The Awards committee functions to promote members of the section on Geriatrics that have provided extraordinary service to geriatric patients, to students as well as to the Academy. The specific awards extend to outstanding service and/or excellence in: clinical service, clinical education of students, academic preparation of students, volunteers in action, advocacy of older adults and the outstanding Physical Therapist Assistant in Geriatrics.
The Finance committee advises the Board of Directors on matters pertaining to the Academy’s financial needs, growth, and stability based on periodic review of income, expenditure and investments. The two specified functions of the Finance Committee are to present a balanced budget to the Board of Directors and the Membership and to annually review the Investment Policy and recommend changes to the Treasurer. These two functions generally require reviewing the budget during October and a conference call at the end of the month. Additional conference calls may be required if the Finance Committee is required to do additional tasks by the Board of Directors.
The purpose of the Geriatric Specialty Council (GSC) is to develop and maintain the process for certification and re-certification of Geriatric Specialists in Physical Therapy. The three-person committee reports regularly to the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialists. The committee coordinates item writing and test development in conjunction with the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME), the Specialization Academy of Content Experts (SACE), and the Committee of Content Experts (CCE). The committee participates, and at times invites other section members to participate, in standard setting of the examination and key validation of specific items. The GSC reviews all re-certification portfolios, validates that complete information is contained in the Professional Development Portfolios, and makes recommendations to the ABPTS. The committee collaborates with the Academy and ABPTS to increase awareness of the certification by publishing information in GeriNotes, hosting an annual breakfast at Combined Sections Meeting (CSM), and other marketing projects.
GeriNotes is the member magazine for the Academy of Geriatric Physical Therapy (AGPT). It is distributed five times per year: January, May, July, September and November. Some issues have focused topics pertinent to a specific area of geriatric physical therapy. These issues have authors with special knowledge in the focused area. Other issues are general with a variety of articles submitted by Academy members. Academy news and committee reports are also provided in each issue. The Editorial Board of GeriNotes meets annually at the Combined Sections Meeting. Members of the Academy are encouraged to submit articles for publication in GeriNotes. Instructions for authors are published once a year and are available here. The copyright is held by the AGPT.
The Editorial Board of the Journal of Geriatric Physical Therapy consists of an Editor in Chief and 10 to 16 others that the Editor has invited to be board members. All have expertise relevant to geriatric physical therapy but not all are physical therapists. Neither are all members of the American Physical Therapy Association. The Board is responsible for the content of the Journal. This responsibility is carried out primarily by assisting with the peer-review of submitted articles. However, board members contribute also by soliciting and submitting articles and by providing feedback on Journal content and procedures.
The Membership Committee exists to recruit new members and retain current membership. Committee members formulate and implement strategies designed to inform members and prospective members of the benefits of the Academy of Geriatric Physical Therapy. The committee develops and promotes activities designed to demonstrate the advantages of Academy membership. Other duties include assisting with booth activities at the CSM and National Meetings, conducting exiting member surveys, as well as welcoming and encouraging all members to contribute and be involved in Academy activities. Committee member participation is flexible, depending on members time and availability.
This active committee is responsible for finding the best candidates for the elections that are held once a year. The members serve a three-year term and take on more responsibility each year until in the last of the three years the committee member is the chair of the Nominating committee. The committee meets at Combined Sections. The chair represents the committee at the Academy Board meetings, however the committee stays separate from the board to maintain their independence in finding the best candidates. They attend Member Meetings and talk to the membership to encourage leaders to run for office. The job entails phone and e-mail meetings with the other committee members and communication to the membership at large and to specific candidates.
Congratulations to the following candidates who will take office at the Member Meeting at CSM 2018 in New Orleans, LA.
President – Greg Hartley
Vice President – Cathy Ciolek
Director – Jackie Osborne
Nominating Committee – Jill Heitzman
We also congratulate the following SIG officers:
HPWSIG Secretary – Jennifer Sidelinker
HPWSIG Nominating Committee – David Morris
RFSIG Vice Chair – Mindy Renfro
RFSIG Secretary – Jackie Osborne
RFSIG Nominating Committee – Emma Phillips and Andrew Harnish
GHAASIG Vice Chair – Rick Black
GHAASIG Secretary – Manjula Ramachandran
GHAASIG Nominating Committee – Soshi Samejima and Joseph Siu
A big Thank You to all the candidates who participated in this year's election and to the members who voted!
The Reimbursement and Legislation Committee is concerned with monitoring federal legislation as it relates to reimbursement for physical therapy services. The Committee Chair is the Federal Affairs Liaison (FAL) who is appointed by the President of the AGPT.
The Committee Chair is responsible for facilitating the R&L Committee, which consists of volunteer members. Members assist the Chair by staying current on reimbursement issues relative to his/her region or state. Particular issues of interest include: the therapy cap, Medicare direct access, Medicare reform, Medicaid reform, PPS reform, and CPT code development. The committee communicates through email, phone calls, and at APTA conferences.
Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (Innovation Center) announced the launch of a new voluntary bundled payment model called Bundled Payments for Care Improvement Advanced (BPCI Advanced). Under traditional fee-for-service payment, Medicare pays providers for each individual service they perform. Under this bundled payment model, participants can earn additional payment if all expenditures for a beneficiary’s episode of care are under a spending target that factors in quality.
Bundled payments create incentives for providers and practitioners to work together to coordinate care and engage in continuous improvement to keep spending under a target amount. BPCI Advanced Participants may receive payments for performance on 32 different clinical episodes, such as major joint replacement of the lower extremity (inpatient) and percutaneous coronary intervention (inpatient or outpatient). An episode model such as BPCI Advanced supports healthcare providers who invest in practice innovation and care redesign to improve quality and reduce expenditures.
Of note, BPCI Advanced will qualify as an Advanced Alternative Payment Model (Advanced APM) under the Quality Payment Program. “CMS is proud to announce this Administration’s first Advanced APM,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma. “BPCI Advanced builds on the earlier success of bundled payment models and is an important step in the move away from fee-for-service and towards paying for value. Under this model, providers will have an incentive to deliver efficient, high-quality care.”
In BPCI Advanced, participants will be expected to redesign care delivery to keep Medicare expenditures within a defined budget while maintaining or improving performance on specific quality measures. Participant bear financial risk, have payments under the model tied to quality performance, and are required to use Certified Electronic Health Record Technology. By meeting these requirements, the model qualifies as an Advanced APM. The 32 types of clinical episodes in BPCI Advanced add outpatient episodes to the inpatient episodes that were offered in the Innovation Center’s previous bundled payment model (the Bundled Payments for Care Improvement initiative), including percutaneous coronary intervention, cardiac defibrillator, and back and neck except spinal fusion.
The Model Performance Period for BPCI Advanced starts on October 1, 2018 and runs through December 31, 2023. Like all models tested by CMS, there will be a formal, independent evaluation to assess the quality of care and changes in spending under the model.
For more information about the model and its requirements, or to download a Request for Applications document (RFA), the application template, and the necessary attachments, please visit: https://innovation.cms.gov/initiatives/bpci-advanced. Applications must be submitted via the Application Portal, which will close on 11:59 pm EST on March 12, 2018. Applications submitted via email will not be accepted.
The CMS Innovation Center will hold a Q&A Open Forum on Tuesday, January 30, 2018 from 12 pm – 1 pm EDT. This event is open to those who are interested in learning more about the model and how to apply. Please register in advance here - https://preaward.adobeconnect.com/e3cdwg6hgx9f/event/registration.html
Ellen R. Strunk, PT, MS, GCS, CEEAA, CHC
AGPT Federal Affairs Liaison
In a development that leaves patients and providers in the lurch, Congress has recessed without addressing the Medicare therapy cap in any meaningful way. The inaction is particularly disappointing for APTA and other stakeholders given that a bipartisan agreement had been reached to permanently end the hard cap.
The bottom line: beginning on January 1, 2018, the $2,010 hard cap on physical therapy and speech-language pathology services combined will be instituted, and the exceptions process that currently permits medically necessary services above the cap through use of the KX modifier will no longer apply.
In late October, Congress seemed poised to enact a permanent repeal of the hard cap and included that change in a package of Medicare "extenders." Had those extenders been approved, it would have ended Congress' continual tradition of late-year scrambling to come up with a short-term exceptions process. Instead, Congress recessed without approving the extenders or enacting a temporary exceptions process.
Over the past several months, thousands of APTA members called and tweeted their members of Congress, and generated over 20,790 emails to Capitol Hill urging Congress to pass the permanent fix for the therapy cap
"Congress’ inaction creates the worst-case scenario for patients and providers," said APTA President Sharon Dunn, PT, PhD. "Medicare patients will start the new year unsure if they will receive medically necessary care. This inaction by Congress means arbitrary barriers, stress for patients and their families, and disruptions for providers."
The therapy cap is just 1 of several issues left unresolved by Congress. A number of other critical Medicare extender policies that needed action, but also will now expire on December 31, include everything from special payments for ground ambulances, to reauthorization of special needs plans, to an extension of the State Health Insurance Health Programs.
There is a chance the cap could be short-lived. Congress returns from its recess on January 19, and APTA’s congressional advocates and other patient and provider groups that are part of the Repeal the Therapy Cap Coalition will work to get the bipartisan agreement included in the next "must-do" bill to be taken up.
"Congress is well aware of the negative ramifications of the therapy cap, which is why there is bipartisan support to repeal it," said Justin Elliott, APTA's vice president of government affairs. "It is imperative that Congress take action as soon as possible in January, and we will keep up the fight."
APTA also will provide additional information and resources to help practitioners prepare for the application of the hard cap on January 1.
Committee Purpose: To promote practice activities related to aging adults to PT and PTAs including but not limited to assisting those therapists/therapists assistants pursuing geriatric Board certification, advanced clinical proficiency recognition for PTA's, and the development/creation/dissemination of evidence-based documents/clinical practice guidelines including collaborating with APTA and the PTNow Portal.
The PR Committee works to get free press for PTs working with older adults, and to get media attention for issues faced by aging adults, including the role of PTs. The PR Committee also has a marketing role: to plan/coordinate (with the help of the Academy Office) the Academy’s marketing efforts related to its products and courses.
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The Regional Course Committee is in charge of developing and coordinating geriatric-based continuing education programs that would be appealing to our membership. Our goals are to provide educational opportunities for members who are unable to attend APTA conferences and to provide that education at affordable prices. We strive to locate these courses in locations other than the current year’s CSM and Annual Confernce sites, in order to reach members who may be too far away to attend these events.
The committee assists the chair with brainstorming topics, finding speakers, and finding locations for the courses. Committee members may also serve as on-site coordinators and leaders of Town Hall style meetings during these courses.
The Research Committee evaluates and addresses the research needs of the Academy. Some of these activities include review of abstracts for CSM, recognition of research activities through presentation of research awards, and focusing on research objectives for the Academy such as educating Academy members about evidenced-based practice. The committee communicates through email, phones calls and at APTA conferences.
The State Advocates work at the local level to advocate for older adults. Some of the responsibilities of an Advocate are:
The AGPT Web Media Group oversees the ongoing development, revisions, additions, links, and advances supported by the Academy's website, www.geriatricspt.org. The AGPT message, Geriatric Specialization (GCS), Advanced Proficiency in Geriatrics for the PTA expanding competency, the Certification for the Exercise Expert for the Aging Adult (CEEAA) courses, research and publication availability, special interest groups, and social media enhance and expand our reach. The www.geriatricspt.org provides an exceptional tool as a reference for practice, education, an ongoing source of relevant research, and publications assisting us in providing best practice to older adults.