TMNews #31: March 26th, 2018: APTA’s New Mission, State Legislation Updates, CMS announces OASIS-D, Bill Boissonnault on ELP & #PTFam

It’s Monday, March 26th, and here is the PT news from the week. The APTA defines its new mission moving forward, CMS outlines OASIS-D changes and their brand new Medicare ID cards, West Virginia sends a bill to the governor to reduce opioid use, and the Lancet releases a series of articles criticizing the current treatment of Low Back Pain and extolling the virtues of non-pharmacologic therapy.


Finally, another interview from CSM as correspondent Ryan Pawloski sat down with APTA Executive Vice President of Professional Affairs Bill Boissonnault to discuss the Education Leadership Partnership and the importance of finding your niche in Physical Therapy. Let’s get right to it!

Check out our full interview with Dr. Boissonnault here on Talus Media Talks.


APTA Defines New Mission Statement

First, a new mission from the APTA. After being given the job by the House of Delegates, The APTA board of directors has put forth a new mission statement for the Association, that reads “Building a community that advances the profession of physical therapy to improve the health of society”. This mission, which closely integrates with the mission for the entire profession of “Transforming society by optimizing movement to improve the human experience.” APTA President Sharon Dunn went on to say that in many ways, the Association is already living out its mission: “Our emphasis on being better together, our recommitment to diversity and inclusiveness, and our energized and connected members pointed the way toward this new mission statement.” she said.


CMS Makes changes to OASIS and to ID Cards

Several news items relate to CMS this week, and we’ll start with changes to the Outcome and Assessment Information Set (otherwise known as OASIS). The latest changes were approved by the Office of Management & Budget in 2016 for 2017; CMS seeks to have these changes implemented for January 2019. Termed “OASIS-D”, the changes include accommodating data element removal to reduce burden and improving formatting. The comment period is open until May 11, 2018.


In other CMS news, the agency will begin the roll-out of new Medicare ID cards in April of 2018. These new cards, which will no longer have the individual’s Social Security Number printed on them, are designed to reduce the risk of identity theft if the card is lost or stolen. Instead of their SSN, the card will contain a randomly-generated 11-digit “Medicare number” that will verify eligibility. Both cards should work until the end of 2019, and the roll-out will be finished in April of next year.


State Legislative Updates

West Virginia is making big strides in improving access to PT. They recently sent a bill to the governor for signature, the “Opioid Reduction Act”, which requires physicians refer patients to a non-pharmacological pain management provider (including PT) PRIOR to prescribing an opioid. It also requires insurers in the state to cover 20 visits of physical therapy as well as pay for visits that are attended prior to a physician’s visit, as long as the medical need is established. The opioid crisis has hit West Virginia harder than any other state in the country, having the highest death rate from opioid overdose for at least 3 years in a row.

In other state news, a few updates on bills we’ve previously reported on. Idaho’s governor, Butch Otter, signed House Bill 505 into law last week, which codifies Dry Needling into Idaho’s PT practice act.

Finally, HB1155 in Colorado, which renews their PT Practice Act, advanced out of the house and is on its way to the Senate as of last week. In addition to renewing the practice act, the bill adds language enabling the establishment of a diagnosis by Physical Therapists, as well as adding Dry Needling to the practice act. We’ll continue to keep you updated as this bill progresses.


Lancet releases studies on LBP

Finally a bit of research news. The Lancet recently released a series of 3 articles on Low Back Pain, describing both how dramatic a cause of disability it can be, and how the treatments often applied to it doesn’t match up with evidence-based guidelines. One of the papers, “Prevention and Treatment of Low Back Pain: Evidence, Challenges, and promising directions” discusses how even though the evidence points to the importance of exercise and other non-pharmacologic interventions like Physical Therapy; opioids, surgery, and excess imaging is still far too often utilized.


Talus Media News is a subsidiary of Talus Media: PT Views & PT News. You can find all interviews mentioned in this newscast on our sister channel, Talus Media Talks. Check us out on Twitter & Facebook @TalusMedia.