes like chart management, faxing and manual charge entry.”

Chart Links is capable of interfacing in a Health Level 7 (HL7) format to inbound Admission/Discharge/ Transfer (ADT) for patient registration data and to outbound billing systems. Interfaces also exist for inbound scheduling, outbound scheduling, outbound results, and customized ADT or billing, among others.

“Moving forward, we are poised for sharing information electronically across care settings, for example, with home health systems or accountable care organizations,” Richardson said. “It’s that kind of connectivity that will enable healthcare as a whole to deliver a higher quality of care with less administrative cost.”

About Chart Links, LLC
For more than 16 years, Chart Links has developed rehabilitation software that automates workflow for referrals, insurance authorizations, cross-discipline scheduling, documentation, charges, and more. Chart Links allows medical rehabilitation facilities to be more efficient and to provide a higher quality of care by delivering results in the areas of compliance, outcomes, analytics and revenue. For more information about Chart Links, visit
http://www.chartlinks.com

About Scottsdale Healthcare
Scottsdale Healthcare is the community-based, not-for-profit parent organization of the Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn Medical Center, Scottsdale Healthcare Shea Medical Center and Scottsdale Healthcare Thompson Peak Hospital, Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare, Scottsdale Healthcare Research Institute and Scottsdale Healthcare Foundation. Arizona’s first and only multihospital health system to earn Magnet recognition for its nursing care, Scottsdale Healthcare is a leader in medical innovation, talent and technology, founded in 1962 and based in Scottsdale, Ariz. For more information, visit shc.org. For information on Scottsdale Healthcare Outpatient Therapy Services, visit
http://www.shc.org/therapy/

Therapy Web Design Services

As a physical therapist, occupational therapist or speech therapist providing care in today’s competitive environment, you want your therapy practice website to attract and retain patients and referral sources.

Quality therapy web design and effective optimization for search engines is critical for marketing your practice. These days, more patients turn to a Google internet search before turning to the yellow pages to find and research a local rehabilitation provider.

At Chart Links, we offer custom therapy web design to fit the needs of your practice. Select from package options to create your most important marketing tool — your website.

National Physical Therapy Month in October

July 26, 2011 · Posted in physical therapy · Comment 

It’s time to start planning for October’s National Physical Therapy Month (NPTM). This year’s focus is on sports injury prevention across the lifespan.  NPTM is an opportunity to reach out to consumers and educate them about the unique benefits of treatment by a physical therapist.  For more information, go to http://www.apta.org/NPTM/

National Rehabilitation Week to be Celebrated September 19-25, 2011

June 28, 2011 · Posted in occupational therapy, physical therapy, Speech Therapy · Comment 

The National Rehabilitation Awareness Foundation (NRAF) was established in 1996 by Allied Services, a not-for-profit healthcare system headquartered in Scranton, Pa. Allied, since 1976, served as sponsor of National Rehabilitation Week, a nationwide celebration to educate people about the benefits of rehabilitation and the capabilities of people with disabilities.

This year’s National Rehabilitation Week will be celebrated September 19-25, 2011.

The Foundation was created to extend the observance from a week-long event to a year ‘round awareness campaign. One of the Foundation’s main initiatives is to elevate the celebration to a greater level of prominence.

PT Day on Capitol Hill

June 16, 2011 · Posted in physical therapy · Comment 

Approximately 1,000 physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, and students of physical therapy rallied on Capitol Hill before meeting with their members of Congress as part of PT Day on Capitol Hill, June 9, 2011.

Watch the 7-minute video.

The rally included addresses from Sens Jon Tester (D-MT) and Roger Wicker (R-MS). Following the rally, participants went to prearranged meetings to seek support of the Medicare Access to Rehabilitation Services Act (HR 1546/S 829), legislation that would repeal the cap on outpatient rehabilitative services for Medicare beneficiaries, the Physical Therapist Student Loan Repayment Eligibility Act (HR 1426/S 975), and the Protecting Student Athletes from Concussions Act (HR 469).

Source:  American Physical Therapy Association website

Occupational Therapy Video by Cheryl Crow

May 17, 2011 · Posted in occupational therapy · Comment 

As a provider of electronic occupational therapy documentation software, we’d like to give a shout out to  this student video that we found.

To promote occupational therapy and membership to the American Occupational Therapy Association, the video was produced by Cheryl Crow, a student of the Samuel Merritt University Masters in OT Program.

Great job, Cheryl.  We appreciate your contribution to the profession.

“Exercise is Medicine” Month

May 12, 2011 · Posted in physical therapy · Comment 

May is Exercise is Medicine® Month. This is a time when all providers are called to assess and review every patient’s physical activity program at every visit.  It is a time for celebrating the health benefits of exercise and offering resources to get people moving.

“Everyone should start or renew an exercise program now as an investment in lifelong health,” said Robert E. Sallis, MD, FACSM, chair of Exercise is Medicine. “Every person, regardless of age or health, is responsible for his or her own physical activity. There are far more reasons to exercise than excuses not to.”

Exercise is Medicine partners include the American College of Nurse Practitioners, the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine, and organizations and universities from all parts of the world.

For the past four years, governors and mayors nationwide have signed on to proclaim May 2011 as Exercise is Medicine Month in their communities.

Physical Therapy Practice Found Guilty of Health Care Fraud and Sentenced to Jail

April 15, 2011 · Posted in Industry News, physical therapy, Reimbursement · Comment 

PTManagerBlog.com recently reported that a married couple, the owners and operators of Superior Physical Therapy in Sault Ste. Marie, MI, was sentenced to jail after being found guilty on charges of health care fraud.

Aaron Clark, the physical therapist at Superior Physical Therapy, admitted to felony health care fraud in a written plea agreement and will spend two years in federal prison with 3 years of supervised release. He has been ordered to pay $345,000 in restitution to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Medicare.

Michelle Clark, the biller who admitted to a misdemeanor count of theft from a health care benefit program, will spend 90 days in prison with a year of supervised release. She will also pay $345,000 in restitution.

The two were sentenced in U.S. District Court in Grand Rapids, MI.

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