In the News

National, State-Level, and County-Level Prevalence Estimates of Adults Aged ≥18 Years Self-Reporting a Lifetime Diagnosis of Depression — United States, 2020

Weekly / June 16, 2023 / 72(24);644–650

Benjamin Lee, MPH1,2; Yan Wang, PhD1; Susan A. Carlson, PhD1; Kurt J. Greenlund, PhD1; Hua Lu, MS1; Yong Liu, MD1; Janet B. Croft, PhD1; Paul I. Eke, PhD1; Machell Town, PhD1; Craig W. Thomas, PhD1 (VIEW AUTHOR AFFILIATIONS)


What is already known about this topic?

Depression is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States.

What is added by this report?

During 2020, 18.4% of U.S. adults reported having ever been diagnosed with depression; state-level age-standardized estimates ranged from 12.7% in Hawaii to 27.5% in West Virginia. Model-based age-standardized county-level prevalence estimates ranged from 10.7% to 31.9%, and there was considerable state-level and county-level variability.

What are implications for public health practice?

Decision-makers can use these estimates to guide resource allocation to areas where the need is greatest, possibly by implementing practices such as those recommended by The Guide to Community Preventive Services Task Force and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

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First-Ever Exercise Guidelines for RA Treatment Emphasize Physical Therapy


Several APTA members helped create the new guidance on how best to integrate exercise, diet, and other elements into RA management.

The Message

In its first-ever set of guidelines for the use of interventions beyond antirheumatic drugs in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, the American College of Rheumatology strongly recommends consistent engagement in exercise and emphasizes the role of physical therapists and occupational therapists in what it believes should be a multidisciplinary treatment team.

Authors say that while more research is needed to identify which types of exercise and rehabilitation approaches are most effective, that only underscores the importance of knowledgeable therapists working with patients to identify the kinds of exercises and treatments that are best suited to the patient's own needs and goals. Additional recommendations offer guidance related to diet, cognitive behavioral therapy, acupuncture, thermal modalities, and more.

The Study

Development of the guideline began with the establishment of a set of clinical population, intervention, comparator, and outcome questions, which were the basis for a systematic review of the research literature. That team gathered relevant research, evaluated the quality of evidence, and presented an initial report that was reviewed by additional guideline team members as well as a panel of 12 patients with RA. The patient panel added its perspectives and preferences to the review, which was presented to a voting panel. That panel had to reach agreement of 70% or more of panel members in order to arrive at a recommendation as well as establish a level of evidence to support the recommendation. Three members of the patient panel served on the voting panel.

The initial review identified nearly 9,000 potentially eligible manuscripts, which were winnowed to 275 that met criteria for use in guideline development.

APTA members Anita Bemis-Dougherty, PT, DPT, MAS; Thomas Bye, PT, DPT, MS; Chris Lane PT, DPT; Hiral Master, PT, MPT, PhD, MPH; Carol Oatis, PT, PhD; Daniel Pinto, PT, PhD; Kimberly Steinbarger, PT, MSPT, DHSc, MHS; Louise Thoma, PT, PhD; and Daniel White, PT, ScD, MSc, participated in the development of the guideline. Oatis, Thoma, and White were among the authors of an accompanying editorial.

Recommendations and Evidence Strength

The recommendations are presented in four broad areas: exercise, rehabilitation, diet, and "additional integrative intervention recommendations." Recommendations are identified as either "strong" or "conditional" and include guidance both for and against various interventions. Only engagement in exercise was supported by moderate evidence strength, the single highest strength rating given in this resource. The remaining recommendations were supported by low- to very low-certainty evidence, or were not supported by evidence but were identified by the voting panel as important to include in the guideline.

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President's Message

Posted: June 27, 2023

I am going to use my message today to invite you to provide feedback and guidance to our leadership, and to ask you to prepare for a significant advocacy effort on behalf of the Academy, our industry, and our profession.

First, APTA Home Health’s delegates, Eva Norman and myself, are holding a virtual House of Delegates Town Hall this Wednesday, June 28, at 8 PM EDT(Members must register). We will brief you on this year’s slate of candidates for APTA Board of Directors and Nominating Committee as well as several of the twenty-eight proposed motions. You can read those motions here. We will then open the “floor” for your comments and questions about anything around the APTA House of Delegates. I look forward to speaking with many of you then!

I expect CMS to release the 2024 Home Health PPS proposed rule in the next 10 days or so. After last year, we are expecting yet another significant cut in reimbursement through the “behavioral adjustment”. Once the rule is released, our Government Affairs committee, along with APTA Regulatory Affairs staff, will analyze the proposal and provide a mechanism to comment. This will likely be different than in previous years, as CMS has caught on to our use of templates. Keep an eye out for time-sensitive emails about this.

Additionally, our friends in the Senate, Susan Collins (R-ME) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) have introduced the Preserving Access to Home Health Act of 2023 (S 2137). This bill serves to reduce CMS’ authority to utilize “behavioral adjustments” and reverse the “behavioral adjustments” of previous years. Expect to see an e-mail from APTA Home Health later this week asking you to reach out to your Senators and Representative to support this bill.

Thank you for your support of APTA Home Health and our industry through your advocacy efforts! We can’t win these fights without you!


TODAY: Policy in Practice: PDGM and Its Impact on Clinical Practice

When: Tuesday, June 27, 2023 | 7:00pm ET

Registration Fee:

  • APTA Academy of Leadership and Innovation Members: $49.00
  • APTA Home Health Academy Members using discount code HHA2023: $49.00
  • Non-Members: $79.00

Description: This session will help clinicians, administrators, and researchers understand the Patient-Driven Grouping Model and its impact on the practice of physical therapy. Presenters will explain this alternative payment model, the rules surrounding it, and the challenges and opportunities that clinicians face. They will detail the impact of this policy on therapy volume and staffing so participants can apply the research to their current practice.

Objectives: At the conclusion of this webinar, the participant will be able to:

  • Describe the Patient-Driven Groupings Model and how it varies from (the previous method of HH payment)
  • Explain the current policy changes from the 2024 home health rule
  • Appraise clinical examples of changes that have occurred in home health practice in response to these policy changes

Click Here to Learn More and Register!


House of Delegates Virtual Town Hall

When: Wednesday, June 28, 2023 | 8:00pm ET

This HOD virtual town hall is open to APTA Home Health members only. 

Please join us to discuss the House of Delegates candidates for this year and the motions coming before the upcoming House! 

Members, if you are able to attend, please register here for FREE:

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