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.

Communications Committee Members
  • Jessica To-Alemanji, PT, MSPT, DPT, PhD, PMP; Committee Chair
  • Kimberly Benson, PT, DPT; Content Manager
  • Chelsea Lindo, PT, DPT; Social Media Manager
  • Sarah Patejak, SPT; Website Manager
  • Bailey Long, SPT; Advertising Manager
  • James Bennett, SPT; Media Manager
  • Lauren Graham, SPT; Committee Liaison
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!

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.

 
 

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
Education Committee Members
  • Mona Fazzina - Fall and Spring Conference Chair
  • Skye Donovan - Education Co-Chair - Fall Summit Focus
  • Charlene Jensen - Education Co-Chair - Spring Conference Focus
  • Drew Pociluyko
  • Jared Ritter
  • Steni Sackiriyas

News

VPTA Fall Summit – Submission Deadline: September 26th, 2019 by midnight

The VPTA Research Committee is currently accepting abstracts for consideration for poster presentations at the Fall Summit, November 9th, 2019 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

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 26, 2019 by midnight

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.

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 independently on a 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.

Notification

Notification of the committee’s decision will occur via email no later than October 16, 2019.

Contact Amanda Miller Avila, PT, DPT, WCS with any questions: [email protected]

 

Renewals are due on or before December 31, 2018.  For more information go to DHP online renewal or click online licensing to get started. 

Here are some key points to remember with license renewal: Depending on the status of the license, fees and requirements may vary.    

1. Pay the Fee

  1. A physical therapist and physical therapist assistant who intends to continue practicing shall renew their license biennially by December 31 in each even-numbered year. They will pay to the board the renewal fee prescribed in  18VAC112-20-27.
      1. The fee for active license renewal for a physical therapist shall be $135 and for a physical therapist assistant shall be $70 and shall be due by December 31 in each even-numbered year.
      1. The fee for an inactive license renewal for a physical therapist shall be $70 and for a physical therapist assistant shall be $35 and shall be due by December 31 in each even-numbered year.
      1. A fee of $50 for a physical therapist and $25 for a physical therapist assistant for processing a late renewal within one renewal cycle shall be paid in addition to the renewal fee.
      1. The fee for reinstatement of a license that has expired for two or more years shall be $180 for a physical therapist and $120 for a physical therapist assistant and shall be submitted with an application for licensure reinstatement.

A licensee whose licensure has not been renewed by the first day of the month following the month in which renewal is required shall pay a late fee as prescribed in 18VAC112-20-27.

2.  Provide proof of work and CEU

B.  In order to renew an active license, a licensee shall be required to Licensee shall maintain the Continued Competency Activity and Assessment Form:

1. Complete a minimum of 160 hours of active practice in the preceding two years; and

2. Comply with continuing competency requirements set forth in  18VAC112-20-131

  • You need 30 hours of continuing education (CE) within the two years immediately preceding renewal.
  • Guidance: 18VAC112-20-131. Continued Competency Requirements for Renewal of an Active License.
  • A minimum of 20 of the contact hours required for physical therapists and 15 of the contact hours required for physical therapist assistants shall be in Type 1 courses.  Examples of type 1 "course" means an organized program of study, classroom experience or similar educational experience that is directly related to the clinical practice of physical therapy and approved or provided by one of the following organizations or any of its components

a. The Virginia Physical Therapy Association;

b. The American Physical Therapy Association;

c. Local, state or federal government agencies;

d. Regionally accredited colleges and universities;

e. Health care organizations accredited by a national accrediting organization granted authority by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to assure compliance with Medicare conditions of participation;

f. The American Medical Association - Category I Continuing Medical Education course;

g. The National Athletic Trainers' Association; or

h. The Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy.

  • No more than 10 of the contact hours required for physical therapists and 15 of the contact hours required for physical therapist assistants may be Type 2 activities or courses Type 2 activities may include consultation with colleagues, independent study, and research or writing on subjects related to practice. Up to two of Type 2 continuing education hours may be satisfied through the delivery of physical therapy services, without compensation, to low-income individuals receiving services through a local health department or a free clinic organized in whole or primarily for the delivery of health services.   
  • Be aware there are some activities that can count as continue education credits such as initial certification or recertification of specialty certification by the American Physical Therapy Association ; graduation from a transitional doctor of physical therapy program; attained at least Level 2 on the FSBPT assessment tool may receive five hours of Type 1 credit for the biennium in which the assessment tool was taken. A physical therapist who can document that he attained at least Level 3 or 4 on the FSBPT assessment tool may receive 10 hours of Type 1 credit for the biennium in which the assessment tool was taken. Continued competency credits shall only be granted for the FSBPT assessment tool once every four years.

In response to requests for interpretation on continuing education credits, the Board has adopted the following guidance and as of May 2018, amendments were made:

  • One credit hour of a college course is considered equivalent to 15 contact hours of Type 1 continuing education.
  • Courses directly related to the clinical practice of physical therapy and are sponsored by providers approved by other state licensing boards may be considered for Type 1 continuing education.
  • Research and preparation for the clinical supervision experience or teaching of workshops or courses in a classroom setting constitute Type 2 activities.
  • Classroom teaching of physical therapy topics and clinical supervision constitute Type 2 activities.
  • For every 40 hours of clinical instruction, one contact hour of Type 2 activities may be granted.

NEW LICENSEES BY EXAMINATION:

 If you were initially licensed by examination in Virginia and this is your first renewal, you are exempt from the requirement that you complete at least 30 hours of continuing education (CE) within the two years immediately preceding renewal. Therefore, answering “yes” to the question, "Have you completed 30 hours of continuing education activities within the two (2) years immediately preceding renewal and engaged in 160 active practice hours as a [physical therapist/physical therapist assistant] as defined in 18 VAC 112-20-130 for a period of two (2) years immediately preceding submission of this application?” will not impact the renewal process for new licensees who fall into this CE exemption, as long as the applicant has completed the 160 active practice hours.

Other FAQs may be answered at The Virginia Board of Physical Therapy Website.  

References:

§ 54.1-2400 of the Code of Virginia.

18VAC112-20-130. Biennial Renewal of License

The Virginia Board of Physical Therapy Website

18VAC112-20-131

 
 

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: [email protected]
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

                Under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 19731, Title III of the American with Disabilities Act (ADA)2 , and the health care professional's obligations for service provision to people with Limited English Proficiency (LEP) and under court decisions that have extended protections afforded under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 19643, it is mandated by law that an auxiliary aide (e.g. Interpreter) or service is available and provided to patients with impairments (e.g. vision, speech and hearing deficits).  According to the ADA, if a facility faces an undue burden, one that includes financial and operational hardship, they are not required to provide an interpreter.  Unfortunately, an undue burden is not objectively defined and is subjected to regulatory and legal proceedings.   

                A qualified interpreter is one who can effectively, accurately, and impartially, both receptively and expressively convey to the patient the words of the practitioner. This can be a family member, health care professional or outsources service if they are competent.  When using an interpreter, remember to include defensible documentation when services are provided.  Defensible documentation includes but is not limited to:  the type of service provided, the delivery method, the name and qualification of the interpreter and the patient’s understanding. Documentation is often used as evidence during litigation so accurate and thorough documentation is vital.  

Reference:

  1. 1. 29 USC section 794; 45 CFR sections 84.1-84.61.
  2. 42 USC 12181.
  3. 28 CFR 36.303.
 

 Originally from upstate New York, Dr. Grillo earned his undergraduate and Master’s degrees in Physical Therapy at Nazareth College in Rochester, New York. He subsequently earned his DPT at Virginia Commonwealth University and completed an orthopedic manual therapy fellowship at Regis University in Denver, Colorado. He has over 15 years of experience, working at a private practice in Williamsburg, Virginia and in Charlottesville, VA.      

In an interview with Dr. Grillo, he discussed his new role with the VPTA as the Ethics Chair and the current climate of the Physical Therapy Industry.

Why did you want to become a PT?

Originally, I wanted to go into sports medicine or athletic training; however, a family friend who was an athletic trainer at the time talked me out of that and recommended Physical Therapy school instead. Her rationale was that Physical Therapy offers a more diverse opportunity and scope of practice. She was absolutely right!

How has the industry changed since you started practicing?

There are definitely more Universities offering Physical Therapy programs and with greater competition than when I was in school.  The scope of practice and breadth of interventions provided by PTs has grown substantially and will continue to do so as research and new treatments emerge. Overall, I believe this is reflected in the quality of education and where our profession is heading as a whole.

What does your role of Ethics Chair Entail?

 The Ethic Committee provides several educational and professional resources which are available online at the VPTA website. My roles within the VPTA and this committee (as well as our duties as practicing clinicians) are to promote best practice and provide an avenue for patients and/or clinicians who want to discuss ethical concerns. This may stem from something they’ve seen, experienced, or occurred in their practice or treatment. Unfortunately, there are a number of ethical (and legal) concerns occurring in clinical practice on a daily basis and clinicians and patients should feel comfortable discussing these concerns when they realize there is a problem.

Why should people get involved with the VPTA?

It is extremely important to get involved in the VPTA and the APTA because these are our professional organizations. They are the face of our profession at the state, national, and international level.  They advocate for our profession and fight battles to protect our profession, on issues many physical therapist are not aware of.   A lot of what we do as Physical Therapist and how we treat patients on a daily basis is being altered or taken away from challenges posed by new restrictions and/or other professions. VPTA and APTA are organizations that physically and financially advocate for us so we can push forward and protect our profession. 

Unfortunately, there are a growing number of other professions who claim to offer treatments and services similar to those done by PTs.  This tends to bring ambiguity to our profession and the image we have to the public and healthcare professionals.  We need to do a better job of advocating and defending who we are and what we do. Each physical therapist owes it to themselves, their profession, and to each other to give back in some way; be it with time, their expertise, or financial contributions. 

How would you like to see the industry move forward?

I would like to see more movement with direct access and increase our role as primary provider for musculoskeletal conditions. I feel this is an area we have expertise in - far and above many other professionals who are currently providing primary level care for this condition.  The public needs to know we are musculoskeletal experts.

What do you advocate for in Physical Therapy?

I’m a big advocate for increased development and use of residency and fellowship programs. I would like to see these programs be a required portion of our education, to some extent in the future. I feel they’re an extremely valuable means of specialized education and bring the quality of practicing clinician to their highest caliber. Clinicians who have gone through residency and fellowship are easily identifiable in their commitment to practice, clinical skill, advocacy for the profession, research, and are generally a huge part of modeling the profession, that I believe, we want to be.

Why did you get involved with the VPTA?

I got involved with the VPTA for a number of reasons. First, for the opportunity to be a part of the decision making at the local and state level.  Second, I want to know firsthand the issues the profession faces and what are being done to improve them.  Finally, I want to be a part of the solution. These issues can be clinical, political, or related to scope of practice, etc.  I believe it’s extremely important to know how the healthcare landscape continues to change, what our role is as physical therapists, and what we can do to guide the profession to be what we want it to be. 

 
 

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

Here are several advocacy templates and resources recently developed by APTA. These advocacy tools are designed to be used by both PTs and patients (the “consumer”) in the event of problematic utilization management programs being implemented by the Medicaid MCOs, Medicare Advantage plans, and other commercial payers in their respective state(s).

For your reference, please find attached:

  • Tips on Engagement with Medicaid Directors (pdf): Tips on how to engage with your state Medicaid Director
  • Consumer Advocacy – Appeals Template (UM Vendor): Developed in conjunction with AOTA and ASHA, this template is designed to help consumers understand their appeal rights if treatment is delayed, modified, or denied by a UM vendor
  • Clinician Letter to Legislator re: Issues with Medicaid Managed Care – UM Vendor
  • Consumer Letter to Legislator re: Issues with Medicaid Managed Care – UM Vendor
  • Clinician Letter to Legislator re: Issues with Medicare Advantage/Commercial – UM Vendor
  • Consumer Letter to Legislator re: Issues with Medicare Advantage/Commercial Payer – UM Vendor

 Please feel free to share with your peers, colleagues, and others.

 

Josh Bailey, representing the VPTA, meeting with Delegate Kathy Byron to discuss several bills that have impact for the Physical Therapy profession in Virginia.

 

Vice President Mark Bouziane , Governor Northam, Past President and Legislative Chair Tom Bohannon, and VPTA Lobbyist Richard Grossman.

 

 Originally from upstate New York, Dr. Grillo earned his undergraduate and Master’s degrees in Physical Therapy at Nazareth College in Rochester, New York. He subsequently earned his DPT at Virginia Commonwealth University and completed an orthopedic manual therapy fellowship at Regis University in Denver, Colorado. He has over 15 years of experience, working at a private practice in Williamsburg, Virginia and in Charlottesville, VA.      

In an interview with Dr. Grillo, he discussed his new role with the VPTA as the Ethics Chair and the current climate of the Physical Therapy Industry.

Why did you want to become a PT?

Originally, I wanted to go into sports medicine or athletic training; however, a family friend who was an athletic trainer at the time talked me out of that and recommended Physical Therapy school instead. Her rationale was that Physical Therapy offers a more diverse opportunity and scope of practice. She was absolutely right!

How has the industry changed since you started practicing?

There are definitely more Universities offering Physical Therapy programs and with greater competition than when I was in school.  The scope of practice and breadth of interventions provided by PTs has grown substantially and will continue to do so as research and new treatments emerge. Overall, I believe this is reflected in the quality of education and where our profession is heading as a whole.

What does your role of Ethics Chair Entail?

 The Ethic Committee provides several educational and professional resources which are available online at the VPTA website. My roles within the VPTA and this committee (as well as our duties as practicing clinicians) are to promote best practice and provide an avenue for patients and/or clinicians who want to discuss ethical concerns. This may stem from something they’ve seen, experienced, or occurred in their practice or treatment. Unfortunately, there are a number of ethical (and legal) concerns occurring in clinical practice on a daily basis and clinicians and patients should feel comfortable discussing these concerns when they realize there is a problem.

Why should people get involved with the VPTA?

It is extremely important to get involved in the VPTA and the APTA because these are our professional organizations. They are the face of our profession at the state, national, and international level.  They advocate for our profession and fight battles to protect our profession, on issues many physical therapist are not aware of.   A lot of what we do as Physical Therapist and how we treat patients on a daily basis is being altered or taken away from challenges posed by new restrictions and/or other professions. VPTA and APTA are organizations that physically and financially advocate for us so we can push forward and protect our profession. 

Unfortunately, there are a growing number of other professions who claim to offer treatments and services similar to those done by PTs.  This tends to bring ambiguity to our profession and the image we have to the public and healthcare professionals.  We need to do a better job of advocating and defending who we are and what we do. Each physical therapist owes it to themselves, their profession, and to each other to give back in some way; be it with time, their expertise, or financial contributions. 

How would you like to see the industry move forward?

I would like to see more movement with direct access and increase our role as primary provider for musculoskeletal conditions. I feel this is an area we have expertise in - far and above many other professionals who are currently providing primary level care for this condition.  The public needs to know we are musculoskeletal experts.

What do you advocate for in Physical Therapy?

I’m a big advocate for increased development and use of residency and fellowship programs. I would like to see these programs be a required portion of our education, to some extent in the future. I feel they’re an extremely valuable means of specialized education and bring the quality of practicing clinician to their highest caliber. Clinicians who have gone through residency and fellowship are easily identifiable in their commitment to practice, clinical skill, advocacy for the profession, research, and are generally a huge part of modeling the profession, that I believe, we want to be.

Why did you get involved with the VPTA?

I got involved with the VPTA for a number of reasons. First, for the opportunity to be a part of the decision making at the local and state level.  Second, I want to know firsthand the issues the profession faces and what are being done to improve them.  Finally, I want to be a part of the solution. These issues can be clinical, political, or related to scope of practice, etc.  I believe it’s extremely important to know how the healthcare landscape continues to change, what our role is as physical therapists, and what we can do to guide the profession to be what we want it to be. 

 
 

Chair

Bree Egger
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

Here is the 2019 tentative slate!  Many thanks to those who are running in this year's elections and willingness to serve the association. THere are still a few spots that need to be filled, so if you are interested in serving the VPTA please contact Marie Stravlo at [email protected]

 

 
 

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

Good afternoon,

APTA is aware of new prior authorization and site of service requirements for outpatient physical and occupational therapy under the UHC Community Plan. These changes are affecting a number of states and APTA is working with Chapter leadership in coordinating efforts with State Medicaid offices and Community Plan/UHC. The attached information targets Arizona, Hawaii, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, Rhode Island, Virginia, Wisconsin, California, Kansas, Washington, Nebraska, and New York. Per the UHC alert, this policy does not apply to FL, LA, MA, MS, MO, PA, TN and TX. This information was previously sent to the chapters and posted on the HUB. Here is a link to the August Bulletin on the UM policy change for select states: https://www.uhcprovider.com/content/dam/provider/docs/public/resources/news/2019/network-bulletin/July-Network-Bulletin-2019.pdf (pages 45-46). While not on the original list, we are hearing NE is also impacted by the new prior auth policy.

State

 

Requires Site of Service Review

Services Requiring Prior Authorization

Effective Dates

 

Arizona

No

Speech therapy

Oct. 1, 2019

New Jersey

Yes

Speech (expanded codes: 92507, 92508, 92526, 92521, 92522, 92523), occupational, physical therapy

Aug. 1, 2019

New York

Yes

Speech, occupational, physical therapy

Oct. 1, 2019

Ohio

Yes

Speech, occupational, physical therapy

Aug. 1, 2019

  1. is needed on why the UM change was implemented and how they plan to ensure patient access. With the number of roadblocks embedded into this prior auth (PA) program, access will surely be impeded. Plus coordinating with physician offices is extremely burdensome and not realistic. In reading the PA policy, not only is the physician having to get pre-authorization for the eval and re-eval, but the therapist still has to get authorization for the visits and the plan of care has to be signed by the physician. Plus during the eval visit no treatment can be rendered. Attached you’ll find an undated letter to NJ providers that might be helpful in explaining the reasoning behind the proposed change- flawed as it may be.

We are beginning to hear of member concerns at the chapter and national level particularly on the physician eval and re-eval prior auth requirement. To that end, we are organizing a group chapter call on Wednesday, September 4th from 12 noon to 1pm EST to discuss strategy. If you are unable to attend, please feel free to forward the invite to another chapter leader to engage on your behalf. The invite will arrive under separate cover.

In the interim, we suggest the following:

  • Alert your members to the change and provide the templates referenced below.
  • Contact your state Community Plan and request a meeting or a call at minimum.
  • Get the physicians on board early.
    • The PTs who contract with this plan should contact their referring physicians to make sure they are aware of this new requirement and gauge their reaction. I assume they will not be happy.
    • At same time, conduct outreach to state medical society to ensure they are aware of the change.
    • Join with the other impacted associations, including AMA, to write a letter to the plan opposing the change arguing that this not only increases burden, but will significantly delay access to care.
    • Depending on the plan’s reaction/response, or lack thereof, the state associations (PT, OT and AMA) could jointly contact the state Medicaid office.
  • The chapter can tweak the Medicaid clinician template to direct it to the plan and have therapists and physicians oppose the change.
  • The chapter can tweak our Medicaid consumer template to direct it to the plan and have the patients oppose this change.
  • The advocacy resources/ templates referenced in the last 2 bullets are found here: https://www.apta.org/Payment/PrivateInsurance/TPAUtilizationMgmtReview/)

At the national level, we are looking for the right contact at UHC/ Community Plan. To date, the APTA commercial UHC contact has been unable to assist. As we continue the search, we plan to reach out to the UHC Chief Medical Officer that signed the NJ letter. If any of you have thoughts, please let us know.

Look forward to speaking soon.

Thanks in advance

Elise

Elise Latawiec, PT, MPH

Lead Specialist Practice Management

American Physical Therapy Association

1111 North Fairfax Street

Alexandria, VA 22314

703 706 3166

APTA.org

 

By Ron Masri, VPTA Practice Chair

Below is messaging that has come from AIM regarding the Rehab program for  Anthem’s Commercial Membership. AIM has been asked to clarify the “two-business-day service grace period” and VPTA will update you via the website when we learn more.

Update to the Medicaid requests:

· We have modified the system to allow a two business-day service grace period.

 

Delay to commercial membership:

  • We continue to work on the member, provider and system issues experienced by Anthem and AIM related to the AIM Rehabilitative program for Anthem’s Commercial Membership. Due to this effort, the program will remain temporarily delayed. Until further notice for dates of service July 1 and thereafter, coverage for PT/ST/OT visits will not require a prior authorization.
  • Due to the rapid decision to extend the temporary delay of the program, we put claims stop processes in place to allow providers to continue to provide treatment and allow claims to process. In some instances, those processes were not immediate. We are running reports and will reprocess claims that were denied for no prior authorization in error after 7/1.
  • The program will relaunch no sooner than October 1st. Please access the AIM ProviderPortal or the Anthem electronic newsletters for the exact date. A 30 day notice will be provided.
  • As we work to resolve these issues, we will also use this time as an opportunity to facilitate additional training sessions to provide an overview of the program, review available resources and demonstrate the AIM ProviderPortal. Access the AIM Rehabilitation Provider site to register for an upcoming session. There are many resources to assist you (Portal Login Issues (800) 252-2021) and Rehab Questions [email protected]). We are dedicated to providing an efficient portal experience so that providers can focus on delivering effective therapy and helping members avoid invasive surgical procedures which can impact quality and cost of care.

 

Upcoming Provider Webinars, you can register @www.aimproviders.com/rehabilitation/Webinar.html:

  • Thursday, August 15, 2019 - 10:00 AM PST / 11:00 AM MST / 12:00 PM CST / 1:00 PM EST

 

Thank you,

The AIM Rehabilitation Program Team

 

UHC Commuity Plan updates Outpatient Physical and Occupational Therapy 8-1-2019

New policy

This policy only applies to the following states:

08/01/2019 Arizona, Hawaii, Maryland, Michigan, Ohio, Rhode Island, Virginia, Wisconsin

09/01/2019 California, Washington

10/01/2019 New York

11/01/2019 New Jersey

Outpatient Physical and Occupational Therapy

 

Here are several advocacy templates and resources recently developed by APTA. These advocacy tools are designed to be used by both PTs and patients (the “consumer”) in the event of problematic utilization management programs being implemented by the Medicaid MCOs, Medicare Advantage plans, and other commercial payers in their respective state(s).

For your reference, please find attached:

  • Tips on Engagement with Medicaid Directors (pdf): Tips on how to engage with your state Medicaid Director
  • Consumer Advocacy – Appeals Template (UM Vendor): Developed in conjunction with AOTA and ASHA, this template is designed to help consumers understand their appeal rights if treatment is delayed, modified, or denied by a UM vendor
  • Clinician Letter to Legislator re: Issues with Medicaid Managed Care – UM Vendor
  • Consumer Letter to Legislator re: Issues with Medicaid Managed Care – UM Vendor
  • Clinician Letter to Legislator re: Issues with Medicare Advantage/Commercial – UM Vendor
  • Consumer Letter to Legislator re: Issues with Medicare Advantage/Commercial Payer – UM Vendor

 Please feel free to share with your peers, colleagues, and others.

 

The purpose of this update is to inform providers that the DMAS Rehabilitation Provider Manual, Appendix D, has been updated with information regarding Outpatient Rehab CPT code changes for physical and occupational therapy evaluations. Effective for dates of service on or after December 1, 2018, DMAS and all contracted Medicaid Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) in the Commonwealth Coordinated Care (CCC) Plus and Medallion 4.0 programs will provide coverage for the following Physical Therapy (PT) and Occupational Therapy (OT) evaluation codes:

- 97161 (Physical Therapy evaluation; low complexity);

- 97162 (Physical therapy evaluation; moderate complexity);

- 97165 (Occupational Therapy evaluation, low complexity); and

- 97166 (Occupational Therapy evaluation, moderate complexity).

DMAS currently covers CPT 97163 (Physical Therapy, evaluation; high complexity) and CPT 97167 (Occupational Therapy evaluation; high complexity). This coverage will not change.

These six codes will require service authorization by KEPRO for the Medicaid fee-for-service members. Providers may only use one code per member per date of service for each service authorization request. Specifics regarding the service authorization requirements can be found in Appendix D (Service Authorization) of the Rehabilitation Provider Manual using the following link: https://www.virginiamedicaid.dmas.virginia.gov/wps/portal/ProviderManual.

These codes may require prior authorization by the Medicaid MCOs for the Managed Care members. Please contact the MCOs for their prior authorization policy for these codes. Please refer to the Rehabilitation Provider Manual, Appendix D (Service Authorization), for updated and new information.

Medicaid Expansion Eligibility Verification

Medicaid coverage for the new adult group begins January 1, 2019. Providers may use the Virginia Medicaid Web Portal and the Medicall audio response systems to verify Medicaid eligibility and managed care enrollment, including for the new adult group. In the Virginia Medicaid Web Portal, individuals eligible in the Medicaid expansion covered group will be shown as “MEDICAID EXP.” If the individual is enrolled in managed care, the “MEDICAID EXP” segment will be shown as well as the “MED4” (Medallion 4.0) or “CCCP” (CCC Plus) managed care enrollment segment. Additional Medicaid expansion resources for providers are available on the DMAS Medicaid Expansion webpage at: http://www.dmas.virginia.gov/#/medex.

See link for more details.

If trouble with link, use Virginia Medicaid Home link, go to Provider Resources tab, then to bottom of the drop down list to Provider Manual Updates/Revisions.

 

United States Surgeon General Vice Admiral Jerome Adams, MD, MPH spoke on the opioid crisis at CSM’s Component Leadership Meeting. Please see here to learn more.

 

 

 

Download Fee Disclosure_111518.pdf

 

Download PT follow-up email_Stacy editsch 1120.pdf

 

Download SE18016-Prescribers guide to Part D Opioid Policies (2019).pdf

 

                Under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 19731, Title III of the American with Disabilities Act (ADA)2 , and the health care professional's obligations for service provision to people with Limited English Proficiency (LEP) and under court decisions that have extended protections afforded under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 19643, it is mandated by law that an auxiliary aide (e.g. Interpreter) or service is available and provided to patients with impairments (e.g. vision, speech and hearing deficits).  According to the ADA, if a facility faces an undue burden, one that includes financial and operational hardship, they are not required to provide an interpreter.  Unfortunately, an undue burden is not objectively defined and is subjected to regulatory and legal proceedings.   

                A qualified interpreter is one who can effectively, accurately, and impartially, both receptively and expressively convey to the patient the words of the practitioner. This can be a family member, health care professional or outsources service if they are competent.  When using an interpreter, remember to include defensible documentation when services are provided.  Defensible documentation includes but is not limited to:  the type of service provided, the delivery method, the name and qualification of the interpreter and the patient’s understanding. Documentation is often used as evidence during litigation so accurate and thorough documentation is vital.  

Reference:

  1. 1. 29 USC section 794; 45 CFR sections 84.1-84.61.
  2. 42 USC 12181.
  3. 28 CFR 36.303.
 

As of January 2015 all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the US Virgin Islands have some form of direct access with provisions to physical therapist services. Please refer to Virginia specific laws. 

Who can complete a screen or evaluation under the Virginia direct access law?

A physical therapist who has completed a doctor of physical therapy program approved by the Commission on Accreditation of Physical Therapy Education or who has obtained a certificate of authorization  to § 54.1-3482.1 2( according to 18VAC112-20-81, Requirements for Direct Access Certification.  The minimum education, training, and experience requirements for certification shall include evidence that the applicant has successfully completed (i) a transitional program in physical therapy as recognized by the Board or (ii) at least three years of active practice with evidence of continuing education relating to carrying out direct access duties under § 54.1-3482)

How do I obtain my certificate for Direct Access?

Take from 18VAC112-20-81. Requirements for Direct Access Certification.

In addition to the evidence of qualification for certification required, an applicant seeking direct access certification shall submit to the board:

 1. A completed application as provided by the board;

 2. Any additional documentation may be required by the board to determine eligibility of the applicant; and

 3. The application fee as specified in 18VAC112-20-27.4

Can I complete a community Screen without a referral?

Yes, under specific parameters.  

"The regulations shall include but not be limited to provisions for (i) the promotion of patient safety; (ii) an application process for a one-time certification to perform such procedures; and (iii) minimum education, training, and experience requirements for certification to perform such procedures.

Are there any exceptions to providing therapy without a referral (i.e. community screens)?

Yes, a licensed physical therapist may provide, without referral or supervision, physical therapy services to…

(i) a student athlete participating in a school-sponsored athletic activity while such student is at such activity in a public, private, or religious elementary, middle or high school, or public or private institution of higher education when such services are rendered by a licensed physical therapist who is certified as an athletic trainer by the National Athletic Trainers' Association Board of Certification or as a sports certified specialist by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties;

(ii) employees solely for the purpose of evaluation and consultation related to workplace ergonomics;

(iii) special education students who, by virtue of their individualized education plans (IEPs), need physical therapy services to fulfill the provisions of their IEPs;

(iv) the public for the purpose of wellness, fitness, and health screenings;

(v) the public for the purpose of health promotion and education; and

 (vi) the public for the purpose of prevention of impairments, functional limitations, and disabilities.

What if I screened a patient and I notice something medically is wrong?

It is vital to know when to refer to an appropriate provider.  “Upon determining that the patient's medical condition is beyond the scope of practice of a physical therapist, a physical therapist shall immediately refer such patient to an appropriate practitioner” (§ 54.1-3482, Practice of physical therapy; certain experience and referrals required; physical therapist assistants.)

Can a PT complete a Physical Therapy Evaluation and treatment under direct access?

You may evaluate and treat a patient for no more than 30 consecutive days after an initial evaluation without a referral, under the following conditions, 18VAC112-20-81

1.  The patient is not under the care of another provider for what he/she needs physical therapy services for. 

2.  The patient is under the care of another provider at the time of his presentation to the physical therapist for the symptoms giving rise to the presentation for physical therapy services and

                a. the patient identifies a provider

                b. the patient gives written consent to release medical record to the provider

                c. the physical therapist notifies the practitioner identified by the patient no later than 14 days after treatment commences and provides the practitioner with a copy of the initial evaluation along with a copy of the patient history obtained by the physical therapist

3.  Within 30 calendar days, if the PT continues to treat the patient, a referral in needed.

Things to consider: 

There may be regulations that are insurance driven.  For reimbursement please check with specific insurers on the requirement of a doctor’s prescription.

References:

  1. Statutory Authority §§ 54.1-2400 and 54.1-3482.1 of the Code of Virginia.
  2.  § 54.1-348 Practice of physical therapy; certain experience and referrals required; physical therapist assistants
  3. 18VAC112-20-81. Requirements for Direct Access Certification.
  4. 18VAC112-20-27. Fees

Historical Notes Derived from Virginia Register Volume 25, Issue 18, eff. June 10, 2009; amended, Virginia Register Volume 32, Issue 3, eff. November 4, 2015.

 

You can find information regarding Direct Access here. 

 
 

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

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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