Aug. 7, 2014

New telehealth bill includes PTs, could mean big changes for Medicare
PT in Motion
A newly introduced bill aimed at expanding the use of telemedicine in the Medicare system would allow reimbursable telehealth services for physical therapy and permit use of the technology in more populated areas. Called the Medicare Telehealth Parity Act of 2014, the bill would gradually roll out changes over 4 years. The changes would eventually remove current limits on the population areas that qualify for Medicare's telehealth reimbursements, allow for much-expanded remote patient monitoring, and include rural health clinics as approved telehealth care sites.More

SC hospitals, consumers caught in Obamacare tug-of-war
The State
South Carolina hospital executives these days are like football coaches at halftime, making changes based on what the opposition threw at them in the first half while trying to anticipate the different tactics they might face in the second half. They aren't the only ones. Conflicting federal appeals court rulings last month — one said insurance subsidies are unconstitutional in states that don't run their own exchanges; another said the subsidies are permitted — could have even more impact on South Carolinians who bought health insurance policies through the Affordable Care Act. More

$10 a month can help to defend physical therapy in South Carolina
While we have been busy defending the PT practice, SCAPTA has also been actively working on co-pay legislation to begin to limit the amount of co-pays some of our patients have to pay each and every time they come they see a PT. This legislation can have a direct effect on not only the patients we serve, but all practice areas. We need funding to support legislative activities to protect our profession in South Carolina. Make a recurring gift of just $10 and make a difference.More

Ask your PT: Exercise is important after therapy
The Sentinel
In the U.S., hundreds of thousands of individuals undergo joint replacement surgery annually (over 770,000 combined hip/knee). Subsequently, physical therapists routinely answer questions about exercise after joint replacements. As you may expect, physical therapists are in favor of exercise.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

Health insurance rebates coming to consumers in Carolinas
The Associated Press via Asheville Citizen-Times
More than $21 million in health insurance rebates will be coming to consumers in the Carolinas from companies the federal government says spent too many premium dollars on profits and red tape last year. That's an average refund of $92 per family.More

CMS confirms ICD-10 deadline
HealthLeaders Media
Oct. 1, 2015, is the deadline for healthcare providers to implement the twice-delayed ICD-10 code set, federal officials confirm. The one-year delay will allow U.S. healthcare providers to reap the benefits of ICD-10 as soon as possible and is also the least expensive option, HHS stated in the final rule.More

Study: Interval training may benefit men more than women
Physical Therapy Products
New research published in The FASEB Journal reveals that men may benefit from interval training more than women. The results of the study show that men create more new proteins as a result of this exercise than women do, though both groups experienced similar increased in aerobic capacity. Benjamin F. Miller, PhD, author of the study, and a research team analyzed young, healthy and recreationally active males and females who completed sprint interval training on a stationary bike for short periods of time three times a week for three weeks.More

Whole-body vibration may reduce pain associated with fibromyalgia
Whole-body vibration exercise effectively reduced the severity of pain in patients with fibromyalgia, according to study findings. The study enrolled 24 women with fibromyalgia and randomly assigned them to either 8 weeks of twice-weekly, lower-body, progressive-resistance exercise with whole-body vibration or an attention control group. Whole-body vibration involved patients standing, sitting or laying on a vibrating platform to induce alternating muscle contraction and relaxation.More

Study: Steroid injections and physical therapy equal for treating shoulder pain
Reuters via Fox News
Physical therapy and steroid injections work equally well for shoulder pain, according to a new study. Researchers compared the treatments for people with shoulder impingement syndrome, a common type of persistent pain that can be caused by tendonitis, bursitis or other inflammation in the shoulder joint.More

Interest surges in Medicare bundled-payment initiative
Modern Healthcare
Medicare will nearly triple the number of hospitals and medical groups that are candidates to test bundled payments, one of the health reform law's efforts to revamp healthcare financing. The CMS announced it will add roughly 4,100 providers to about 2,400 already exploring the possible use of bundled payments for some or all of four dozen medical conditions and procedures, such as diabetes, joint replacements and pacemaker implants. More