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.
Each year APTA honors outstanding achievements on the part of its members in the areas of overall accomplishment, education, practice and service, publications, research, and academic excellence. Award recipients are recognized in June with a ceremony and reception at NEXT Conference & Exposition.
Please join us in congratulating the following AGPT Members who have been recognized by APTA's Honors and Awards Program. We are so proud of all of you!
Cathy Ciolek, PT, DPT, GCS, FAPTA/Catherine Worthingham Fellow of the APTA
Gregory Hicks, PT, PhD, FAPTA/Catherine Worthingham Fellow of the APTA
Carmen Cooper-Oguz, PT, DPT, MBA, CWS, WCC/Lucy Blair Service Award
Jill Heitzman, PT, DPT, CWS, GCS, NCS/Lucy Blair Service Award
Jake Jakubiak Kovacek, PT/Lucy Blair Service Award
Greg Hartley, PT, DPT, GCS/Lucy Blair Service Award
Ronald Barredo, PT, DPT, EdD/Lucy Blair Service Award
Martha Eastlack, PT, PhD/Lucy Blair Service Award
Linda Horn, PT, DScPT, MHS, GCS, NCS/Lucy Blair Service Award
James Smith, PT, DPT, MA/Lucy Blair Service Award
Amy Smith, PTA/Outstanding Physical Therapist Assistant Award
Nicole Dawson, PT, PhD, GCS/Margaret L Moore Award for Outstanding New Academic Physical Therapy Faculty Member
Patricia Kluding, PT/Jack Walker Award
David Sinacore, PT, PhD, FAPTA/Jack Walker Award
Robin Marcus, PT, PhD, OCS/Jack Walker Award
Manoah Carrel, SPTA/McMillan Scholarship Award for Student Physical Therapist Assistants
Kyongho Pak, SPTA/Minority Scholarship Award for Student Physical Therapist Assistants
The purpose of the AGPT Communications Committee is to develop an overall comprehensive communications strategy for the Academy using various electronic and other media including the website, social media, PR and other technologies. The Communications chair will set and guide the strategy to consistently articulate the Academy’s mission and vision. Sub-Committees of the Communications Committee include:
Social Media: Maintain a consistent, energetic social media presence to increase the AGPT’s profile with membership, other healthcare professionals and older adults via Facebook and Twitter with planned expansion into LinkedIn by creating and posting content (both original and industry) regularly.
Website/Listserv: The Website Sub-Committee oversees maintaining and improving content on the Academy’s website www.geriatricspt.org and the Listserv moderator monitors all listserv posts for appropriateness to maintain high quality listserv participation. (Lead: Lucy Jones, PT, DPT, MHA, GCS)
Public Relations Sub-Committee works to get free press for PTs working with older adults, and to get media attention for issues faced by aging adults. The PR Committee also has a marketing role to plan/coordinate the Academy’s marketing efforts related to its products and courses. (Lead: Karleen Cordeau, PT, MS)
The purpose of the Education Committee is to serve as a forum and preferred channel for information, resources, and professional networking related to PT and PTA education in the area of geriatric physical therapy. Sub-Committees of the Education Committee include Regional/Conference Programming, Online Education and Academic Education.
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.
Become a Board Certified Clinical Specialist! The American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties (ABPTS) is now accepting applications for the 2019 Geriatrics initial
certification exam cycle.
Access to the online application and candidate materials are available through the ABPTS website at http://www.abpts.org/Certification/Geriatrics/
The application deadline for Specialist Certification in Geriatrics is July 31, 2018. For more information, contact the Specialist Certification Program at 800/999-2782, ext.
8520; or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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.
Medicare Review Choice Demonstration for Home Health Services (Pre-Claim Review)
On April 1, 2017, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) paused its Pre-Claim Review Demonstration for Home Health Services in Illinois while it worked to revise the demonstration to incorporate more flexibility and choice for providers, and to make risk-based changes that would reward providers who comply with Medicare home health policies. On May 31, 2018, CMS issued a notice about the revised demonstration, now called the Review Choice Demonstration for Home Health Services. The proposed program would give providers in 5 demonstration states an initial choice of 3 options: pre-claim review of all claims, postpayment review of all claims, or minimal postpayment review with a 25% payment reduction for all home health services. CMS will implement the demonstration for Home Health and Hospice Medicare Administrative Contractor Jurisdiction M (Palmetto) providers operating in Illinois, Ohio, North Carolina, Florida, and Texas for 5 years, with the option to expand to other states in the Palmetto Jurisdiction.
APTA’s Primary Concerns
The Review Choice Demonstration will inhibit beneficiary choice and access to care, increase costs to the already burdened health care system, and do nothing to support the agency’s goals to shift toward rewarding value-based care. The administrative and financial costs associated with complying with the demonstration’s requirements threaten the financial and clinical viability of home health agencies (HHAs), particularly low-volume and rural agencies. Agencies will be forced to reduce wages or eliminate positions altogether to compensate for the increase in costs required to comply with the demonstration’s requirements. Consequently, patient access to home health services will drastically decline, leading to poor clinical outcomes and diminished quality of life.
CMS continues to subject HHAs to complex and burdensome Medicare pilot programs and demonstrations. Imposing another program, the Review Choice Demonstration, will further increase the administrative and financial burdens on HHAs without addressing the home health system’s vulnerabilities. The demonstration is a duplicative process of oversight that will only add to the burdens that already plague providers. CMS should allocate its time and resources to target specific HHAs whose behavior suggests fraudulent activity, rather than penalizing agencies that have established records of compliance with existing rules and regulations.
Efforts to Date
What Congress Can Do
Please contact your members of Congress to communicate with CMS and share stakeholders’ concerns associated with the Review Choice Demonstration and its potential impact on beneficiary access to quality care. Congress should recommend that CMS postpone the Review Choice Demonstration and move forward only when the agency can ensure that beneficiary access to home health services will not be threatened.
FY 2019 Inpatient Rehabilitation Facility Prospective Payment System Proposed Rule: This rule includes plans simplify quality reporting and remove the Functional Independence Measures (FIM ™) from the IRF Patient Assessment Instrument beginning FY 2020. CMS also included within the proposed rule a request for information (RFI) to improve interoperability among providers. APTA will be submitting comments on the proposed rule as well as the RFI on interoperability.
Deadline for Comments: Tuesday, June 26, 2018
Review the proposed rule
Take Action: Submit comments | APTA's advocacy template letter (.doc)
CMS Pre-Claim Review Demonstration for Home Health Services: The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has published a notice detailing its plan to restart its pre-claim demonstration (.pdf) (now termed Review Choice Demonstration) for home health agencies in 5 states (Illinois, Ohio, North Carolina, Florida, and Texas) to counter fraudulent claims in the home health setting. States included in the demonstration will have 3 options for participation: pre-claim review, post-claim review, or no review in exchange for an automatic 25% payment reduction.
Deadline for Comments: Monday, July 30, 2018
Review information about the demonstration
Take Action: Summit comments | Submit comments using APTA's advocacy template letter (.doc)
If a rule from the US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is adopted as proposed, physical therapists (PTs) and physical therapist assistants (PTAs) who work in skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) could find those facilities facing some major changes in payment. Those changes could include a new case-mix methodology system and altered therapy reporting requirements, according to CMS.
The rule won't be finalized until later this year. In the meantime, CMS is asking for public comments on its proposal. APTA has made it easy for you to participate.
APTA offers a template letter for PTs and PTAs who want to comment on the proposed 2019 skilled nursing facility prospective payment system (SNF PPS) and the plans for implementation of the Patient-Driven Payment Model (PDPM) to replace the Resource Utilization Groups Version IV (RUG-IV). Among other comments, the letter encourages CMS to take a careful look at how proposed coding requirements associated with the PDPM would "pose significant administrative, financial, and compliance burdens on SNFs."
Posted as a Microsoft Word file, the letter was created with the technical formatting that CMS is accustomed to, but it also includes areas that can be personalized with details and examples from the individual PT's or PTA's practice. Those personal touches can help to underscore the messages that the letter's shared elements deliver to CMS with a unified voice.
APTA's May 16 "Insider Intel" program covered the proposed SNF rule. A recording of the full session is now available.
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pennsylvania) introduced legislation on May 21st that would ensure communities across the U.S. have access to health professionals and other critical supports improving care for older adults. The bipartisan Geriatrics Workforce Improvement Act (S.2888) (read it at https://eldercareworkforce.files.wordpress.com/2018/05/s2888.pdf) echoes similar bipartisan legislation proposed in the U.S. House of Representatives, the Geriatrics Workforce and Caregiver Enhancement Act (HR 3713) (read it at https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/3713).
The Eldercare Workforce Alliance (AGPT is a member), in partnership with the American Geriatrics Society and the National Association for Geriatric Education, have been working relentlessly with Congress and advocates to reauthorize the Title VII geriatrics programs over the past few years. Amy York, Executive Director of the Eldercare Workforce Alliance, stressed the importance of this legislation earlier this month, “Our nation faces a severe and growing shortage of eldercare professionals with the skills and training to meet the unique healthcare needs of older adults. EWA is committed to supporting the Geriatrics Workforce Improvement Act because it expands the only federal geriatrics training program. That’s an investment in an eldercare workforce that can support well-coordinated, high-quality care for all older Americans.”
On May 8, 2018, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the agency’s first Rural Health Strategy intended to provide a proactive approach on healthcare issues to ensure that the nearly one in five individuals who live in rural America have access to high quality, affordable healthcare.
“For the first time, CMS is organizing and focusing our efforts to apply a rural lens to the vision and work of the agency,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma. “The Rural Health Strategy supports CMS’ goal of putting patients first. Through its implementation and our continued stakeholder engagement, this strategy will enhance the positive impacts CMS policies have on beneficiaries who live in rural areas.”
The agency-wide Rural Health Strategy, built on input from rural providers and beneficiaries, focuses on five objectives to achieve the agency’s vision for rural health:
Approximately 60 million people live in rural areas – including millions of Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries. CMS recognizes the many obstacles that rural Americans face, including living in communities with disproportionally higher poverty rates, having more chronic conditions, being uninsured or underinsured, as well as experiencing a fragmented healthcare delivery system with an overworked and shrinking health workforce, and lacking access to specialty services.
This new strategy focuses on ways in which the agency can better serve individuals in rural areas and avoid unintended consequences of policy and program implementation.
For more information on the Rural Health Strategy, please visit: http://go.cms.gov/ruralhealth. There is also a fact sheet available at https://www.cms.gov/Newsroom/MediaReleaseDatabase/Fact-sheets/2018-Fact-sheets-items/2018-05-08.html.
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 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: