• 3 Newsworthy Notes about the HITECH Act in 2015 Image

    articleMay 27, 2015 | 6 min. read

    3 Newsworthy Notes about the HITECH Act in 2015

    The HITECH Act ignited a fervor in the healthcare industry in the early 2010s. Part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009, the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (a.k.a. the HITECH Act) incentivizes the adoption and meaningful use of electronic health record (EHR) systems—and penalizes those who fail to do either. According to CMS , eligible providers could receive incentives up to $44,000 through Medicare and up to $63,750 through …

  • To ACO or Not to ACO: The Efficacy Question Image

    articleMay 20, 2015 | 4 min. read

    To ACO or Not to ACO: The Efficacy Question

    Yesterday, I told you about accountable care organizations (ACO) and how they might affect your physical therapy practice . Just one of several alternative payment models , the ACO approach seems to foster better and more expedient care, lower costs, and greater emphasis on physical therapists’ role as care coordinators. But CMS has experienced high dropout rates with its Pioneer program, and Medicare has already gone through three iterations of its ACO model, including the recent release …

  • What PTs Need to Know About ACOs Image

    articleMay 19, 2015 | 5 min. read

    What PTs Need to Know About ACOs

    As a physical therapist, you’re likely well-versed in the acronyms that drive your documentation practices: HIPAA , CPT , CMS , PQRS , FLR , and FML (just kidding). But there’s one more to watch for: ACO. By now, you’ve probably heard this one being bandied about in discussions about healthcare reform and alternative payment models, but you might not be super familiar with what it means. So, here you go: In response to the Affordable Care …

  • The Pay-for-Performance Puzzle: 3 Ways PTs Can Get a Piece Image

    webinarMay 1, 2015

    The Pay-for-Performance Puzzle: 3 Ways PTs Can Get a Piece

    There are a lot of moving parts when it comes to payment reform: better access, lower cost, and improved accountability. And when you put ’em all together, you have a model that rewards quality over quantity, which is a great thing for PTs—if they know how to see the big picture and prepare accordingly. In this webinar, hosts Heidi Jannenga and Charlotte Bohnett will assemble the pay-for-performance puzzle and detail three things PTs can do to get …

  • Becoming an OT Advocate: How to Shape Policy While Juggling a Busy Caseload Image

    articleApr 30, 2015 | 7 min. read

    Becoming an OT Advocate: How to Shape Policy While Juggling a Busy Caseload

    The signing of Hawaii’s occupational therapy licensure law marked the end of a 50-year crusade to introduce state-level OT regulation in all 50 states. Fifty years! I admire all of the OT leaders who had the tenacity to see this aspirational—and incredibly lengthy—project through. The road to universal OT licensure—and the impact that fight has had on our profession—got me thinking about the role of advocacy in OT. Since the onset of healthcare reform in the early …

  • This Week in PT News, April 24 Image

    articleApr 24, 2015 | 2 min. read

    This Week in PT News, April 24

    Texas Bill Could Move PTs Closer to Total Direct Access A new bill in Texas could eliminate the need for a patient to obtain a doctor’s referral prior to receiving physical therapy services. House Bill 1263—which just passed the public health committee this week—gives physical therapists the green light to provide treatment for 45 days (or 20 visits) without a physician’s diagnosis. If enacted, this law would be great news for PTs in Texas. However, many professional …

  • Senate Repeals SGR in Landslide Vote Image

    articleApr 15, 2015 | 1 min. read

    Senate Repeals SGR in Landslide Vote

    Well, folks, the fix is in—the fix for the sustainable growth rate (SGR), that is. In a 92 to 8 vote, the Senate approved the SGR repeal bill, called HR2. In addition to an SGR repeal, the bill also officially extends the therapy cap exceptions process until December 31, 2017. This result is better than no therapy cap exceptions process at all; however, it’s disappointing to know that we came so close to achieving a full repeal …

  • Brace Yourself: Decreased Payments Might be Coming Image

    articleApr 14, 2015 | 3 min. read

    Brace Yourself: Decreased Payments Might be Coming

    As we warned at the end of last month , the times they are a-changin’. You’re likely well aware of the legislation that could do away with the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR)—and extend the therapy cap for another two years. We had hoped to have better news for you at this point, but we’re still hanging tight while the Senate sings their own off-key version of Wilson Phillips’ “Hold On.” It’s April 14, 2015. That means the …

  • 4 Ways the Affordable Care Act Will Transform Occupational Therapy—for the Better Image

    articleApr 13, 2015 | 6 min. read

    4 Ways the Affordable Care Act Will Transform Occupational Therapy—for the Better

    Today’s blog post comes from Veda Collmer, OTR, WebPT’s in-house counsel and compliance officer. Veda is a licensed occupational therapist and attorney—quite the combo! The theme of Occupational Therapy Month—“Transforming lives, building independence”—has inspired me to write about the transformation of occupational therapy itself. In the years following the 2010 passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), I’ve been studying up on how the new law will change the face of health care in …

  • Senate Recesses with No Decision on SGR Bill Image

    articleMar 31, 2015 | 3 min. read

    Senate Recesses with No Decision on SGR Bill

    Let the trepidation commence. The Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula—which Medicare uses to calculate reimbursements—and the therapy cap are both officially in limbo. On March 26, the House of Representatives passed legislation that would repeal SGR and extend the therapy cap exceptions process for another two years. (As an aside, the bill did not include an ICD-10 delay, so that transition is continuing as scheduled.) Enactment of that bill wouldn’t be the optimal outcome for rehab therapists, …

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