The Monday Memo: 2/24/2014

The Monday Memo

February 24, 2014                                                                                       PITT DPT STUDENTS

2014 Olympics

Throughout the television programming for the 2014 Winter Olympics, there was a series of commercials entitled “Trail Back” by Liberty Mutual Insurance.  The advertisements briefly chronicled a number of Olympic heartbreaks; Dan Jansen in speed skating, Mary Lou Retton in gymnastics, and the United States Men’s Ice Hockey team.  A brief flash of each athlete’s setback – an injury, a fall, a loss – was marked by a phrase from the narrator:

“The comeback trail: it’s easy to get lost here”.

Then the viewer saw their return to glory; each adversity now turned into a triumph.  The narrator spoke again:

“With every setback, there’s a chance to come back, and rise.”

In physical therapy, we find ourselves as guides on the comeback trail.  The lonely road back from a patient’s misfortune is wrought with more and more adversities.  Our job on the comeback trail is to push, to inspire, to motivate, and to give everything we can to help our patients succeed.

With every twist and turn of the comeback trail, we are there to keep a patient strong.  It is our duty to push them towards a strong and triumphant comeback.

Disclaimer: This should not serve as a plug for Liberty Mutual Insurance – but they did make one awesome commercial.

~Jeremy Harris

 

Check the Calendar for Class Schedules and Events

Social Media Updates
  • #DPTstudent –  WEDNESDAYS , 9-10pm EST!   Check out #DPTstudent page for details!
  • Unite Physical Therapy Students – If you haven’t yet, please check out the “Doctor of Physical Therapy Students” Facebook page. More than 9,500 students have already joined!
  • Our own page! Pitt Physical Therapy, thanks to the Social Media Team, has create an official PittPT Facebook page!
  • #SolvePT (meets on Tuesdays Twitter from 9-10pm EST)
February 24, 2014 |

The Monday Memo: 2/17/14

The Monday Memo

February 17, 2014                                                                                       PITT DPT STUDENTS

Preview Pitt Reflection

This past weekend, we had the pleasure of hosting newly accepted students for Preview Pitt Day.  The dean of our program addressed the students to start off the day, and the applicants sat in on sample lectures for musculoskeletal examination and treatment, gross anatomy, evidence based practice, and neuroscience.  They were given the chance to meet with a student panel and gain an additional perspective.

Levels of sheer excitement abounded.  Once the nervousness subsided, each student displayed an unparalleled amount of enthusiasm and eagerness to soak up all the knowledge they could about the program.  They were excited for the journey, and also knew where the journey would ultimately take them.  They were passionate about becoming graduate students, but also becoming future Doctors of Physical Therapy.

How easy it is, as current graduate students, to get caught up in our studies.   How easy it is to lose track of where we stand, and what our goals are.  How easy it is to get caught up in grades.  How guilty are we of this.  Our journey leads us to the goal.  We can continue to embrace the journey by remembering the end goal, just as so many of these students did.

~Jeremy Harris

 

Check the Calendar for Class Schedules and Events

Social Media Updates
  • #DPTstudent –  WEDNESDAYS , 9-10pm EST!   Check out #DPTstudent page for details!
  • Unite Physical Therapy Students – If you haven’t yet, please check out the “Doctor of Physical Therapy Students” Facebook page. More than 9,500 students have already joined!
  • Our own page! Pitt Physical Therapy, thanks to the Social Media Team, has create an official PittPT Facebook page!
  • #SolvePT (meets on Tuesdays Twitter from 9-10pm EST)
February 17, 2014 |

Advocacy Update: 2/12/2014

Advocacy: Stop the Medicare Therapy Cap

How would you feel if your ability as a physical therapist to produce the best possible outcome for a patient was hindered by his or her limited Medicare coverage?  Would you feel satisfied discharging a patient because he or she has exhausted the annual Medicare coverage for physical therapy services and cannot afford to pay out-of-pocket, knowing that he or she has the potential to recover and progress further with your services?  Without a repeal of the Medicare therapy cap, Medicare beneficiaries and their physical therapists will be faced with these dilemmas.

As part of the Balanced Budget Act passed in 1997, the SGR (Sustainable Growth Rate) formula and Medicare therapy cap were created, placing Medicare beneficiaries on an annual financial limit for physical therapy and speech-language pathology services combined, with a separate limit for occupational services, for outpatient settings.  Currently, a $1920 annual cap is placed on Medicare beneficiaries to be split between physical therapy and speech therapy services with an automatic exceptions process that can provide for additional coverage beyond the $1920 limit if the need for continued skilled services is documented.  A medical review is required once costs have reached $3700 to have coverage continue.  The cap on services is a strict annual financial limit on services and is not renewed for a new diagnosis.

On January 1, 2014, this exceptions process was extended until March 31, 2014 under the SGR Reform Act of 2013, giving time to Congress to develop a permanent solution to the therapy cap.  This past week new legislation was introduced to Congress, but the proposed SGR Repeal and Medicare Provider Payment Modernization Act (H.R. 4015) does not address extensions to or a permanent repeal of the Medicare therapy cap, which could mean a firm cap without the possibility of an extension.  We have to advocate for our patients during this critical time by lobbying for inclusion of a repeal of the therapy cap on outpatient rehabilitation services in the final legislation passed.

Sign into the Legislative Action Center if an APTA member at http://www.apta.org/TakeAction/ or through the new PTaction app to email members of Congress today to express the need for a full repeal of the therapy cap and to ask for their support of the Medicare Access to Rehabilitation Services Act that would repeal the cap if passed.  If a non-APTA member, access the Patient Action Center to take action.

Information about the Medicare therapy cap gathered from apta.org.

~Natalie Novak

February 12, 2014 |

CSM Friday Memo: 2/7/2014

The Friday Memo – CSM Edition

February 7, 2014                                                                                       PITT DPT STUDENTS

Pitt PT CSM Day 5 – Thats a Wrap!

As CSM 2014 draws to a close, I find myself thinking about all that I have learned throughout the week. Yes, we all know Vegas can teach someone the basics of gambling, but CSM has taught me more than just knowledge in orthopedics, acute care, etc. It has taught me how big of a support system we have at the University of Pittsburgh, the different areas of interest of not only my classmates and faculty but of classmates and faculty around the country, and, most importantly, the impact of networking.

I am sure many of us know that the “twitter-verse” has allowed for clinicians to network across the country, but what many may not know is the pride that us “tweeps” have in the relationships we have created on a social media site. I am sure there are plenty of non-users out there thinking, “yeah right, you probably have made zero REAL LIFE connections on twitter.” My best response to them would be to go ahead and take a look at the hashtag #CSMtwitterpanel and try tell me that we are not a force to be reckoned with. Not only do we have discussions relevant to the profession as whole, some of which are respectful disagreements, but we also support each other in not only our opinions but our career and goals as well. For example, I have had the exceptional opportunity to guest blog for @PranaPT (Ann Wendel) about the basics to marketing oneself. As a physical therapy student, who could say that they connected with a licensed PT in the state of Virginia with the same ideals and interests PLUS had the opportunity to share those ideas with her patients/followers.  Not many, would be the answer.

However, promoting twitter is not the main purpose of this blog post; the point is to highlight the concept that Pitt has allowed me to not only grow into a respectful clinician, but has supported me in this “online networking.” Without the continuous support from Pitt’s faculty, I would not be where I am today in my networking skills and connections around the country.

Pitt truly has created a legacy that continues to grow daily and I cannot wait to see this legacy grow further in the future.

~Melissa Dreger, University of Pittsburgh, Class of 2015

 

Check the Calendar for Class Schedules and Events

Social Media Updates
  • #DPTstudent –  WEDNESDAYS , 9-10pm EST!   Check out #DPTstudent page for details!
  • Unite Physical Therapy Students – If you haven’t yet, please check out the “Doctor of Physical Therapy Students” Facebook page. More than 9,500 students have already joined!
  • Our own page! Pitt Physical Therapy, thanks to the Social Media Team, has create an official PittPT Facebook page!
  • #SolvePT (meets on Tuesdays Twitter from 9-10pm EST)
February 7, 2014 |

CSM Thursday Memo: 2/6/2014

The Thursday Memo – CSM Edition

February 6, 2014                                                                                       PITT DPT STUDENTS

Pitt PT CSM Day 4!

To borrow a cliché, I would say that the phrase “like a kid in a candy store” applies very accurately to my first experience at CSM.

As a CSM first-timer, I have been mystified, intrigued and encouraged by every lecture, poster-session, and exhibit hall presenter that I have come across.  Each day holds almost endless opportunities to learn a new treatment technique, see a brand new modality, and add knowledge on a new topic.

Never, however, have I felt like I have so much yet to learn.  Each lecture that I have attended has been presented by content experts in their respective fields, some of which who have literally written the book on their area of expertise.  The insightful and inventive questions that arise from the audience members are just as novel and fascinating; each experienced clinician often has a different spin on the presenter’s information, and have brought fascinating new perspectives to the lectures.

Each of these experiences does not come without an intense sense of motivation and inspiration on my part.  Seeing content experts and veteran clinicians alike acts like a fuel to continue learning, listening and appreciating.

One overarching theme that I have noticed from speakers is how much they each have to learn.  “The research is lacking,” they will commonly say, “there is much more for us to do” before the area of discussion is fully understood.  This statement, heard in almost every session I have seen, cements the concept of life-long learning as a physical therapist.  No matter how extensive your career, how many years you have logged in the clinic or how much research you have studied, there is still more to understand and to better your clinical skill.  I can gather that even at CSM 2044, that wide-eyed wonder to learn and better my knowledge base will still be present; luckily, I could start at CSM 2014.

~Jeremy Harris

 

Check the Calendar for Class Schedules and Events

Social Media Updates
  • #DPTstudent –  WEDNESDAYS , 9-10pm EST!   Check out #DPTstudent page for details!
  • Unite Physical Therapy Students – If you haven’t yet, please check out the “Doctor of Physical Therapy Students” Facebook page. More than 9,500 students have already joined!
  • Our own page! Pitt Physical Therapy, thanks to the Social Media Team, has create an official PittPT Facebook page!
  • #SolvePT (meets on Tuesdays Twitter from 9-10pm EST)
February 6, 2014 |