In the News

Biden Jobs Plan Would Invest Billions In Care Economy, Grow Home Care

Inside Health Policy
By Maya Goldman / March 31, 2021 at 5:00 AM
 
President Joe Biden’s American Jobs Plan would extend the Money Follows the Person program to expand access to home- and community-based care, according to briefing notes released by the Biden administration Tuesday night (March 30). As of press time, the White House had not responded to questions about how long the extension would last.
 
The plan [unveiled by Biden Wednesday, March 31] would invest $400 billion in the so-called care economy. An administration official said the plan would reduce waitlists for home care, and, in doing so, create more jobs in the home care workforce.
 
One in six essential health care workers live in poverty, the official said. Biden’s plan would create more than 1 million new jobs in the care industry, and ensure those jobs pay well. The official did not specify whether all of those jobs would be in home care.
 
The official said the president’s team has been in touch with members of Congress to get feedback and figure out how to proceed but did not say that reconciliation has been identified as a way to push the plan through.

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Congress Extends Medicare Sequestration Relief

Thanks in large part to our collective advocacy, the Senate has passed H.R. 1868, which would extend the moratorium on the 2% Medicare sequestration until December 31, 2021. To offset the cost, the bill also extends the timeframe for the Medicare sequestration to permanently expire to the end of 2030.

President Biden is expected to sign the legislation into law after the House passes the Senate version of the bill. However, the House is not scheduled to be back in session to vote on legislation until April 13, 2021, after the current moratorium has expired on March 31, 2021. Negotiations regarding the lapse beginning April 1st are ongoing.

 

Five Reaons Why COVID Herd Immunity is Probably Impossible

Nature.com/Christie Aschwanden

As COVID-19 vaccination rates pick up around the world, people have reasonably begun to ask: how much longer will this pandemic last? It’s an issue surrounded with uncertainties. But the once-popular idea that enough people will eventually gain immunity to SARS-CoV-2 to block most transmission — a ‘herd-immunity threshold’ — is starting to look unlikely.

That threshold is generally achievable only with high vaccination rates, and many scientists had thought that once people started being immunized en masse, herd immunity would permit society to return to normal. Most estimates had placed the threshold at 60–70% of the population gaining immunity, either through vaccinations or past exposure to the virus. But as the pandemic enters its second year, the thinking has begun to shift. In February, independent data scientist Youyang Gu changed the name of his popular COVID-19 forecasting model from ‘Path to Herd Immunity’ to ‘Path to Normality’. He said that reaching a herd-immunity threshold was looking unlikely because of factors such as vaccine hesitancy, the emergence of new variants and the delayed arrival of vaccinations for children.

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President's Message

Posted: March 25, 2021

Diversity – Equity - Inclusion 
 
Everywhere I turn lately, I am reminded about the discrepancies that exist in all areas of my personal and work life. I want to be clear here...for you the member...I am not angry; I am impatient. I am not pointing the finger of accusation; I am taking it upon myself to be the change I want to see in the world (and personally, I think, is needed).   
 
Fact: It is 2021 and in the US, women STILL make $.82 for every dollar earned by a man. (source:  www.NBCNEWS.com ) 
 
Fact: This gap is even WIDER for women of color – in 2019 black women were paid 63% of what non-Hispanic white men were paid (source:  US Census) 
 

Fact Women have LOST 1 million more jobs than men during the pandemic (source:  www.NBCNEWS.com).  

What will I lean into, with both intention and determination?  I will seek out women-owned businesses.  I will seek out those professional colleagues that speak to my sensibilities of diversity, equity and inclusion.  I will work to bring resources to the Home Health Academy related to DEI.  I will continually work to identify, hire and provide a path to leadership for other women through Kornetti & Krafft Health Care Solutions, along with my partners Cindy Krafft and Sherry Teague.   

It is incumbent upon each of us to lift each other up. On that note, a big shout out to my DEI colleague, Chris Condran, PT, DPT, MBA-HCM, MS, ACSM-EP, NSPA-CS, on his LGBTQIA+ cultural competency training for physical therapists. Want to find out more? Check out Chris' LinkedIn for more information!

Congratulations to Dr. Rachel Levine, newly appointed Assistant Secretary, HHS – she is qualified and talented.  Never mind she is transgender.  She is the right woman for the job.  There are many more of us.  All races, ages, religions, sexual orientations, and gender identities.   

APPOINT WOMEN. HIRE WOMEN. PAY WOMEN. 

As always, be vigilant.  Be prepared.  Stay informed.  Get vaccinated. . . .#IAmVaccinated! 

Sincerely,  

Dee Kornetti
President
APTA Home Health Academy
 

 

Protect Physical Therapy From Cuts and Access to Medicare 

National Efforts
HR 1611 The 21st Century Cures Act of 2016 contained a provision, for which APTA successfully advocated, that added physical therapists to the health care professionals who may use locum tenens under Medicare. This allows a physical therapist to bring in another licensed physical therapist to treat Medicare patients and bill Medicare through the practice provider number during temporary absences, due to illness, vacation, etc. The existing law, however, applies only to physical therapists in rural and underserved areas. This limitation prohibits many physical therapists in private practice from taking needed absences without interrupting patient care. If enacted, H.R. 1611 would expand the use of locum tenens nationwide for outpatient PTs.

ACT NOW! APTA continues to fight any and all Medicare cuts and right now, we need your help. Congress must pass legislation that extends the current moratorium on the automatic 2% Medicare sequester cut — also referred to as sequestration — during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency. This cut impacts Medicare payments to all providers and facilities, and it currently expires on March 31.  On Friday, the House passed legislation which included extending the moratorium of the 2% Medicare sequester cut. It’s now the Senate’s turn to address this issue.

Visit the APTA Action Center to find tools to share this message, contact your representatives and find other ways to help.

APTA Action Center
 
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