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ADVANCE Perspective: Physical Therapy & Rehab Medicine

PT 2012 Preview: The Profession’s New Role

Published May 21, 2012 10:38 AM by Lisa Lombardo

If you ever get a chance to talk to actors, you'll find that one of their biggest fears is being "typecast": always up for parts playing the same character-the good guy, the bad guy, the "sidekick," the token girlfriend, the criminal, the rough-at-the-edges cop, the name it. Have too much success at one type of role, the theory goes, and that's all you will be considered for in the future.

The same rule can apply to businesses-and professions in general. If you are only known for one type of service, or marketed at only a certain level, chances are you will stay stuck in that rut for the foreseeable future.

The profession of physical therapy has been making bold moves recently to see that it isn't framed by typecasting on what services it provides, or how it can provide them. Changes such as direct access laws and reimbursement reform, and a push in advocacy at the state and federal levels have pushed PT to the forefront of debates on how to best use health care dollars and where PT stands in insurance reform.

This year at PT 2012, held June 6-9 in Tampa, FL, one of the programming tracks "What's New With Health Care Reform," touches on all of these issues, and should be a must-see for attendees who need to keep up with ongoing issues on payment, ACOs, data collection, research and of course, the upcoming 2012 elections that will put health care reform at the forefront.

Sessions in this track include "2012 Elections: The Impact on Public Policy Affecting Physical Therapy" on Thursday, June 7; "A New Model for Payment Reform: Patient Presentation and PT Expertise," on Thursday, June 7; "Direct Access: A New Chapter for Patients, Payers, Physicians and Physical Therapists, on Friday June 8; "The 2012 Rothstein Roundtable: Medical Homes, PACA, IFDS---Where Do Physical Therapists Fit in a Reforming Health Care Environment," on Friday, June 8; "Be a Part of the Future: Learning to Promote Physical Therapy," on Friday, June 8; "ACOs, Medical Homes and the Future of PT Practice," on Saturday, June 9, and "Advancing Practice: Why You Should Care About Quality Measurement," on Saturday, June 9.

Last year at PT 2011 in National Harbor, the profession had the perfect platform for presenting its case on all of these issues-on Capitol Hill before the congressional decision-makers who can make a difference in getting the profession's interests in front of those who matter. This year the venue moves south-but with only six months to go prior to the election, APTA and its members need to stress more than ever how the profession must adapt to changes in policy and become decision-makers themselves on future care provision. The role might be changing, but the profession can still dominate the stage.



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