On July 19, 2013, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published the 2014 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal Register. According to this summary, most of the policies were open for comment until September 6, 2013 and, pending final decisions (which hopefully will occur this month), will take effect on January 1, 2014.
Here at the WebPT blog, we talk a lot about rehab therapists. But while we focus mainly on physical therapists, occupational therapists, and speech language pathologists, the success of individual clinics—and the the rehab therapy profession as a whole—isn’t due solely to the efforts of therapists.
This month, we here at WebPT are covering all things innovative in rehab therapy. Today, we’ve compiled four seriously cool developments in speech-language pathology. Whether you’re an SLP, OT, or PT, you’re going to love these, so keep on reading.
Healthcare innovation isn’t just about new techniques and technologies. As the US healthcare landscape continues to evolve—and, hopefully, improve—-one of the most important areas of focus is payment models. Let’s face it: medical costs aren’t getting any lower, and the system for reimbursement could definitely use a bit (okay, a lot) of TLC. Here are three innovative payment models that have garnered substantial support among various leaders in the healthcare industry:
Accountable care organizations (ACOs)
What are they?
According to this report, ACOs—which were introduced as part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA)—are networks of healthcare providers that accept Medicare patients. You can think of an ACO as a provider-founded healthcare alliance.
In addition to receiving the traditional fee-for-service reimbursement from Medicare, ACOs are eligible to receive financial rewards if they minimize healthcare spending while simultaneously maintaining or improving quality of care. The basic idea is that by eliminating the fragmented, hodge-podge organization of providers typical of today’s medical landscape, care will become more efficient and less costly.
Who can participate?
Only certain types of providers—such as hospitals and physicians—are allowed to form, or “sponsor,” an ACO. While PTs, OTs, and SLPs can’t create ACOs, they can join them as long as they accept Medicare patients.
When you decided to go into this profession, you probably didn’t do so with dreams of one day touring Robin Leach around your mega-yacht. For you, becoming a speech-language pathologist wasn’t about the money—it was about helping people overcome communication challenges, gain self-confidence, and improve the quality of their lives.
Once signed by the governor, Missouri Senate Bill 159 will give patients greater access to physical therapy at a lower cost. The Missouri APTA Chapter has been working on pushing this bill through for two years. Great job! Learn more here. May is Better Hearing and Speech Month. Take a few minutes to educate yourself about different communication disorders and the services speech-language pathologists and audiologists provide. Here’s some information on school-based SLPs. You can also follow the #BHSM hashtag on Twitter for more.
This month is Better Hearing and Speech Month, and with in mind, we thought we’d talk about WebPT and SLP. We believe in empowering the entire rehab community to achieve greatness in therapy practice. That’s why we created WebPT, an intuitive, web-based EMR solution exclusively for rehab therapists that offers comprehensive documentation, scheduling, practice management, and billing services.
May is finally here, and that makes all of us here at WebPT super stoked. Why? Well, the sun is shining, the flowers are blooming, the birds are singing, and of course, it’s Better Hearing and Speech Month! The tradition of Better Hearing and Speech Month began more than 75 years ago as a way to shed light on the many forms of communication disorders and impairments affecting human hearing, speech, language, and voice. The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders estimates that approximately 43 million people in the United States live with some kind of speech, voice, language, or hearing impairment.
Spend just a few minutes on Pinterest and you’ll discover a plethora of fun and out-of-the-box PT, OT, and SLP activities—especially for kids. Finding environmentally-friendly (and more grown-up) therapeutic exercises might prove a bit more challenging. With that in mind, here are three environmentally-friendly activities for all ages:
Today’s blog post comes from Jeremy Legaspi, a speech language pathologist at UPWARD in Phoenix, Arizona. Follow Jeremy on Twitter @AZspeechguy or visit azspeechguy.wordpress.com.
As a pediatric SLP, I’m always looking for new ways to interact with my patients and incorporate fun into my treatment plans. The iPad is awesome because I can use it for documentation and office purposes as well as for treatment. As a big iPad fan, I have about 500 apps. Here are the top five applications I use most frequently with my pediatric patients.
1.) Custom Boards
One of About.com’s “Best App for Special Needs of 2012,” Custom Boards Premium is an evidence-based app that allows you to use or create activity boards for children needing symbols to communicate and learn. Boasting over 11,000 built-in symbols from the Smarty Symbols library as well as the ability to add your own photos, Custom Boards allows you to select from a pool of templates in six areas: Devices & Switches, Grids & Boards, Schedules, Activities, Signs, and Labels & Worksheets.
In honor of Better Speech and Hearing Month, we’ve launched our new Speech Language Pathology Documentation Module developed with some seriously stellar input from our Speech-Language Pathologist Members. (Thanks, SLPs!) This new module is available now for all Members. And it’s free.