Jul. 24, 2014

SC healthcare subsidies could be deeply affected by new court battle
A pair of dueling court rulings released hours of one another plainly show the long, protracted battle over the nations still-infant healthcare law is long from over. A three-judge panel recently ruled that the 36 states that opted to not create state-run health insurance exchanges under the federal healthcare act will not be able to give subsidies to lower and middle-class citizens who signed up for health insurance.More

4th bacterial infection death reported at South Carolina hospital
A patient who contracted a rare bacterial infection during surgery at a South Carolina hospital recently died, bringing the total deaths to four since the outbreak was first suspected in May, a hospital spokeswoman said. The four dead are among 15 patients infected by Mycobacterium abscessus during surgery at Greenville Memorial Hospital, spokeswoman Sandy Dees said. Hospital officials cited tap water as the likely origin of the bacteria.More

Physical therapy mHealth app logs compliance
Digital Journal
A smartphone mHealth app drives patient engagement at home for physical therapy rehab patients, teaches exercises and logs compliance between visits.More

Early returns on health care reform
The New York Times
It will take a while to understand fully how the Affordable Care Act affects the quality of health care and access to doctors in this country. But a new survey offers encouraging reviews from people who signed up for private plans or Medicaid during the first enrollment period from October 2013 through March 2014.More

EMRs shape up physical therapy
Physical therapists find that electronic medical records help improve patient care and save money. Physical therapists are not required to use electronic health records, but a growing number of PT professionals are using software and apps to improve patient care and enhance profit margins.More

Proposed CMS rule would reduce prosthetics, orthotics, other DME reimbursement; APTA posts summary
PT in Motion
A Centers for Medicare and Medicaid proposed rule could reduce reimbursement for durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics and supplies by more than $7 billion from 2016 through 2020, largely through applying payment rates from the DMEPOS competitive bidding program in noncompetitive bidding areas. APTA has published a detailed "highlights" summary of the rule on the DMEPOS webpage, part of a suite of APTA resources on Medicare payment. More

As states regulate provider competition, common threads emerge
HealthLeaders Media
States are taking a number of measures to regulate hospital and provider competition within their borders as healthcare sector consolidation accelerates, a new study has found. The joint report, State Policies on Provider Market Power, from the National Academy of Social Insurance and Catalyst for Payment Reform catalogs state laws that attempt to regulate or encourage competition within healthcare markets in the face of this wave of consolidations.More

Study: Physical therapy lacks benefit in children with supracondylar humeral fracture
A short course of physical therapy did not help return function or elbow motion in children undergoing closed treatment of a supracondylar humeral fracture, according to study results. The study included 61 patients with supracondylar humeral fracture treated with either casting or closed reduction and pinning followed by casting. The patients were randomly assigned to receive either no further treatment or six sessions of a standardized hospital-based physical therapy program.More

Innovative physical therapy models chosen for further APTA support
PT in Motion
Following a rigorous review that included a "Shark Tank"-like workshop and critique in May, APTA has announced the finalists in its Innovation 2.0 initiative. Through the program, APTA will provide funding and in-kind services over a 12-month period to help advance these innovative models of care delivery that highlight the value of physical therapist services.More

Study: Telecare intervention can improve chronic pain
Physical Therapy Products
A new study published in JAMA reveals that a telephone-delivered intervention, which included automated symptom monitoring, produced clinically meaningful improvements in chronic musculoskeletal pain compared to usual care, according to a Newswise news report. Kurt Kroenke, MD, and colleagues randomly assigned 250 patients with chronic musculoskeletal pain to an intervention group or to a standard care group whose members received all pain care as usual from their primary care physician. The intervention group received 12 months of telecare management.More

Study puts spotlight on preventing fall-related injuries
HealthLeaders Media
A five-year study funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute aims to identify "the most effective combination of falls-prevention strategies to fit the needs of different individuals and different healthcare systems."More

Massage for neck pain: Is dosage the key?
By Heidi Dawson
Massage therapy has been used in many forms for centuries to treat musculoskeletal pain. In our current society, neck pain is the second-most common complaint treated by most forms of complementary therapists. However, despite masses of anecdotal evidence, research has failed to demonstrate the efficacy of massage therapy when it comes to treating such conditions. The reason given for this lack of supporting evidence will often depend on who you talk to. So, who is right? Well, a new piece of research could answer the question once and for all.More