The Monday Memo: 3/31/2014

The Monday Memo

March 31, 2014                                                                                       PITT DPT STUDENTS

The end of the Medicare Therapy Cap?

Today is the end of the extension of the current Medicare Therapy Cap and exceptions process.  January 1, 2014 marked the start of the extension established to allow time to make adjustments to the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula and a permanent solution to the Medicare Therapy Cap.  Efforts have continued to gain and strengthen support for the Medicare Access to Rehabilitation Services Act introduced February 14, 2013 that, if passed, would fully repeal the Medicare Therapy Cap.  Since the first of the year, proposals have been introduced to reform the SGR, but not all of those proposals have mentioned the therapy cap.

On March 14, 2014 the House passed the SGR Repeal and Medicare Provider Payment Modernization Act of 2014 within which is no inclusion of Medicare extender policies or a repeal of the therapy cap.  Last week the Medicare SGR Repeal and Beneficiary Access Improvement Act of 2014 was introduced that contains the same SGR policy as the act passed by the House but also includes Medicare extenders and provisions for a therapy cap repeal and is to be voted on early this week.  Most recently, on March 27, 2014 the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014 was passed by the House that would extend the therapy cap exceptions process for 12 months.

While awareness has been raised about the need for a repeal of the Medicare Therapy Cap and solutions to the issue have been proposed, the answer to whether or not Medicare beneficiaries will face limited coverage for outpatient physical therapy services is unclear.  What is clear is the huge impact a hard financial cap will have on the Medicare beneficiaries who will not be able to continue necessary outpatient physical therapy because of an inability to pay for services.  Sources cited in an article by Fritz et. al in 2011 reported 3.9 million individuals, or 8.5% of those with Medicare insurance, received outpatient physical therapy in 2006, and about 15% of the population who received outpatient physical therapy services were Medicare beneficiaries.  The number of Medicare beneficiaries utilizing outpatient physical therapy has likely risen from that reported in 2006 and will likely continue to rise as the population ages.  We can hope for a permanent solution in the form of a full repeal of the Medicare Therapy Cap; but, irrespective of the final outcome of this extension, it is our responsibility to continue to advocate for this population that is in need of our services.

apta.org

Fritz, JM., Hunter, SJ., Tracy, DM., Brennan, GP. Utilization and clinical outcomes of outpatient physical therapy for medicare beneficiaries with musculoskeletal conditions. Phys Ther. 2011; 91 (3): 330-345. doi: 10.2522/ptj.20090290

~Natalie Novak

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)
March 31, 2014 |

The Monday Memo: 3/24/2014

The Monday Memo

March 24, 2014                                                                                       PITT DPT STUDENTS

Walk to Cure Arthritis

More than 50 million American adults are currently diagnosed with arthritis and it is estimated by 2030 that number will increase to 67 million. But arthritis is not just a disease of adults, as it also affects 300,000 children under the age of 18. As future physical therapist and health care providers there is no doubt you will treat a patient with this condition in the future, if you do not already know someone personally. That is why the Pitt DPT class of 2016 is getting together this year to participate in the Walk to Cure Arthritis to help raise funds and awareness to fight the nation’s leading cause of disability. Even with a hectic semester of classes and clinical rotations, we have already begun fundraising to meet our goal of $4,000. Through selling wristbands, a March Madness 50/50 bracket and personal fundraising efforts we have raised $445, so we have a long way to go! But there are more events in the works to continue to work towards our goal (be on the look-out for more events to raise money on this webpage, or our facebook page!).

We would also be more than happy to have you join our team this year! Anyone who attended last year can tell you how fun the walk was, with many activities for kids and even dogs. The walk is on Saturday, May 31st starting at 8am in South Side works on 26th Street in Pittsburgh. Be sure to join our facebook page (the link above) and our team page to start fundraising. If you cannot make the walk, but would still like to make a donation, you can do so through our team page in the general team donation link.

The US spends $128 billion per year in medical care and indirect expenses (lost wages and productivity) from arthritis and related conditions. Our goal in conjunction with the arthritis foundation is to create a world free of arthritis pain. And we are thankful for any support you provide can help us reach that goal!

~Lauren Curatolo

 

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)
March 24, 2014 |

The Monday Memo: 3/17/2014

The Monday Memo

March 17, 2014                                                                                       PITT DPT STUDENTS

This week’s inspiring video comes from Rico Roman, a Paralympic athlete and member of the United States Sled Hockey team.

As a staff sergeant in the United States Military, Roman was injured during deployment, and opted for an amputation of his left leg following a tortuous path of infections and complications.  The video outlines Roman’s path to Olympic sled hockey, preempted by the task of learning to walk and function with a below-knee amputation.

The video carries a resounding tone of perseverance and resilience.  An undoubtedly difficult path to health, wellness and eventually Olympic gold began with Sgt. Roman’s unbreakable spirit.  Asked to do more for his country, he answered the call, and met a new and unspeakable challenge with confidence and determination

Find the video below.

~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)
March 17, 2014 |

The Monday Memo: 3/10/2014

The Monday Memo

March 10, 2014                                                                                       PITT DPT STUDENTS

If you didn’t get your fill of inspiring stories of courage, perseverance and determination from the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, you’re in luck! The Paralympics are currently taking place in Sochi, and continue until March 16th.  In keeping with the memo theme of inspiring commercials, P&G recently came out with an addition to their “Thank You Mom” campaign that focused in on paralympic athletes.  The ad spot is profoundly inspiring, spanning about 60 seconds but focusing a lens in on the struggle and the stigma of growing up with a disability.  Check out the commercial below.

No endorsements from P&G were accepted during the writing of this memo.

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=7RR-r2n5DLw

~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)
March 10, 2014 |

The Monday Memo: 3/3/2014

The Monday Memo

March 3, 2014                                                                                       PITT DPT STUDENTS

First Year SPTs Giving Back

Despite spending long days in the classroom and clinic, not to mention countless hours studying, many first year DPT students have recently made time to volunteer with some truly fantastic local organizations.

Ari Silbermann and Becca Smith have been spending their Tuesday evenings with TOP Soccer, a community-based soccer program for children, adolescents, and teenagers with various special needs. Run entirely by volunteers, TOP Soccer is a nonprofit which operates under the PA West Soccer Association. Becca explains one of her favorite aspects of volunteering here: “It’s fantastic to watch all of these kids with different disabilities come together and just truly be happy and have a great time. I’m amazed at how many of the players come out of their shells each week.”

Another local organization I have been involved with is Yes, You Can Dance, which offers dance classes to senior citizens, individuals with special needs, teens, and veterans. Megan Zartman, Sarah Castillo, and I are looking forward to beginning the next Level 1 Special Needs Ballroom Class at Steel City Ballroom in the upcoming weeks. Megan notes, “It’s so great to be silly for an hour of my week and spend time with good people.”

As recently discussed in a Monday Memo by our very own Jenna Scanlan, our SPTs have also been spending their Saturdays with TRAS adaptive skiing in Hidden Valley. Steve Rayner and Becca Smith have joined Jenna helping individuals with disabilities learn to ski with adaptive equipment, another wonderful instance of my classmates encouraging and helping others to get active and stay active each week. Steve adds, “I absolutely love skiing, so any day that I can be on the slopes is a good day. But getting to meet the folks at TRAS and share with them the thrill of racing downhill in fresh mountain air makes the experience 10x better. Sharing their joy is what keeps me coming back for more.”

Although finding extra time in our hectic lives can seem impossible at times, I encourage everyone to get involved in our community in any way possible. Please contact me at alk94@pitt.edu if you have any questions about the above opportunities.

 

“If you wait until you can do everything for everybody, instead of something for somebody, you’ll end up not doing anything for anybody.” -Malcom Bane

 

~Alex Kemble 

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)
March 3, 2014 |