Committees

Chair

Jessica To-Alemanji
Email

Communications

The Virginian E-Newsletter and other communication tools (VPTA.org, Facebook and Twitter) are often the most visible member benefit of the Virginia Physical Therapy Association. Access to information and networking opportunities are the two major reasons why people become members.

The VPTA's communication tools are the most important contributor to membership retention and recruitment at the state level. Our membership chair and communications committee work closely together to provide the best member service through different communication platforms.

News

VPTA has active Facebook and Twitter feeds reaching PTs and PTAs across Virginia.  Want to advertise your upcoming event or product? Find out more here.

 

Jessica To-Alemanji, PT, MSPT,DPT,PhD, PMP
Chelsea Laurens, SPT, ACSM EP-C
Barrett Coleman, SPT

 
 
Communications Committee Members
  • Jessica To-Alemanji, PT, MSPT,DPT,PhD, PMP
  • Chelsea Laurens, SPT, ACSM EP-C
  • Barrett Coleman, SPT
  • Kimberly Benson, PT, DPT
The Virginian

Our e-newsletter is distributed to members on the 1st Thursday of each month. To contribute to The Virginian, please write a short article and/or include 1-2 pictures, if applicable, formatted as jpeg files. Send submissions to Kimberly Hood by the 3rd Friday of each month.

Social Media

All PT/PTA professionals, students, and educators in Virginia are encouraged to share information, post photos, and engage in dialogue with others using Twitter and Facebook . To reach a larger audience on Facebook, please contact the Communications Chair and we will post for you or tweet us at @VPTA_Tweets. We want to hear from you!

Chair

Mona Fazzina, PT, DPT
Email

Education

The Education Committee serves to elevate the standard of physical therapy care delivery in the Commonwealth of Virginia through provision of evidence-based, high-quality, and cost-effective continuing education. The work of this committee has a significant impact on the financial health of the component. The committee is responsible for developing and executing—in partnership with the Executive Director and the VPTA Executive Committee—the Annual Conference, Mini-Conference at Annual Retreat, and other state-wide educational opportunities as directed.

Responsibilities:

  • General oversight of Education Committee activities such as Annual Conference, Mini-Conference, etc. (henceforth referred to as "Education")
  • Review and Select Educationconference topics and speakers in areas of importance to the profession of physical therapy and in accordance with member needs.
  • Schedule, coordinate, and execute the Education program in a way that meets members’ needs.
  • Evaluate each Education program, and implement changes as appropriate.
  • Participate in VPTA strategic planning activities related to Education
  • Act as a good steward of VPTA’s resources

Qualifications of individuals who serve on this committee:

  • Clinical expertise in one or more areas of practice
  • Excellent communication, coordination, and collaboration skills
  • Interest in elevating the standard of physical therapy care delivery in Virginia through education

News

VPTA’s upcoming Fall Summit will be held at South University in Glen Allen, VA on November 3, 2018. Virginia cordially invites you to participate in this event as a sponsor or exhibitor! You don't want to miss this year's fall summit!

We have some exciting sponsorship packages, all of which include an exhibit booth and your linked logo on our homepage for 6 months!  The sponsorship packages give you the most bang for your buck and each level provides unique opportunities to reach not only those who are in attendance but even those who decided to stay home.  Some of the sponsorship packages will even allow you to reach non-members through our social media! 

Not interested in sponsoring?  We have booths too!

 Please take some time to look through our Sponsor & Exhibitor Prospectus. 

Register here

 

Download Fall Summit Brochure.pdf

 

The VPTA is happy to introduce our members to a great new benefit called CEU Locker.

CEU Locker provides an easy and convenient method for tracking your CEU requirements in our state, searching for approved courses that meet state requirements, and being assured that the courses you are taking provide quality content for our specialty.

VPTA will be providing the easy-to-recognize official seal for all approved courses. As a CEU Holder, you only need to look for this seal when searching for your courses to be assured that they have been vetted and approved and that they meet state requirements. After you have completed an approved course, simply type the CEU Locker number into your online dashboard; the course information instantly will be archived for safekeeping. 

As an additional benefit to your practice, our website will begin featuring a robust, searchable listing of approved courses that meet state requirements.

Find all this here.

Usage of the CEU Locker service is an exclusive benefit of your VPTA membership. Thank you for being a member, and please let us know how much you like using CEU Locker!

 
 

Chair

Tony Grillo, PT, DPT, OCS, FAAOMPT
Email

Ethics

Maintaining and promoting ethical principles and standards of conduct for members is a function of APTA. APTA is a voluntary organization without the legal power of licensing agencies to enforce standards of behavior; however, the Association's disciplinary process does represent a commitment of a public nature to hold its members to the ethical principles and standards of the profession.

The chapter ethics committee's function is vital to maintaining the ethical standards of an organization with which individuals want to be associated. The committee's obligation is to be fair to both the respondent and the complainant. The fact that every respondent is a member of the Association underscores the importance of the committee being fair and courteous in all its activities. The ethics committee faces the difficult task of balancing the need to be careful and thorough which tends to prolong the process against the typical respondent's desire to complete the process reasonable quickly.

The VPTA ethics committee works closely with the APTA and Ethics & Judicial Committee to ensure all cases or complaints are addressed promptly and directed to the proper channels.  While some cases may be handled through state or local committees, others are sent on directly to the APTA and their EJC.

Additional Information and Resources

APTA Ethics & Judicial Committee: http://www.apta.org/VolunteerGroups/EJC/
Contact: ejc@apta.org
APTA Ethics & Professionalism: http://www.apta.org/EthicsProfessionalism/
Continuing Education Resources: https://www.ptcourses.com/course.php?id=168
Health Regulatory Boards: http://www.dhp.virginia.gov/
Board of PT - Guidance Documents: http://townhall.virginia.gov/L/GDocs.cfm
Virginia Regulatory Town Hall Meetings: http://townhall.virginia.gov/index.cfm
Health Professions- Filing a complaint: http://www.dhp.virginia.gov/Enforcement/complaints.htm
APTA Ethics-Resolving Disputes or Complaints: http://www.apta.org/Ethics/Disputes/
4 New Ethics Courses for 2018 AAOMPT: https://www.physiospot.com/physioplus/new-ethics-courses-coming-this-may/
Ethics in Marketing and Advertising: http://thesciencept.com/ethics-of-healthcare-advertising/
Course 109: Ethics for the PT: Real World Cases (2 hours)
Course 116: Ethics for PT Clinicians: Dealing with Child Abuse, Legally, Ethically, and with Compassion (3 hours)
Course 118: Ethics & Jurisprudence: A Practical Application 2018 (4 hours)

News

Note: Currently, no news to display.

Chair

Wil Kolb, PT, DPT, FAAOMPT, OCS
Email

Finance

The component treasurer and finance committee is where the "rubber meets the road" so to speak. This committee ensures the fiscal well-being of the component as it is responsible developing and implementing the fiscal plan as directed by the yearly goals set from the VPTA BOD and EC. They are responsible for ensuring that the component fulfills its financial obligations and completes the necessary financial statements in a timely and accurate manner. Overall the finance committee members are responsible for the following:

  • Communicating with the VPTA BOD and EC
  • Assisting committee chairs develop yearly budgets
  • Develop and implementing the fiscal plan for the component

News

Note: Currently, no news to display.

Chair

Tom Bohanon, Jr, PT, DPT, OCS
Email

Legislative

The Legislative Committees is responsible for developing grassroots campaigns and for working with APTA Government and Payment Advocacy Department staff to further the legislative goals of the VPTA and APTA.

News

The PAC reception has reached its maximum capacity, so we've started a wiat list.  Be sure to sign up soonest.  First listed, will be first to be moved off the list should an opening come available.  You can sign up here

For more information on the PAC event, see here

 

Open https://drive.google.com/file/d/1GQ6yLxNbugHPG4WjN1up-kOfTvYLZ_Qv/view?usp=sharing in a new window

 

Federal Legislation Update

 

On April 30th, 7 VPTA therapists and 3 students represented you at the APTA Federal Advocacy Forum in Washington D.C. We were joined by 270 other PT’s, PTA’s, and students from around the nation for informative Congressional regulatory updates in preparation for our lobbying efforts on May 1st. We discussed several bills coming before Congress and the Senate. We also discussed how we as constituents have a valuable voice on the Hill and can help shape regulatory action by providing information and expertise on health care issues. Our lobbying efforts on Capitol Hill had a 2-fold approach:

 

To obtain co-sponsors for the following legislation:

1. The CONNECT For Health Act (H.R. 2556/S. 1016): This legislation would ease restrictions on telehealth under the Medicare Program. Currently, physical therapists are not able to bill for this service under the Medicare program. Note: Senator Warner is a sponsor, and Senator Kaine is a co-sponsor of S. 1016. No Virginia Representatives have co-sponsored H.R. 2556 yet.

 

2. Sports Medicine Licensure Clarity Act of 2017 (H.R. 302/S. 808): This bill would provide certain licensure clarifications and legal protections for physicians, PT’s, and athletic trainers who practice across state lines as they travel with their professional and collegiate teams or other athletes and teams sanctioned by a national governing body. Note: no Virginia legislator has signed on as a co-sponsor yet.

 

To educate our legislators on the following health care issues that would impact our services:

1. Higher Education Act Reauthorization: The PROSPER ACT (H.R 4508): In February, this bill passed out of the House Education and Workforce Committee; the Ranking Member of this committee is Virginia Congressman Bobby Scott. This bill did not take into consideration tuition prices, living expenses, those seeking graduate degrees, or the shortage of healthcare professionals. This legislation would place an arbitrary cap of $28,000 per year on federal student loans, a $150,000 cap on federal loans for the graduate of professional schools, and establish a lifetime limit of $235,500 in aggregate loans for undergraduate and graduate education. Additionally, H.R. 4508 would require CAPTE to be separately incorporated and completely independent of the APTA. With the added expenses of being separate from the APTA, this could cause CAPTE to lower standards, raise fees, or even go out of business. We asked our Representatives to oppose this bill unless significant changes were made. We also asked that our Senators to not include student loan provisions nor accreditation provisions in their bill.

 

  1. THE PHYSICAL THERAPY OUTCOMES REGISTRY: Improving Patient Outcomes and Standardizing Care Through Data Analytics: The APTA is committed to standardized clinical data collection for specific patient populations. The Physical Therapy Outcomes Registry will allow PTs to track patients across multiple episodes of care and compare outcomes against other practices nationwide. Analysis of large volumes of clinical data will help patients and health services researchers, and will provide valuable insight for health care policy development.

 

  1. Beyond Opioids: Transforming Pain Management to Improve Health: There have been 60+ bills that have been introduced in Congress since January 1. These bills have variations on how to best address the opioid epidemic, but few suggested preventative approaches. The APTA recommends a preventative approach that would include education of the primary health care providers, education of the public, decreasing non-pharmacological therapy co-pays, and direct access.

 

We will provide updates to you on these and other health care legislation in the near future.

 

Mark Bouziane, PT, MSPT, MEd

VPTA Federal Affairs Liaison

Jennifer parks, Erin Wentzell, Kate Sammons, Secili Destefano, Nick Widemyer (legislative aide), Cathy Renkiewicz, Mark Bouziane, and Matt Weber

 

Attention VPTA Members,

 

In an effort to keep all members informed of significant happenings in Virginia that impact clinical practice, we are contacting you to inform you that effective August 1, 2018 American Specialty Health Group (ASH) will begin utilization management services for Cigna Health Insurance company. They will take over these services from Rehab Provider Network for physical therapy utilization management and review. ASH will contract directly with individual outpatient private practice physical therapists in Virginia and letters have been sent to most practices with a fee schedule and basic contract information. Please note that this letter does not represent an actual contract. The APTA and state leaders are participating in a conference call with ASH to discuss this change and the impact it will have on clinical practice. To insure the financial health of physical therapists’ practices in Virginia and of your practice, we recommend that you request and review your contracts closely and contact the Private Practice Section of APTA and the APTA for information about contract negotiation and utilization management and review.

 

We will keep you updated as we gather information on this change. For more information, please review the ASH FAQ.

 

All and only the best,

 

Josh

 
 

Chair

Chelsea Lasky, PT, DPT
Email

Membership

The component membership committee has an important job -- membership development remains one of the highest priorities of APTA. The component membership committee is responsible for planning, implementing, and evaluating membership campaigns, including all recruitment and retention efforts.

News

Note: Currently, no news to display.

Chair

Joseph Spagnolo, PT, DPT, MTC, OCS
Email

Nominating

Serves a two (2) year term.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Study the qualifications of eligible candidates and prepare a list of the names and qualifications of nominees consenting to serve
  • Prepare a slate of nominees for vacant VPTA offices and Nominating Committee to be presented at the Annual Chapter Business Meeting.
  • Nominate one (1) or more candidates for upcoming vacancies in the American Physical Therapy association Board of Directors and Nominating Committee.
  • Discuss with Board of Directors Annual retreat possible nominees for National APTA awards such as Lucy Blair, Mary McMillan, etc.
  • Solicit nominees and supportive narratives for all VPTA awards.

News

Open https://associationelections.org/elections/vpta/ in a new window

 

Download

 

Please find attached the tentative slate for the Chapter and District elections.  You'll notice that there are still some vacancies, so if you are interested or know someone who would be a good candidate, they can still run by petition.  More information can be found here.

 

 

2018 Year Nominating Committee Calendar - VPTA
DESCRIPTION  
When
May
Call for Chapter and District Nominations (eblast, website, social media, etc) 3
June
Call for District & State nominations closes 17
Deadline for Candidate Pictures, Bios, Consent to Serves & Statements 25
August
Tentative Chapter & District Slate Posted  3
September
Slated by Petition Deadline 2
Bios, Pictures, Statements & Consent to Serves from Petioned Nominations Due 10
Final Slate with All Bios, Pictures, Statements Posted 19
Chapter Elections Open 19
October
Chapter Elections Close 3
Chapter Election Results Posted 5
District Elections Open 15
District Elections Close 29
District Election Results Posted to Website 31
November
Election Results Announced at Annual Meeting & Noted in Minutes 3
Chapter Elections:
Even Year Chapter: Vice President, Treasurer, PTA Caucus Rep; Delegates
Odd Year Chapter: President-Elect, Chief Delegate, Secretary, Delegtes, PTA Caucus Rep.
District Elections
Even Year Districts: Secretary: Blue Ridge, Mountain Valley Treasurer: Central, Northern, Tidewater District Directors: even year directors Nominating Committee Member: Northern, Central, Tidewater
Odd Year Districts: Secretary: Central, Northern, Tidewater Treasurer: Blue Ridge, Mountain, Valley District Directors: even year directors Nominating Committee Member: Blue Ridge, Mountain, & Valley, 
 

By now, most physical therapists (PTs) have heard the news: the final 2018 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) released in early November by the US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) included some significant variations from the PFS proposed in July. Instead of finalizing CPT code values that were the same as—and occasionally larger than—current values, CMS opted to offer up a more complicated combination of cuts and increases that could affect PTs in different ways, depending on their case-mix and billing patterns.

So Here are APTA's top 4 suggestions.

  1. Know the design process for the fee schedule. It's important to understand what led to the changes to provide context, a slight sense of relief, and a reminder of why payment needs to move toward value-based models and away from fee-for-service.

The PFS now set to debut January 1, 2018, is the CMS response to an American Medical Association (AMA) committee's recommendation on potentially "misvalued" codes associated with a wide range of professions, not just physical therapy. When the process began in early 2016, many predicted that the final outcome would be deep cuts to nearly all valuations—as much as 10% or more overall. APTA and its members fought hard to substantiate the validity of the current valuations, and even the need for increases in some areas. The end result was a significant improvement from where things were headed at the start of the process.

That's not to say it's been an entirely satisfying process from start to finish. This recent PT in Motion News story goes into more detail about the sometimes-frustrating journey from points A to B.

            2. Understand what's being changed. Just about everything that happens at CMS is complicated, and the process that led to the new CPT code valuations is no exception. Still, a working knowledge of how CPT codes are valued is helpful in understanding why the PFS contains such a mix of positives and negatives.

One important thing to understand is that code valuation is actually a stew of 3 separate elements, known as relative value units (RVUs). These are estimations of the labor, expense, and possible professional liability involved in performing any given treatment or evaluation task associated with a CPT code. The 3 types of RVUs are known as "work," "practice expense" (PE), and "professional liability." The coding valuation differences between the proposed and final PFS were due to changes to the PE RVUs only.

This wasn't part of the proposed rule. While the AMA Relative Value Scale Update Committee Health Care Professions Advisory Committee did recommend changes to PE RVUs, CMS initially opted to not adopt those suggestions. When the final rule was released 3 months later, CMS—without seeking input from APTA or any other stakeholders—did an about-face and adopted the changes to PE RVUs.

So what? The answer is twofold: first, the tweaks to PE RVUs mean it's difficult to make many sweeping generalizations about how the new PFS will affect individual practices and clinics; second, it's worth noting that individual work RVUs either remained unchanged or increased.

A more detailed explanation of how the codes were affected is available in an APTA fact sheet on the 2018 PFS (listed under "APTA Summaries and Fact Sheets"). For a more complete explanation of RVUs and the differences between the 3 types, check out this APTA podcast on the CPT valuation process.

            3. Get a sense of how you might be affected. A sense of history and understanding of detail are all well and good, but the  bottom line is your bottom line.

Here's the complication with the 2018 PFS: because of the wide variation in upward and downward adjustments, it's hard to make statements about how PTs in general will be affected. CMS estimates the overall impact at a 1%-2% reduction, but a lot depends on the types of patients a PT or clinic typically sees and what interventions are commonly used. Some providers could see increases.

In an effort to clear up some of the uncertainty, APTA offers a calculator than can help you see how your typical case-mix would fare in the new PFS. The calculator, offered in Microsoft Excel, allows you to enter different codes to see what changes to expect, given your Medicare service area.

            4. Keep learning. There's much more to understand about the PFS—not just in terms of the details of how the new rule will work, but in terms of APTA's work to safeguard CPT codes throughout the misvalued codes review process.

One great way to learn more about what to expect is coming up in December, when the association hosts a free webinar on Medicare changes for 2018 on December 6 from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm ET. The webinar will be presented in a "flipped" format, meaning that when you register, you'll be provided with a prerecorded presentation to listen to in advance. That way, more of the actual session can be devoted to live interaction with the presenters. Be sure to sign up—and listen up—soon.

Another opportunity is available December 13, when APTA hosts an "Insider Intel" phone-in session that will cover many of the same topics, albeit in a pared-down 30-minute session, from 2:00 pm to 2:30 pm ET. Instructions for signing up for this session are on APTA's Insider Intel webpage.

To view the news story, please see: http://www.apta.org/PTinMotion/News/2017/11/21/PFSTipsNovember2017/

 
 

Chair

Ron Masri, PT, ATC, FAAOMPT, OCS
Email

Payer & Practice Relations

The Payer and Practice Relations Committee addresses the primary elements involved in the practice of physical therapy: scope of practice, administration of practice, standards and ethics of practice, and the Guide to Physical Therapist Practice. The committee also recognizes that reimbursement/payment is likely the most confusing and frustrating part of clinical practice, so we are here to help you navigate any questions you might have.

News

Open http://www.apta.org/PTinMotion/News/2018/09/17/PFSComments/?_zs=837fV1&_zl=SKAA5 in a new window

 

VPTA has come to realize that some commercial payors are implementing the MPPR (multiple procedure payment reduction) esp in DC and certain part of Northern VA. Because commercial payers are privately run entities it is challenging to get them to make sweeping changes from a legislative perspective. As you know there is no federal or state legislative body that has jurisdiction over how a commercial payer mandates their policies. APTA and we suggest beginning with local advocacy efforts with the commercial payer reps if you happen to have those connections. Furthermore here are some things that can be done on an individual clinician level and

 

Here are some suggestions and resources that may be useful for further research.

Individual clinicians:

  1. continue due diligence with the payer

  2. Review your contract annually. Provide outcome measures or rationale annually for why you feel that your payment should be increased.

  3. set up a mechanism within your clinic to review the newsletters/notices/letters that come from the payer to remain informed about proposed changes. This was fwrd to the VPTA from APTA and is a notification in a newsletter in April 2018 from Carefirst about upcoming changes to billing procedures

     

    https://provider.carefirst.com/carefirst-resources/provider/newsletters/bluelink-2018-apr.pdf

    BlueLink Provider Newsletter April 2018 Volume 20 Issue 2 Pg 10 ClaimsXten™ Implementation Update We continue the transition from our current clinical auditing tool, ClaimCheck™, to an enhanced tool, ClaimsXten across all of our claims processing platforms. ClaimsXten is a comprehensive auditing tool that allows us to manage the unique requirements of our claims processing platforms.

     

    Clinical Edit Description Pay Percent – Therapy Professional

    Recommends an adjustment in the pay percent when multiple therapy procedures are submitted on the same date on certain therapy procedures. There will be no change to the process for submitting claims to CareFirst regarding these clinical edits. Please note that you may see different outcomes for similar claims dependent upon the aligned platform. What’s Next? We will continue to keep you updated as the ClaimsXten solution is deployed on our platforms. If you have any questions, please contact Provider Service at 877-228-7268. What’s Changing? With each of the recent deployments, CareFirst’s claim adjudication is being updated. In addition to the four clinical edits announced in 2017, and six clinical edits that are being implemented this Spring, we will be implementing one additional clinical edit this summer.

     

  4. Resubmit claims with an explanation

  5. Begin filing appeals.

  6. Review documentation standards with in their clinic to ensure that your documentation clearly reflects treatment rendered

     

    Additional resources:

    http://www.apta.org/Payment/PrivateInsurance/

    Audits, Denials & Appeals

  1. Appeal Letter Outline (.pdf)

  2. FAQ: Audits

  3. FAQ: Claim Denials

     

     

    http://www.apta.org/MPPR/PrivateInsurersList/

    Nonfederal Payers That Implement MPPR

    The following payers have implemented the multiple procedure payment reduction (MPPR) according to the time frames listed. As shown under the Policy heading, implementation and the extent of the reduction vary by payer.

    If you are aware of any additional payers implementing the MPPR, please contact APTA at advocacy@apta.org.

     

     

    Please feel free to contact me at vpta@apta.org

     

     

With great appreciation and enthusiasm,

 

Rony Masri, PT, DPT

VPTA Practice and Payor Chair

 

 

Attention VPTA Members,

 

In an effort to keep all members informed of significant happenings in Virginia that impact clinical practice, we are contacting you to inform you that effective August 1, 2018 American Specialty Health Group (ASH) will begin utilization management services for Cigna Health Insurance company. They will take over these services from Rehab Provider Network for physical therapy utilization management and review. ASH will contract directly with individual outpatient private practice physical therapists in Virginia and letters have been sent to most practices with a fee schedule and basic contract information. Please note that this letter does not represent an actual contract. The APTA and state leaders are participating in a conference call with ASH to discuss this change and the impact it will have on clinical practice. To insure the financial health of physical therapists’ practices in Virginia and of your practice, we recommend that you request and review your contracts closely and contact the Private Practice Section of APTA and the APTA for information about contract negotiation and utilization management and review.

 

We will keep you updated as we gather information on this change. For more information, please review the ASH FAQ.

 

All and only the best,

 

Josh

 

By now, most physical therapists (PTs) have heard the news: the final 2018 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) released in early November by the US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) included some significant variations from the PFS proposed in July. Instead of finalizing CPT code values that were the same as—and occasionally larger than—current values, CMS opted to offer up a more complicated combination of cuts and increases that could affect PTs in different ways, depending on their case-mix and billing patterns.

So Here are APTA's top 4 suggestions.

  1. Know the design process for the fee schedule. It's important to understand what led to the changes to provide context, a slight sense of relief, and a reminder of why payment needs to move toward value-based models and away from fee-for-service.

The PFS now set to debut January 1, 2018, is the CMS response to an American Medical Association (AMA) committee's recommendation on potentially "misvalued" codes associated with a wide range of professions, not just physical therapy. When the process began in early 2016, many predicted that the final outcome would be deep cuts to nearly all valuations—as much as 10% or more overall. APTA and its members fought hard to substantiate the validity of the current valuations, and even the need for increases in some areas. The end result was a significant improvement from where things were headed at the start of the process.

That's not to say it's been an entirely satisfying process from start to finish. This recent PT in Motion News story goes into more detail about the sometimes-frustrating journey from points A to B.

            2. Understand what's being changed. Just about everything that happens at CMS is complicated, and the process that led to the new CPT code valuations is no exception. Still, a working knowledge of how CPT codes are valued is helpful in understanding why the PFS contains such a mix of positives and negatives.

One important thing to understand is that code valuation is actually a stew of 3 separate elements, known as relative value units (RVUs). These are estimations of the labor, expense, and possible professional liability involved in performing any given treatment or evaluation task associated with a CPT code. The 3 types of RVUs are known as "work," "practice expense" (PE), and "professional liability." The coding valuation differences between the proposed and final PFS were due to changes to the PE RVUs only.

This wasn't part of the proposed rule. While the AMA Relative Value Scale Update Committee Health Care Professions Advisory Committee did recommend changes to PE RVUs, CMS initially opted to not adopt those suggestions. When the final rule was released 3 months later, CMS—without seeking input from APTA or any other stakeholders—did an about-face and adopted the changes to PE RVUs.

So what? The answer is twofold: first, the tweaks to PE RVUs mean it's difficult to make many sweeping generalizations about how the new PFS will affect individual practices and clinics; second, it's worth noting that individual work RVUs either remained unchanged or increased.

A more detailed explanation of how the codes were affected is available in an APTA fact sheet on the 2018 PFS (listed under "APTA Summaries and Fact Sheets"). For a more complete explanation of RVUs and the differences between the 3 types, check out this APTA podcast on the CPT valuation process.

            3. Get a sense of how you might be affected. A sense of history and understanding of detail are all well and good, but the  bottom line is your bottom line.

Here's the complication with the 2018 PFS: because of the wide variation in upward and downward adjustments, it's hard to make statements about how PTs in general will be affected. CMS estimates the overall impact at a 1%-2% reduction, but a lot depends on the types of patients a PT or clinic typically sees and what interventions are commonly used. Some providers could see increases.

In an effort to clear up some of the uncertainty, APTA offers a calculator than can help you see how your typical case-mix would fare in the new PFS. The calculator, offered in Microsoft Excel, allows you to enter different codes to see what changes to expect, given your Medicare service area.

            4. Keep learning. There's much more to understand about the PFS—not just in terms of the details of how the new rule will work, but in terms of APTA's work to safeguard CPT codes throughout the misvalued codes review process.

One great way to learn more about what to expect is coming up in December, when the association hosts a free webinar on Medicare changes for 2018 on December 6 from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm ET. The webinar will be presented in a "flipped" format, meaning that when you register, you'll be provided with a prerecorded presentation to listen to in advance. That way, more of the actual session can be devoted to live interaction with the presenters. Be sure to sign up—and listen up—soon.

Another opportunity is available December 13, when APTA hosts an "Insider Intel" phone-in session that will cover many of the same topics, albeit in a pared-down 30-minute session, from 2:00 pm to 2:30 pm ET. Instructions for signing up for this session are on APTA's Insider Intel webpage.

To view the news story, please see: http://www.apta.org/PTinMotion/News/2017/11/21/PFSTipsNovember2017/

 
 

Chair

Amanda Miller Avila, PT, DPT, WCS
Email

Research

The primary purpose of this section of the website is to provide a source of information for consumers of research as well as for clinical researchers.  A secondary purpose is to provide a forum for clinicians, academicians, and students to share ideas and to develop collaborative research projects.  Please let us know if you have an interesting link you would like to share.

Validating clinical practice by documenting outcomes and the efficacy of physical therapy are vital to our future as a profession.  Clinicians and academicians can combine efforts to answer questions of interest to our profession and the scientific community.  If you are interested in clinical research, or have an idea for a clinical research project contact any of the educational institutions in your area.  Many PT programs require a research project and you may be able to find students and faculty that are interested in assisting you.  If further assistance is needed in finding collaborators for clinical research please contact the Research Committee Chair.

News

VPTA Fall Summit – Submission Deadline: September 22, 2018

The VPTA Research Committee is currently accepting abstracts for consideration for poster presentations at the Fall Summit, November 3rd, 2018 in Richmond.

 

Presentation Categories (taken from the APTA call for abstracts)

 

  • Research Report

Presents original scientific data collected by the author(s) using any established research format, both experimental and non-experimental designs, may be used (e.g. case studies, clinical trials, descriptive studies, single-subject designs, qualitative methods, etc.)

  • Special Interest Report

Presents unique and innovative concepts, ideas, devices, or products developed to meet the special needs of physical therapy; the ways in which these reports can be expressed include case reports, case studies, and reports of projects. Emphasis should be on the unique and innovative nature of the concept or idea presented.

  • Theory Report

Presents a theory, idea, concept, or model that describes a foundation for the practice of physical therapy. For additional information on theory, see Krebs DE, Harris SR. Elements of theory presentations in physical therapy. Phys Ther. 1988;68:690-693

 

Submission Guidelines

 

Presentation Format

  • Poster Presentation: Reports are summarized on a large poster (48” x 36”) using concise and easily readable text to present the key components of the project. Posters must be able to stand on a table using a tri-fold poster board or similar structure provided by the author. Posters are set up in one area and will be on display for a set time during the conference. Authors will have an assigned time block to stand with the poster and answer questions from participants who are walking through the poster presentation area.

 

Abstract Format

  • Research Report must include the following information/subheadings: Purpose, Background/Significance, Subjects, Methods and Materials, Analyses, Results, Conclusions, Funding Source
  • Special Interest Report must include the following information/subheadings unless it is a case study/report: Purpose, Foundation (What is the underlying basis for the report?), Description (What methods, materials, and principles did the project involve?), Observations, Conclusions, Funding Source
  • Case Report or Series must include the following information/subheadings: Purpose, Background/Significance, Subject(s), Methods, Outcomes, Discussion, Conclusion, Funding Source
  • Theory Report must include the following information/subheadings: Theory (Describe the theory, idea, concept, or model), Phenomenon (Describe the phenomenon the theory proposes to explain, predict, or describe), Purpose (What is the major reason for developing the theory presented?), Evidence (Briefly summarize the evidence or experience that supports the theory), Testable Hypotheses (Give examples of testable hypotheses or propositions derived from the theory, idea, concept, or model), Importance (What is the importance of the theory to physical therapy?), Funding Source

 

Abstract Submission Deadline is September 22, 2018

Submission Requirements

Submit two copies of the abstract electronically to the research chair; one with information identifying the author(s) and contact person, and one blinded (no identifying information). Please indicate if the abstract is student, professional or academic research. The abstract should be no more than 300 words. The electronic file must be compatible with Microsoft word.

Note: The “blinded” copy of the abstract will be used for review by the committee. For all accepted presentations, the abstract with author identifying information will be posted on the VPTA website as a public acknowledgement of the presentation.

 

Evaluation and Selection of Abstracts

The VPTA Research Committee peer reviews all abstracts. Abstracts are selected on the basis of compliance with the content and format requirements, intelligibility of the abstract, and the importance of the information as it relates to physical therapy.

 

Notification

Notification of the committee’s decision will occur via email no later than October 22, 2018.

 

Contact Amanda Miller Avila, PT, DPT, WCS with any questions: amiller@progressphysicaltherapy.com

 

Download 2015 Abstract titles with authors.docx

 

Download 2016 Abstract titles for voting.docx

 

Download 2017 Presentation schedule.doc

 
 

Co-Chair

Brandon Smith
Email

Co-Chair

Megan McIntyre, PT, DPT
Email

Student Relations

The VPTA Student Relations Committee (SRC) serves to facilitate the engagement of student-related activities as they pertain to the VPTA, Student Special Interest Group (SSIG), and associated gatherings throughout the calendar year. The SRC plays a key role in mentoring and preparing student for future chapter leadership and encouraging involvement in current national and chapter student opportunities in leadership. These activities include:

Sponsorship to attend these programs and others

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