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March 18, 2019

The New Skilled Nursing Facility and Home Health Payment Models

What You Need to Know

Medicare payment system is in the midst of a paradigm shift—away from the fee-for-service payment structure, in which providers are rewarded solely by the volume of services provided, and toward a structure that holds providers accountable for patient outcomes and costs. This move to value-based care is intended to advance the goals of health care's "triple aim"—improving the patient experience of care (including quality and satisfaction), bettering the health of populations, and reducing the per-capita cost of health care.

As part of this effort, CMS has finalized significant changes that will affect the home health and skilled nursing facility payment systems—beginning in FY 2020 for SNFs and CY 2020 for home health agencies. These payment systems align payment with patient characteristics and patient needs, and eliminate the connection between therapy utilization and reimbursement. CMS finalized the Skilled Nursing Facility Patient-Driven Payment Model (PDPM) and Home Health Patient-Driven Groupings Model (PDGM) in 2018.


Links to two PDPM Q&A sessions are below:

Tuesday, March 12:

Thursday, March 14:

Recorded Webinars: Home Health Patient-Driven Groupings Model - 3/6/19

APTA staff and members of the Home Health Section Government Affairs committee recorded an overview of the Patient-Driven Groupings Model and recorded 2 live Q&A sessions.

Challenging the Myths Associated With PDPM and PDGM - 11/15/18
Unfortunately, there are a number of myths about these 2 new payment systems, shaping biases and working against the long-term success of these models. 
APTA Recorded Webinar via Adobe Connect

How Changing Post-Acute Payments Impact the Role of PT- 10/11/18
Recorded Webinar (October 2018) Free to APTA Members via APTA Learning Center

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March 15, 2019

Geriatric Certified Specialist (GCS) Examination

Regional Item Writing Workshop at the University of Michigan Medical Center

Co-Sponsored by the Oncology and Neurology Specialty Councils


The Geriatric Specialty Council would like to invite GCS’s from the Great Lakes and Michigan area to participate in an item writing workshop for the GCS Examination. Individuals participating in the workshop will be trained on how to write questions for the geriatric specialty examination and will receive Maintenance of Specialty Examination (MOSC) credits for items accepted in the GCS Exam item bank.

When: April 13, 2019 (Saturday), from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm

Where: University of Michigan Medical Center (Michigan Health),

Michigan Medicine Spine Center

325 East Eisenhower parkway

Ann Arbor MI 48108

What to bring: Laptop

Coffee/light breakfast and lunch will be provided.

Please RSVP to Derek Stepp (email: [email protected]) by March 31st, 2019.

If you have any questions, please email Morris Beato (email: [email protected])

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March 13, 2019

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February 19, 2019

A New SNF PDPM Webinar Recording is Now Available

An Overview of the Skilled Nursing Facility Patient-Driven Payment Model webinar is now available at

The webinar was put together by the Post-Acute Care Educational Collaborative and was done by AGPT and HPA members along with APTA staff. The webinar recording is open to all members and non-members.


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February 14, 2019

Home Health PDGM MLN Matters Article

A new MLN Matters Article MM11081 on Home Health Patient-Driven Groupings Model (PDGM) – Spilt Implementation is available. Learn about the payment reform requirements.

Implementation of the SNF PDPM MLN Matters Article

A new MLN Matters Article MM11152 on Implementation of the Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Patient Driven Payment Model (PDPM) is available. Learn about the required changes.

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February 11, 2019

On February 5, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) posted on their MDS 3.0 Technical Information Webpage a new draft version (V3.00.0) of the MDS 3.0 Data Specifications. This version is scheduled to become effective October 1, 2019. These specifications are used for software developers and vendors to update SNF PPS grouper, MDS, electronic health record, and billing systems to align with annual updates to the MDS-RAI (yet to be issued) and SNF PPS billing requirements. Note that there are many significant changes, to align with the transition to the new Skilled Nursing Facility Prospective Payment System (SNF PPS) from the Resource Utilization Groups, Version 4 (RUG-IV) to the Patient Driven Payment Model (PDPM). These changes include the removal of eight RUG-IV assessment item sets (NS, NSD, NO, NOD, SS, SSD, SO, SOD), the addition of two new PDPM assessment item sets (IPA – Interim Payment Assessment and OSA – Optional State Assessment), and item additions in Sections A, GG, I, J, O and Z. See this link for the draft MDS 3.0 Item Sets v1.17 for October 1, 2019) that were issued on January 3. The MDS draft data specifications also accommodate the utilization of the PDPM grouper (not issued yet) , which also begins on October 1, 2019. In addition, a new version (V1.04.0) of the MDS 3.0 CAT Specifications was posted. This version is also scheduled to become effective October 1, 2019. The specification for CAT 12 (Nutritional Status) has been updated in accordance with the changes in V3.00.0 of the MDS 3.0 Data Specifications.


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January 28, 2019

Vision Statement

Embracing aging and empowering adults to move, engage, and live well

Mission Statement

Building a community that advances the profession of physical therapy to optimize the experience of aging


Goal 1:  AGPT provides education that enhances practice by producing value, empowering advocates, and promoting the use of evidence informed practice

Goal 2:  AGPT attracts, engages, and mobilizes physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, and students serving aging adults

Goal 3:  AGPT builds relationships to expand its influence and the reach of physical therapy

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January 07, 2019

MyMobilityPlan_300x174.pngWith aging might come changes in older adults’ ability to get around and do the things they want and need to do. These mobility changes may affect older adults’ health and independence and are related to an increased risk of falls and motor vehicle crashes—the two leading causes of older adult injury.

The CDC released a new mobility planning tool to help older adults create a personalized MyMobility Plan. This planning tool, along with a supporting fact sheet about medicines that might increase risk of a fall or motor vehicle crash, helps older adults plan for mobility changes similar to the way that many plan financially for retirement.


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December 06, 2018

New Home Study Modules Now Available on the APTA Learning Center

Management of Falls and Fall Prevention in Older Adults

Tool Kit for the Prevention of Diabetic Foot Ulcers

Assistive Devices, Adaptive Equipment, Orthotics, and Wheeled Mobility for the Older Adult

Bariatric Obesity in the Older Adult

End of Life Ethics

Breast Cancer Related Lymphedema

Biopsychosocial and Environmental Aspects of Aging

Full details can be found at

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November 28, 2018

June 7-8, 2019

8 am 4:40 pm both days


St. Catherine University

2004 Randolph Avenue

St Paul, MN 55105


Course Description


This 2-day course will focus on the Physical Therapist Assistant’s (PTA) use of exercise as an advanced rehabilitation

intervention for the aging adult. Several common functional outcome measures will be actively performed by

participants or demonstrated by instructors. The physical stress theory regarding proper exercise intensity will be

presented. PTA’s will learn how to utilize this concept in exercise programs for aging adults, as indicated by the physical

therapy (PT) plan of care (POC), for aerobic conditioning, balance, gait and strength training. A variety of diagnoses

commonly treated in aging adults will be reviewed and discussed relative to the application of exercise principles,

treatment progression, and precautions. A discussion of barriers and motivation strategies to assist the aging adult in

achieving goals will be included. The course will include both lecture and hands-on practical lab activities



Spaces are limites so Register for this course early at


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November 12, 2018


Please listen to this audio file form the AGPT Director of Publications and Partnerships Jackie Osborne, PT, DPT 


Click Here to Listen

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