January 2019 Print

President's Report

Another year is almost in books. Hopefully everyone had a very Merry Christmas and is looking forward to a happy New Year! Your association continued to grow and enjoy success representing our members and our
profession in 2018.
We are working to make some changes that will be positive for the association and will help us be more efficient in our day to day operations as well as during association events. We are moving forward with contracting with RehabNet to provide management services using Becky and an additional employee. Becky’s time, with the growth of our association and her duties with RehabNet, have pushed her to her limit. By contracting with RehabNet we will have availability of Becky’s expertise and an additional person to more efficiently manage our association and put on events such as Optimize.
The ArPTA continues its work of representing the membership and the profession in Arkansas. We now have three delegates to the APTA House of Delegates due to our growth over the last few years. We have been active in working with the APTA on federal affairs as well as State Payment and Policy activities. The association has been staying on top of the ever changing pediatric and Medicaid world. There has been a whirlwind of activity over the past year with major changes in “center based” providers and with the transition toward Provider Led Arkansas Shared Saving Entities (PASSE) assuming full responsibility with developmental disability clients who are Tier II and III. The ArPTA continues to monitor and advocate for physical therapy with the PASSEs and with DHS.
The ArPTA is supporting legislation to allow Arkansas to join the Physical Therapy Compact to make it easier for therapists to practice across state lines which will help with access to care in underserved areas of the state and in surrounding states. This will be very helpful for physical therapists living and working near our borders. Arkansas is currently the only states in the region who is not a part of the PT Compact.
Unfortunately, the Athletic Training association is again putting forth legislation (I am calling it the physically active bill) that would greatly expand their practice if passed. The “physically active” bill would change the definition of an athlete to include anyone who is “physically active”. This would expand the scope of practice for Athletic Training to essentially everyone. They are also attempting to change their supervision and would be able to treat the “physically active” with physician supervision. The supervising physician would not have to be physically present. The governor’s liaison to the PT Board and the AT Board asked the boards to collaborate but the AT association chose not to work with physical therapists. There are many areas where we
could enhance and improve the spectrum of care for student athletes in Arkansas by working together but the AT association wants to legislate parity with physical therapists and not seek ways, we can compliment each other. We will stay on top of the “physically active” bill and keep you informed and possibly ask you to contact your legislators to oppose this measure. Please look for more information as it become available in the next couple of months.
We are already beginning to work on Optimize 2019 which will be in North Little Rock this year. If you have any particular courses you would like to see us offer, now is the time to let us know. Optimize 2019 will take place on Oct. 4-6, 2019. Please mark your calendars and plan to attend. As we get closer and have our speakers and courses set, we will keep you informed.
Again, this year, I want to thank you for your membership and your participation in ArPTA activities. Some physical therapists question the value of membership in the association and choose not to join. Without the association working on the state and national levels we would not enjoy many of the advantages and advances that we have over the last few years. We are stronger as a profession when we work together
and support a larger effort than we could individually. If you know a physical therapist who is not a member, please ask them to consider joining. I would be happy to visit with them on a personal level about the impact and opportunities that membership affords.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! My wish for you is success in your practice and happiness in your life in 2019.

Seth Coulter

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Committee News

Curt Walker, New
Federal Affairs Liaison

John Montgomery is stepping down as our Federal Affairs Liaison. We appreciate the great job he did in keeping us up to date on federal affairs and activating our grassroots people when action was needed. President Seth Coulter has found an
equally motivated and hardworking person to take on this challenging
role, Curt Walker, PT. Curt is the owner of Quantum Rehabilitation in Magnolia. They met in Washington last year while there visiting with legislators. Curt is up to the task and ready to spearhead any action needed on the federal affairs front.


Programming Chair Leah Lowe and Executive Director Becky Crenshaw are so excited to have a full committee of volunteers to help with OPTimize 2019. Rick Gawenda is the first speaker on their list for this Fall. they will be establishing our full panel of speakers after the APTA CSM this month.


Mieke Corbitt, DPT, is the new Nominating Chair and she is eager to get started putting together a slate of qualified and motivated nominees for the elections this summer. We are trying to move up the elections this year to better meet the reporting requirements for the APTA corporate office.. Nominations are needed for President, Treasurer, nominating chair, and PTA caucus representative.


ArPTA membership continues to grow and membership chair Kathy Borrelli is doing a great job. Be watching for more communication from the membership committee in 2019. Our membership count as of November was as follows:

PTs 435
PTAs 79
Students 260
Total Members 774

In November 2017 the numbers were:

PTs 411
PTAs 64
Students 320
Total 795

While we have lost a few student members since 2017, we have gained more PTs and PTAs which is awesome. This has given us another delegate at the House of Delegates. Chief Delegate Steve Forbush will be joined by Delegates Nancy Reese and Park Tipton this year and PTA Caucus Representative Laura Byrd at the House of Delegates.

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State Affairs

State Affairs Representative Arthur Hulbert is working to present the PT Compact Bill here in Arkansas which will make it easier to work across the state borders for many therapists in Arkansas. The AR State Board of Physical Therapy has also agreed to provide a letter of support for this bill. Arthur will also be working closely with President Seth Coulter and our lobbyists, Bill and Bradley Phillips, on making sure that the athletic trainer’s bill does not infringe upon the practice of physical therapy. See the next page for information from Bradley Phillips on this bill.

ArPTA Officer and Committee Chairs

President: Seth Coulter
Vice President: Park Tipton
Treasurer: Bill Taylor
Secretary: Marie Chaton
Bylaws Chair: Steve Forbush
Chief Delegate: Steve Forbush
Delegate: Nancy Reese & Park Tipton
Federal Affairs Liaison: Curt Walker
Legislative Chairs: Arthur Hulbert
Membership Chair: Kathy Borrelli
Newsletter: Becky Crenshaw
Nominating Chair: Mieke Corbitt
Practice Chair: Beth Stamp
Political Action Chair: Marla Murphy
Program Chair: Leah Lowe
PTA Caucus Rep: Laura Byrd
Public Relations Chair: Kristy Vinson
Reimbursement Chair: Bo Renshaw
Research Chair: Charlotte Yates
Student Liaison: Whitney Meyer

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Message from our Lobbyist, Bradley Phillips

There are some significant changes coming to both the Capitol and to some of the tools
that we as an association will have at our disposal.
On the Senate side the seniority drawing for the main committees of the legislative session occurred late last week. The new makeup of the Senate Public Health Committee will be:

Chair: Senator Missy Irvin Vice
Chair: Senator Dave Wallace
Senator Scott Flippo
Senator Kim Hammer
Senator Bill Sample
Senator Ronald Caldwell
Senator Jimmy Hickey
Senator Bart Hester

If you know one of these committee members, please make a special effort to reach out and say hello to them before the start of the legislative session. If you do not know your legislator please download the LobbyUp app in the Apple App or the Google Play Stores. There is an option under the “legislators” tab to find your legislators.
This will be the first year that the new house rules will go into effect that will allow the Speaker to designate the entire makeup of the committee instead of just the chairs and co-chairs. This will be made publicly available the first day of session.
Potential Legislation: Firstly, we plan to run a bill that will include Arkansas in the states participating in a Physical Therapy Compact. This will help those who wish to move or practice in multiple states. Secondly, we are of the understanding that the Athletic Trainers wish to write a bill that will allow them to include those who are “physically active” among the list of patients they may treat. We will not be able to support a bill which will allow such a broad overreach.
New Tools: As part of the expansion of LobbyUp, the bill tracking application owned by Phillips Management, you will be receiving some new advocacy tools as our clients
Free App: You may already download the LobbyUp Free app in either app store. It is expanded from the last iteration of the app and will allow for you to be more engaged in your state government.
Web Portal: A LobbyUp Web Portal will be coming to your association webpage. This will allow you to look at all bills filed, search for bills, look at legislators and committees and see what bills the association is tracking for you. Becky will distribute the web address a????er the Portal is loaded.
LobbyUp Connect: This allows us to load your membership information into the system and group you into house and senate districts. So instead of receiving an “everyone call everyone” email, we will be targeting you based on a legislator. In the case that we need you to contact your legislator, we will send you an email with the contact information for that legislator along with some talking points on why a bill is bad or good. Then after you contact that legislator, you click a link that allows you to tell us what they said. This will help us better coordinate our message.
With these new tools along with our boots on the ground lobbying will ensure that we have another successful legislative session.

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Letter from the ED

2018 was a year of many changes and 2019 is continuing that theme. In 2018, we saw the therapy cap finally removed. No more quick fixes! I know you are all so excited about that.
In 2019, functional limitation reporting is going away and I know that pleases all of you in private practice.

In 2019, physical therapists are now eligible for the
Merit Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) which I am hearing mixed emotions about. MIPS is now available to those of you who bill with a CMS1500 form or electronic equivalent. Only those of you who meet all three criteria are required to participate but if you at least meet one criteria you can opt to participate. The bad news is if you don’t participate, you won’t see any increased reimbursement for the next few years. This has left rehab agencies feeling blue because
they don’t even have the capabilities to participate. I spoke with APTA Quality Director Heather L. Smith about this and her response was, “The MIPS program is based on the NPI/TIN combination of providers. As facility based settings including rehabilitation agencies bill under the TIN only, Medicare cannot use the unique NPI/TIN identify to determine eligibility or make payments (incentives / bonuses). This is why they are still being held out of the program.”

Our Medicaid providers have seen changes with Arkansas Medicaid through 2018 and that continues into 2019. Four Provider-Led Arkansas Shared Savings Entities (PASSEs) were developed to handle tier 2 & 3 developmentally disabled and behavioral health Medicaid kids. In 2018, they began with the care coordination aspect and they are set to take over full care of these kids in 2019. They delayed full execution from January 1 to March 1, 2019, however it is greatly speculated that there will be additional delays.

On the next page of the newsletter is information on townhall meetings being conducted by the 4 PASSE groups for providers in various areas of the state. You will want to RSVP that you are planning to attend. I highly recommend attending one of these meetings if you are a pediatric provider of therapy.

As many of you know, I work full time for Rehab Net and part time for the ArPTA. In 2019, I will be hiring an assistant to work with me to better serve both organizations. This will hopefully allow me more time to actually get to socialize more with members at the events rather than trying to run registration and handle all the details on site.

This will also allow us to take on more active roles in assisting the association in recruiting and growing membership. Let’s keep up our growth trend.

In 2017, we grew our student special interest group to all four DPT programs in the state and have seen the students continue to be more involved in the OPTimize Conference. We enjoy offering them speakers for their meeting to help meet their needs as upcoming new professionals. Patrick did a great job last year and we look forward to working with Whitney on the conference this year.

OPTimize is moving across the river to the Wyndham Riverfront in North Little Rock for 2018 and I can’t be more excited. I can’t wait to see the lineup for speakers and share then with you in the next few

Starting this week, I am going to begin to confirm topics, locations and speakers for the regional courses and spring business meeting. I am hoping we can make it down to Southern Arkansas again this Spring.

2019 is also bringing a new webpage with more capabilities. Keep watching for it!

Becky Crenshaw, MRC, CRC
Executive Director

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Calendar of Events

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Advertising Opportunities

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