Update on #StopTheCap Efforts

A message from Dena Kilgore, CAE, from APTA:

I wanted to provide an update on the efforts to permanently repeal the hard therapy cap that went into effect January 1. As you know, the federal government had been shut-down since midnight on Friday, January 19 due an impasse on funding the federal government over the lack of a deal to protect young documented immigrants from deportation, known as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

Yesterday, Monday, January 22, Congress passed yet another short-term spending bill that will re-open and provide funding for the government open until Thursday, February 8.  The Senate spending deal will also fully fund the Children’s Health Insurance Program for six years, ending a nearly four-month lapse in the program’s long-term federal funding.  In return, Democrats accepted a pledge from Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to bring a vote on DACA to the floor if an immigration deal is not reached by Feb. 8.  Despite an enormous turnout on social media, phone calls, grassroots, Hill meetings, etc. by APTA, AOTA, ASHA, and partners in the Repeal the Therapy Cap Coalition, the short-term spending deal does not include the permanent fix to repeal the hard therapy cap, nor does it include a whole host of must-pass critical Medicare issues, impacting everything from rural health funding to community health centers.

On Friday there appeared to be a glimmer of hope that the Therapy Cap fix might be added to the short-term spending deal; APTA and our partners had been working with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to have it added to a revised deal that was under discussion with President Trump. Those talks did not produce a deal addressing the broader range of critical issues, including repeal of the Therapy Cap. Two senators who we’d like recognize are Sen. Ben Cardin (MD) who took to the Senate floor Tuesday afternoon to implore his colleague to address the Therapy Cap and other Medicare extenders in the next spending deal that must be passed by February 8. In addition, Sen Stabenow (MI) offered an amendment over the weekend to include the Therapy Cap and other Medicare extenders to the short-term deal.

The message from Capitol Hill continues to be that there is broad agreement to repeal the cap; the bipartisan, bicameral proposal to permanently fix the hard cap appears to be one of the few issues Congress is in agreement on. However CHIP funding and DACA continue to overshadow the politics and process.  With the issue of CHIP funding now resolved, Congress can focus on the critical Medicare extenders and Therapy Cap repeal to include in the next spending deal. However until DACA is resolved, it will continue to play a major factor in the work of Congress, and could potentially result in another government shut-down in the near future.

APTA and our partners will continue to wage an aggressive lobbying, social media, paid media, and grassroots efforts between now and February 8. APTA will be sending out additional action alerts to our members this week, and we will continue our push on social media (#StopTheCap).

During this time of uncertainty under the hard cap, APTA is also pushing CMS to provide additional guidance and clarification on their handling of outpatient therapy claims.  Most recently CMS provided information that they have been holding all outpatient therapy claims since January 1 that go above the $2,010 cap. CMS is expected to begin processing those claims in the near future, but they have not yet provided a timeline, In addition, CMS has stated that providers should continue to submit claims with the KX modifier, even though the exceptions process is not in place, under the assumption that Congress will retroactively apply the permanently therapy cap fix. APTA issued a FAQ document earlier this month and we will be revising it this week based upon additional expected guidance from CMS.


False Advertising and Insurance Surface as Top Priorities for PTWA Members

At the PTWA December 2017 board meeting we reviewed and addressed results from our October PTWA member survey.

The largest areas of survey input included:

  • PTWA members want the world to know that physical therapy professionals provide physical therapy services. You want other provider groups to stop saying they provide PT and you want consumers to understand and care about what that means.
  • PTWA members want their state association to do something about the dramatically shifting payment environment and what it’s doing to their ability to provide effective and qualitative patient care.

Strategic planning expert Janet Bezner, PT, DPT, PhD, FAPTA, helped our PTWA board to identify goals, objectives and strategies surrounding these two areas. Here are the two goal statements we came up with:

Goal 1:

Providers, consumers, and key stakeholders know that physical therapist practice is the best choice to optimize movement.

Goal 2:

Physical therapists/physical therapist assistants, payers, and consumers value care that is compensated on the basis of quality and the achievement of meaningful outcomes.

You can find the full plan document on this page on our website: http://ptwa.org/about/bylaws-policies-and-other-governance-documents.

Because these areas of focus are not going to be achieved by just pressing the easy button, we will be working on plans for each of them with a due date of July 1 for the two plans.

Also at the December board meeting we addressed and made recommendations for the revision of the PTWA vision and mission statements. PTWA’s current vision statement models the APTA’s achieved and since revised Vision 2020 language. The current APTA vision is, “Transforming society by optimizing movement to improve the human experience.” Our PTWA vision statement needed an update.

Our proposed mission statement remains similar to our current mission statement, as this is unique to Washington.

The board proposes the following vision and mission statements.

PTWA Vision Statement:  The physical therapy profession is recognized as the best choice for optimizing movement to improve the human experience.

PTWA Mission Statement:  The PTWA Mission is to advance the physical therapy profession in the state of Washington through compassion, accountability, representation and excellence (CARE).

Governance of an association requires member approval of strategic plan/goals, mission and vision changes at a Chapter Meeting. Our next Chapter Meeting will be held on October 6, 2018 in Tacoma. We won’t wait until then to start work on what you have already said are your top priorities for our association.

The work derived from the strategic plan and vision/mission is done primarily by committees. PTWA has existing committees that will work on these goals. We would love your involvement at any level: committee work, volunteer, expert witness, professional opinion etc. Many hands make light work.

Your involvement is as easy as emailing me at president@ptwa.org.

Best wishes for a “movement” filled 2018.

Erik Moen, PT
PTWA President

PTWA Geriatric SIG Approved

The PTWA Geriatric Special Interest Group (GSIG) was approved by PTWA members at the 2017 PTWA Chapter Meeting held in October. The goal of the GSIG is to provide a means by which PTWA PT and PTA members who have a common interest in geriatrics may share information, have a platform to access current guidelines/research on best practice, and meet and promote the interests of its membership, the chapter, the APTA and our profession.


  • Provide a platform for professional interaction between PTs and PTAs within the state of Washington and across multiple practice settings.
  • Provide a platform for discussion of current topics and issues concerning the geriatric physical therapy community.
  • Participate in events promoting geriatric physical therapy care and APTA membership.
  • Represent the interests of GSIG members before the official decision-making bodies of the chapter, APTA and other components.
  • Provide a platform for accessing local resources within our state that support healthy aging.


  • Networking with professionals in your state with a common interest in geriatrics.
  • Opportunities to find community organizations to best support the care of our aging adults.
  • Receive important information about the workings of your state chapter.
  • Receive important information to support effective, evidence-based physical therapy care for our rapidly growing aging adult population in an ever-changing healthcare system.

We look forward to your/PTWA support and participation with this group. Best practice and care for our patients is first on our mind.

Kele Murdin, PT
Geriatric Certified Specialist
Geriatric Training Certification
Certified Exercise Expert for Aging Adults

Happy Physical Therapy Month!

What have you been doing to celebrate/demonstrate National Physical Therapy Month?  This year’s theme is #ChoosePT.  APTA has some great resources on their website.  In the event you are not planning an extravagant party, there are some simple things you can do to get the #ChoosePT message out to the community.  Use your social media. APTA has a Facebook temporary (or not) “frame” you can use on your Facebook profile this month.  That is truly simple and amplifies the #ChoosePT message to your friends. You/we should control the message of what you/we do in your/our physical therapy practices. October is a great time to let people know why physical therapy is the best option for rehabilitation. Please share with us your #ChoosePT moments and we will re-share the love.


Erik Moen
PTWA President

Help Observe National Physical Therapy Month

The heat of summer made one last push as we moved into “school season.” Hard to think it will be fall very soon!

NPTMLogoColor 2017I would ask that you consider some sort of observation of National Physical Therapy Month (NPTM) in October. The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) recently posted resources for your 2017 planning.  National Physical Therapy Month resources may be found at http://www.apta.org/NPTM/ . Plan to share your observations with us (PTWA) and our national association (APTA).

This form of professional advocacy is critical. We must tell the public who we are and what we do. Tell the public why you are the reason to #ChoosePT. Let them know of your education and scope of practice. You make differences in people’s lives…as long as they know who you are. Not everyone knows who you are and what you do as a professional. Take the opportunity to leverage your voice to the public during NPTM.



Erik Moen PT
PTWA President

Thoughts on the APTA House of Delegates, NEXT and Advocacy

Erik Moen_Edited

Erik Moen

The summer for PTWA is highlighted by attendance and the deliberations at the APTA House of Delegates. The House of Delegates is the highest deliberative body in the APTA. Your state was well represented by our leaders who attended this year’s house in Boston in June. My first House of Delegates was in Boston in 1991. Boston has a good spot in my heart. This APTA link has a great overview of our time in Boston.

A special nod of recognition goes to PTWA Chief Delegate Jennifer Lesko. Jennifer has served as our chief delegate for eight years and this was her last year as chief. We thank her for her leadership, organization and excellent representation of Washington (state) interests.

Please take the time to read/review the McMillan and Maley lecture transcripts. The McMillan and Maley lectures are delivered each year during APTA’s NEXT conference, which immediately follows the House of Delegates. The lecture transcripts will appear in print in your Physical Therapy journal. These lectures are always inspirational and worthy of your time.

A word on “summer advocacy.” There certainly is a lot of federal legislative activity going on around health care this summer. Regardless of what side you are on, it is important that you connect with your federal legislators to represent your view point. APTA has your back if you need a little help with this process. APTA has an advocacy app, which can be found in Apple and Google play stores under “APTA Action.”  It is free for members and includes modules for federal action, as well as state action. This APTA advocacy app will tell you who your federal and state legislators are, discuss the issues and enable a good electronic connection to your legislators. I would ask that all PTWA members download this app and engage with your legislators on health care issues that affect your patients, your businesses and our state. Your activism and leadership does help!

I know summer has just begun but I want you to start thinking about participating in the 2017 PTWA Conference, which will take place in the fall.  We have excellent speakers and opportunities for you to network and interact with your peers. Please make plans to join us!


Erik Moen, PT
PTWA President

What a Difference a First-Time Federal Affairs Attendee Made

I had never heard of the APTA Federal Affairs Forum (FAF) until I attended PTWA’s Legislative Impact Day on January, 26, 2017. Legislative Impact Day, where PTs, PTAs and students meet with state legislators to discuss current bills that will impact our profession that will be addressed this session. The FAF is the same type of event but addresses bills at a federal level.

Any APTA member can attend the FAF, which was held this year from March 26-28, 2017. The more therapists and students that attend, the more voices are heard and the stronger the message. Lucky for me, no experience was needed! APTA staff taught us all we needed to know in the two days before we actually went to the Hill.

Our state had six therapists in attendance. We had appointments with both of our senators and the representatives (or their staff) for each of our 10 districts. We had 15 minutes per appointment to review the bills that related to therapy, to relay personal stories and to help each senator or representative understand the impact on our profession that each bill would have.

This was such an amazing experience for me. I am so grateful to my Washington colleagues for their support. A surprise bonus for me was a much deeper appreciation for what the APTA does for us as a profession. I was able to witness the APTA strong presence on Capitol Hill, making a difference for MY career. I saw it, heard it, watched it and participated in it….it felt great! I have always been passionate about physical therapy – and advocating for it in a senator’s office was an honor. Advocacy work DOES make a difference! Being an APTA member IS important for our profession. This type of work requires funding, if we want to remain relevant, viable and be seen as a valuable member of our health care system. Supporting our PAC and the APTA is a huge part of that. I encourage you to get involved! It’s so rewarding!

Kele Murdin, PT
Board Certified Geriatric Specialist
Group with Cantwell 2017

Washington therapists during a meeting with Sen. Maria Cantwell. From left: Tom DiAngelis, Jeanine Gunn, Daphne Ryan, Sen. Cantwell, Brianna Durant, Jennifer Lesko, Kele Murdin, Erik Moen and Elaine Armantrout.