January 2, 2019
1. ENTER MIPS Beginning January 1, 2019, qualifying physical therapists in private practice who provide services under Medicare are included in the Quality Payment Program. PTs will have a choice of participating in the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) or, if available, an advanced alternative payment model. PTs in private practice who don’t qualify for MIPS participation can do so voluntarily to prepare for likely future expansion of the Quality Payment Program. Check the APTA website for extensive resources on QPP, MIPS, and what it means for the profession.
2. EXIT FUNCTIONAL LIMITATION REPORTING Medicare’s functional limitation reporting (FLR) requirements end January 1, 2019. APTA argued against the requirements from the beginning, noting that FLR was overly burdensome and unlikely to provide meaningful information.
3. INFLUENCING INSURERS APTA will continue to advocate for employer and insurer benefit design changes to improve patient access to physical therapist services. Coverage for low back pain will be a focus area, given the prevalence of the condition and the strong evidence base for early conservative treatment approaches such as physical therapy.
4. CAP-FREE ADVOCACY For the first time in more than 2 decades, APTA’s public policy priorities will not include the elimination of the hard cap on physical therapy services under Medicare. APTA’s updated advocacy agenda includes efforts to urge Congress to enact policies to improve population health, eliminate barriers to care, reduce administrative burdens, and prioritize research and clinical innovation to increase access to appropriate value-based health care services.
5. CELEBRATING 50 YEARS OF THE PTA As PTA membership and participation continue to rise, APTA will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first PTA school graduates. APTA is working to reach the 10,000 PTA member milestone, and the PTA Advanced Proficiency Pathways program continues to grow.
6. CENTENNIAL KICKOFF APTA’s 100th anniversary won’t arrive until 2021, but member engagement to prepare for the centennial will begin in 2019. APTA’s centennial year will include events, awareness activities, and service as we honor the association’s proud history and position APTA for success in its next century.
7. EASIER ENGAGEMENT APTA will launch and develop a new volunteer portal that will make it easier for members to find opportunities to serve their association, both nationally and locally. The new engagement platform will evolve over time, including the creation of microvolunteering opportunities for those who want to make a positive impact with a smaller time commitment.
8. MORE CPGs Efforts to improve evidence-based practice continue, including the ongoing development of clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) by APTA sections. Look for several CPGs making their debut in 2019.
9. DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND INCLUSION APTA is expanding efforts to improve the diversity of the profession and association, including outreach to youth who have yet to consider a career path. At the same time, APTA is expanding its goals—prioritizing not only improved diversity but also improved equity and inclusion.
10. BREAKING GROUND In January, APTA will break ground on its new headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia. Set to open in 2021, the building will support APTA’s workforce of the future and improve the association’s ability to welcome members and the community. Consistent with the values of the physical therapy profession, the building’s design will encourage movement, providing a healthy workspace to encourage a healthy workforce.