The last two weeks have just been weird. We have had the deaths of several prominent figures, including my Aunt Helen. Death creates an “opportunity” for reflection by the “survivors.” Survivors are those who have lain witness to the life and times of the deceased. Charles Magistro, PT, DPT (hon), DrSci (hon), FAPTA, you were a tireless advocate and leader in the physical therapy profession. Prince, you were an incredible musician. Aunt Helen, you had an incredible sense of joy. Legacies can provide positive or negative inspiration messages. I don’t think it is ever too early to start thinking about how you want to be remembered. What is your legacy? How do you want to be remembered? I would hope your legacy is truly a positive event.

Envisioning your legacy will help inspire your work. I wish you all the inspiration to have part of your legacy to be and be known as a great physical therapy professional. I wish for those affected by a recent loss to find some inspiration from those who have gone before us.

Erik Moen
PTWA President

Five PTWA Members Advocate in Other Washington

About 250 physical therapists, physical therapist assistants and students from all over the country visited Washington, DC for APTA’s Federal Advocacy Forum and Private Practice Section legislative fly-in On April 3-5, 2016. Five PTWA members, Steve Anderson, Randy Johnson, Jeanine Gunn, Jennifer Lesko and myself, attended this two+ day event. APTA sponsored attendance by key contacts for specific targeted members of Congress and the Senate but the event was open to all members.

During this event we received training on key issues impacting our profession, we heard speakers discuss how to lobby and listened to speakers who shared information about the current political climate. We also received information about specific bills that APTA supports: Medicare Access to Rehabilitation (repeal of the Medicare CAP), Expand Access to PT Services in Rural and Underserved Areas (including physical therapists in the National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program, which offers loan repayment related to service in underserved areas) and  Support the Prevent Interruptions in Physical Therapy Act (allowing physical therapists to enter into locum tenens arrangement under Medicare).

On Tuesday, we hit the hill. Most of our congress-people were back in their districts, but we were able to meet with the congressional staff health liaisons about our issues. Making connections with staff is just as important as the connection we make with our congress-people and senators. They often are the ones who are in the know on specific topics and act in an advisory capacity to their congress person or senator. A few of us also were able to meet with Senator Maria Cantwell and staff for Senator Patty Murray. Our goals: To get co-sponsorship of our bills, to thank our reps and senators for their support and to ask for other ways that they can support or move our bills forward. I can assure you that we were well represented and we were heard.

In addition, we also heard disheartening news about the PT-PAC (the APTA Political Action Committee). The number of contributors and the total contributions has decreased significantly over the past year. The importance of PT-PAC is the power that we gain by contributing to individual campaigns. Power that gets us a spot at the table vs. a view from the sidelines! Did you know that if every member of APTA gave just $20, we would be the LARGEST healthcare related PAC in the nation? If you have contributed—thank you! If you have not—why not? The issues that we lobbied for impact ALL PTs in ALL settings.

SO I have a challenge for all PTWA members:
1) Advocate for your profession. There is an APTA Action app that you can download that gives you all the information you need to be a part of this process. You may also find information on the APTA website: http://www.apta.org/FederalIssues/
2) Contribute to the PT-PAC. $20 from each member is a doable amount!  http://www.ptpac.org/

Susan Chalcraft
PTWA Legislative Committee member

Field Trip to APTA Headquarters

Erik Moen_Edited

PTWA President Erik Moen

I attended a leadership symposium at the American Physical Therapy Association headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia last Friday and Saturday with our Executive Director (ED) Jackie Barry. This meeting was intended for training new chapter and section presidents and their EDs. We had the opportunity to meet and network with new presidents/EDs from Utah, Tennessee, Rhode Island, Vermont, Massachusetts and the Oncology and Sports Sections, and the ED from PPS. These networking opportunities remind me of the excellent resource we have in our ED Jackie Barry. She does a lot for PTWA and is viewed as a leader among her peers. You probably already know this. It is well worth mentioning it again.


Friday’s session was dedicated to the introduction of APTA staff and their programs. I am always impressed at the depth of involvement and true passion our APTA staff has for the support of PT/PTA practice. It continues to demonstrate that there are true benefits of membership in the APTA. We hope to emphasize/demonstrate that to you over the next year or so. Membership does matter.

We had an early breakfast with the current APTA Board of Directors on Saturday morning. It was nice to see our WA member Jeanine Gunn who is currently serving as an APTA director (and is Washington’s liaison to the APTA board) and former PTWA member Roger Herr. Roger is running for APTA Secretary. We thank him for his consent to run and willingness to serve. He is an excellent candidate and an ardent supporter of PTWA.

Susan Meier facilitated conversations during Saturday’s session. Susan’s expertise is with governance and effective board work. In other words…getting stuff done and doing meaningful work for PTWA.

The time away from work and family was worth the investment on behalf of PTWA and APTA. It’s experiences like this that give me greater appreciation for our profession, and the resources and value we have in APTA. We are better working together to ensure physical therapy is truly a great profession.


More Third Party Managed Care: Is PTWA Doing Anything About This?

I’m as disappointed as you are that on July 1 another large payer in Washington will start using eviCore to provide utilization management for outpatient rehabilitation. I’m fortunate to be a bit of an insider so I get cced on the email conversations between our volunteer leaders about these topics and I receive all of the committee reports throughout the year – so I can tell you that PTWA is doing something about this and has been for some time. If I were to reiterate every detail I know, you would need to spend several hours reading this post so I’ll provide some highlights and hope you will read between the lines and assume that it’s not realistic for us to say everything.

Highlight #1:
Our Reimbursement Chair, Pete Rigby, and Elise Latawiec from APTA have been meeting monthly with Regence and eviCore (formerly Care Core) for more than a year. As you can imagine, these conversations are not as simple as a conversation you might have with a friendly neighbor where you tell him that his dog has been digging up your flower beds. It’s more down the communication continuum toward President Barack Obama discussing an issue with President Raul Castro.

Highlight #2:
Pete, Elise, PTWA Payer Liaison Scott Spradling and others have been working on an eviCore/Regence survey, the results of which we think will inform these monthly conversations. We hope to have the survey link sent to you within two weeks. Please answer it.

Highlight #3:
You may also remember that we passed insurance reform legislation during the 2015 legislative session. We continue to advocate for insurance and third party administrator reform and regulation during every legislative session.

Highlight #4 – and perhaps the crown jewel:
And we’re part of the outcomes registry movement that APTA has embraced to package what physical therapists and physical therapist assistants do so that other practitioners with whom we partner, such as primary care physicians and surgeons, know what to expect when we’re part of their networks. This is a forward-thinking strategic initiative that will help shift the emphasis away from “them” doing things to “us” and put us in more of an offensive rather than defensive mode.

There is much that is being done that we cannot talk about for reasons of diplomacy as well as reasons of strategy.

Please take a few minutes to scan emails when we send them to you and to read newsletter articles. There will be at least two related articles with more details in our May newsletter.

I am always happy to hear your thoughts.

Erik Moen
PTWA President