As the nation sits on the cusp of massive health care reform, the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), Alexandria, Va, has adopted an approach to leading the charge to control costs, improve quality, and expand access to health care for all Americans.
The recent Physical Therapy and Society Summit (PASS), a first-of-its-kind event, brought together more than 100 leaders and visionaries in physical therapy, medicine, academia, engineering, bioscience, information technology, and health care policy with the aim of determining areas of opportunity to empower PTs to be leaders in: integrating innovative technologies and practice models, and establishing collaborative multidisciplinary partnerships that address current, evolving, and future societal health care needs.
PASS produced agreement among participants—PTs and non-PTs alike—that the physical therapy profession has a pivotal role in meeting society’s health care needs, particularly in the area of prevention.
PASS Chair Colleen Kigin, PT, DPT, FAPTA, spoke on the profession’s willingness to capture opportunity and collaborate with other professions.
Clem Bezold, PhD, founder and chair of the Institute for Alternative Futures, presented the keynote address "Society’s Expectations for Healthcare in a Time of Challenge and Opportunity. "We have a "Hummer" of a non-health care system, he said, noting the growing number of uninsured Americans, variations in patient care, and the unsustainable cost increases of the US health system. Bezold spoke about the emergence of the comprehensive medical home, new delivery models, disruptive innovations, and competition.
Panelist presentations and interactive sessions focused on education and professional preparation; health care access, systems, and funding; practice models; technology; and research. Common themes included: the pivotal role of the PT in patient care; the importance of collaborating with other health care disciplines and technology experts; the need to coordinate, direct, and manage a collaborative model of practice for neuromusculoskeletal care; the development of new models of education for faculty and students to achieve best practice, and the opportunities that health care reform will offer providers, such as PTs, who are ready and willing to be a part of—and drive—change.
In addition to physical therapist presenters, PASS speakers included: Joseph Kvedar, MD, director of the Center for Connected Health; Reuben Mezrich, MD, PhD, FACR, professor and chair, Department of Diagnostic Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine; W. Zev Rymer, MD, PhD, VP for research, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago; Kenneth J. Giacin, MBA, MS, chairman and CEO of StemCyte Inc; Michael Weinrich, MD, director, National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research; Henry R. Desmarais, MD, MPA, principal, Health Policy Alternatives Inc; Ronald F. Dixon, MD, MA, director, Virtual Practice Project, Massachusetts General Hospital, Department of Medicine, and associate medical director at MGH Beacon Hill Internal Medicine Associates, and Robert Siggins, chief of staff to Rep Earl Pomeroy (D-ND).
Stephanie Crowley, a graphic recorder, was on hand to visually capture the energy, thought processes, and key themes and insights generated during the event. Graphic recording is a unique method for breathing life into and sustaining the special force of a group process through colorful and targeted artwork. The result is a simple and surprisingly powerful tool for remembering the hot topics and highs and lows of a meeting. The artwork will help to sustain the drive behind PASS.