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February 16, 2018


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February 15, 2018

Health Promotion and Wellness at CSM 2018

The Health Promotion and Wellness Special Interest Group (HPWSIG) of AGPT has compiled CSM sessions related to health promotion and wellness across APTA academies/sections. Some offer approaches across specific client populations and/or settings, while others take a broader approach.

We encourage you to take a look at what is offered to help build your health promotion and wellness practice. Please note this list represents our best attempt to collate sessions. If we’ve missed something along the way, we apologize. Please use the conference app onsite to confirm room locations as there may have been changes from when this list was developed.


We would also like to invite you to the HPWSIG sponsored sessions. Dr. Joseph Signorile from the University of Miami will be here on Friday, Feb 23rd to present two sessions; High-Speed Training:Applications to Improve Function and Prescription Yoga: Modifying an Ancient Practice for Clinical

Interventions at 8:00am and 11:00am in 208 of the convention center. Many members enjoyed Dr. Signorile’s presentation at EXPAAC II so be sure and join us if you can.

Please see all course offerings at

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February 14, 2018

The looming threat of a hard cap on physical therapy services under Medicare has been eliminated.

As part of a sprawling bipartisan budget deal passed today, Congress enacted a permanent solution to the problematic hard cap on outpatient physical therapy services under Medicare Part B, ending a 20-year cycle of patient uncertainty and wasteful short-term fixes.

Ending the hard cap has been a high priority for APTA since its introduction in 1997 as part of the Balanced Budget Act. Legislators' backing for repeal reached a tipping point in 2017, when lawmakers developed a bipartisan, bicameral agreement to end the cap. Congress failed to enact that deal in 2017, but elements of the plan are included in the 2-year budget that was approved today.

That's the good news. The bad news is that Congress chose to offset the cost of the permanent fix (estimated at $6.47 billion) with a last-minute addition of a payment differential for services provided by physical therapist assistants (PTAs) and certified occupational therapy assistants (COTAs) compared with payment for the same services provided by physical therapists (PTs) and occupational therapists (OTs), respectively. The payment differential, which was strongly opposed by APTA and other stakeholders, states that PTAs and OTAs will be paid at 85% of the Medicare physician fee schedule beginning in 2022.

That pending payment differential under Medicare is somewhat comparable to that between physician assistants and physicians, but it was added to the budget bill late and without warning. It wasn’t part of the 2017 bipartisan agreement legislators reached, nor was it part of any discussions or negotiations on Capitol Hill since then.

When the proposed differential was added to the budget deal late Monday night, the association quickly reached out to congressional offices with proposed amendments. None were accepted. Friday morning, Congress passed the massive budget legislation that includes increases for military and domestic spending, adding an estimated $320 billion to the federal budget deficit.

“Stopping the hard cap is a victory for our patients, and for our dedicated advocates,” said APTA President Sharon L. Dunn, PT, PhD, board-certified orthopaedic clinical specialist. “For 2 decades we have held back the hard cap through repeated short-term fixes—17 in total—that were achieved each time only through significant lobbying efforts by APTA and other members of the Therapy Cap Coalition. In that time, the hard cap was a genuine and persistent threat to our most vulnerable patients, a threat we saw realized earlier this year when Congress failed to extend the therapy cap exceptions process. Today that threat has been eliminated.”

Dunn said the January 1, 2022, implementation date for the opposed PTA payment cut provides time to explore solutions with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) as it develops proposed rules.

“APTA will leverage its congressional champions, the APTA Public Policy and Advocacy Committee, and the PTA Caucus on strategies to address the CMS activities,” Dunn said. “Our collective efforts will drive the association’s work to ensure that guidance to implement the new policy is favorable to PTAs and the profession, while ensuring access is not limited for those in need of our services.”

The legislation enacted today provides a fix for the therapy cap by permanently extending the current exceptions process, eliminating the need to address this issue from year to year. Among the provisions included in the new policy:

  • Claims that go above $2,010 (adjusted annually) still will require the use of the KX modifier for attestation that services are medically necessary.
  • The threshold for targeted medical review will be lowered from the current $3,700 to $3,000 through 2027; however, CMS will not receive any increased funding to pursue expanded medical review, and the overall number of targeted medical reviews is not expected to increase.
  • Claims that go above $3,000 will not automatically be subject to targeted medical review. Instead, only a percentage of providers who meet certain criteria will be targeted, such as those who have had a high claims denial percentage or have aberrant billing patterns compared with their peers.

Over the coming days, APTA will provide additional details on the budget deal, including the impact on home health. For home health, the deal includes positives related to rural add-ons, a market basket update increase of 1.5% in 2020, and use of home health medical records for determining eligibility. However, it also requires a switch from a 60-day to a 30-day episode in 2020 and eliminates the use of therapy thresholds in case-mix adjustment factors.

“While this package does not afford APTA with everything we would have liked, we should take a moment to celebrate closing the door on a 20-year advocacy effort that has challenged our ability to ensure timely and appropriate services to patients,” Dunn said. "Reaching this milestone affords APTA the opportunity to expand our advocacy agenda to implement more fully our vision to transform society by optimizing movement to improve the human experience.”

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February 14, 2018

Student/Resident Advocacy Award



To provide the means for two entry-level PT students and/or postprofessional residents in geriatric physical therapy the opportunity to engage in advocacy efforts of the profession at a national level with the intention that this exposure will engage students/residents in similar efforts after their graduation.

To promote the Academy of Geriatric Physical Therapy and encourage active engagement in the Academy activities as a student, resident, and early professional.



Any student enrolled in a CAPTE accredited DPT or PTA program at the time of the application may be nominated. Students must have completed at least two semesters of the PT/PTA program.

Any postprofessional resident enrolled in an ABPTRFE accredited geriatric residency at the time of the application may be nominated. There is no minimum matriculation for residents who are enrolled at the time of the application.

The nominee must be members of the Academy of Geriatric Physical Therapy.


Criteria for Selection:

Candidates must be in good standing within the academic or residency program.

Candidates must have an understanding of the APTA's national legislative and regulatory efforts that impact the physical therapy profession.

The candidate must have experience in advocacy efforts and/ professional involvement at the chapter level that can demonstrate a contribution to the physical therapy profession.


Procedure for Nomination:

All nominations must be submitted to the Academy office by March 1, 2018 and include:

A nomination letter from a member of the Academy of Geriatric Physical Therapy that indicates why the student/resident is an ideal candidate for the award.

One letter of recommendation from a faculty member in the entry-level or postprofessional residency program who is knowledgeable of the nominee's academic and/or clinical performance.

A resume or CV that includes any prior legislative advocacy efforts and professional involvement AND APTA number.

An essay of no more than 250 words addressing a national legislative or regulatory issue most concerning to you, and why.  


Please forward info to  by March 1, 2018.


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January 31, 2018

Please join us at CSM on Thurdsay, February 22 at 6:30pm for the Member Meeting and Awards Ceremony at the New Orleans Hilton Riverside, Grand Ballroom B.

Outstanding PTA Student Award - Kyongho Pak, SPTA

Outstanding PT Student - Kevin Shaddock, SPT

Clinical Educator Award - Shelly Lewis, PT, DPT, GCS

Lynn Phillippi Advocacy for Older Adults Award - Sherri Betz, PT, GCS, PMA-CPT

Clinical Excellence in Geriatrics Award – Aimee Perron, PT, DPT, NCS

Distinguished Educator Award - Myles Quiben, PT, PhD, DPT, MS

Adopt-A-Doc Awards

Pamela Dunlap, DPT

Allison Gustavson, DPT

Excellence in Geriatric Research Award

Lusardi MM, Fritz S, Middleton A, Allison L, Wingood M, Phillips E, Criss M, Verma S, Osborne J, Chui KK. Determining Risk of Falls in Community Dwelling Older Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis Using Posttest Probability.

Fellowship for Geriatric Research - Annalisa Na, PT, PhD

Student Research Award - Michael Himawan, DPT

Student Brochure Contest:

1st Place – Spinal Stenosis by Meghan Bowman, Medical U of South Carolina

2nd Place – Strengthening for Seniors by Adam Alstein and Drew Bacha, U of North Florida

3rd Place – Aquatic Therapy for Older Adults by Kelsey Menzel, Michaela Murton and Liz Obetts, Central Michigan U

Honorable Mention – Strokes by Mary Beth Garner and Cortney Houghtaling, U of Evansville

Student Membership Winner:  Allie Schulte, SPT

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January 22, 2018

The Academy of Geriatric Physical Therapy (AGPT) promotes lifelong learning and the transition to clinical specialization.   The mission of the AGPT is to promote physical therapist best practice and to advocate for optimal aging. Therefore, the Academy supports physical therapists interested in geriatric study in pursuing clinical residency and/or fellowship.  

The AGPT takes pride assisting in the development of young professionals interested in advancing their careers through working with older adults.  To foster the growth of Geriatric Physical Therapy Specialty Practice, AGPT is offering scholarships to physical therapists in a geriatric clinical residency or fellowship programs.  

The scholarships are intended to assist in offsetting the costs associated with residency and fellowship programs. The Board of Directors (BOD) of the AGPT has determined that up to five thousand dollars will be awarded each year depending on the applicant pool and decisions made by the scholarship committee. Each scholarship will be a minimum of $1250 and no greater than $2500.  Scholarship funds may be used for costs related to professional study including but not limited to moving expenses, professional conference fees, geriatric specialty exam fees, textbooks, or other study materials.  This is a merit-based scholarship that will be awarded based on the review of applicant essays, resumes, and professional letters of recommendation.  Applications will be reviewed by a subcommittee of the Residency and Fellowship Special Interest Group of the AGPT and brought to the BOD for approval. 

Eligibility Criteria:  Interested applicants must be current members of the Academy of Geriatric Physical Therapy.  Applicants must be accepted to or enrolled in a ABPTRFE accredited geriatric clinical residency or fellowship program.  Applicants must submit responses to the attached questions.  Responses are written in 11-point font and not exceed one page for all questions.  Applicants must submit one professional letter of recommendation from an APTA/AGPT member as well as a curriculum vitae demonstrating commitment to geriatrics and experience with older adults.  

Deadline:  March 4, 2018

Full details can be found at



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January 10, 2018

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: 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 -

Ellen R. Strunk, PT, MS, GCS, CEEAA, CHC

AGPT Federal Affairs Liaison


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November 06, 2017

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!

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November 01, 2017

Home Health Section Members Adopt Statement on the Value of Home Health Physical Therapy

At the end of September of 2017, Home Health Section members adopted a statement on the value of home health physical therapy. The value statement was in response to a charge by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) House of Delegates (HoD) several years ago that each physical therapy practice setting establish a position statement intended to educate clinicians and the public about the value of each setting to achieving outcomes.

The Statement provides evidence-based guidance to clarify and identify the role, benefits and appropriate utilization of Home Health Physical Therapy (HHPT) services as an essential part in the continuum of care for qualified beneficiaries in the home health setting.

It addresses patient care outcomes and compares post-acute care costs needed to attain these outcomes. Lastly, the statement discusses the patient’s perception of care delivery in the HH setting.

The position statement ensures physical therapists and physical therapist assistants know the value of providing physical therapy in the HH setting. External stakeholders, including the general public, other health care professionals, professional organizations, policy makers, beneficiaries and payer sources also benefit from the statement with information about who we are and what we do. 

The document can be found at


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November 01, 2017

Orthopedic Issues in Aging
GeriNotes 2017 CE Online Exam

Click here for more information and to purchase and take the exam


A Continuing Education Module for the Academy of Geriatric Physical Therapy

Test and evaluation forms must be completed online no later than December 31, 2018. Upon submission of materials and a passing score of 80% or higher on the post-test, you will receive a continuing education certificate for .4 CEUs.

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August 11, 2017

Physical Therapists with the CEEAA designation demonstrate expert clinical decision-making skills in designing and applying an effective examination and exercise prescription and measuring the effectiveness and reflecting the current evidence of exercise for all aging adults. The process to attain the credential of "Certified Exercise Expert for Aging Adults" is to complete formal didactic education, and to participate in supervised and mentored skills development, home-based reflection, and critical thinking. 

Three courses of two days each will address evidence-based examination and different and increasingly complex aspects of exercise design and delivery. The three courses are designed to build on each other; however, Courses 1 and 2 can be taken out of sequence but Course 3 must be taken last. After each course there is an online exam to be completed within 3 months of the course. Participants get two tries to achieve a 75% passing score. There is one practical test that is done onsite either course 2 or 3. While all attendees will receive continuing education credit, the tests/practical exam must be completed successfully to achieve the CEEAA designation.

MCPHS University - Worcester Campus

10 Lincoln Square

Worcester, MA 01608

March 17-18, 2018

April 28-29, 2018

July 14-15, 2018


University of Indianapolis

1400 East Hanna Avenue

Indianapolis, IN 46227

June 2-3, 2018

July 28-29, 2018

September 15-16, 2018


West Coast University

590 N Vermont Avenue

Los Angeles, CA 90004

August 18-19, 2018

September 29-30, 2018

October 27-28

 The CEEAA series has historically sold out the last several years so register early to assure your spot. 

For registration and more information, please visit


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