Legislative and Advocacy Progress in the 114th Congress

By Alpha Lillstrom Cheng, JD, MA, and Jerry Connolly, PT
January 1, 2017

Over the past two years your lobbyists utilized the Private Practice Section (PPS) legislative and advocacy priorities for the 114th Congress to guide PPS advocacy efforts. With these goals in mind, we cultivated and capitalized on the relationships we have built with members of Congress. Through these efforts and PPS member engagement, we have been able to advance legislation that seeks to remove barriers to access as well as improve the business opportunities and climate for private practice physical therapists. While our advocacy goals have not been fully attained, we can take pride in the progress that has been made. We look forward to building on these accomplishments in pursuit of our goals. In boldface in the following are the Section’s advocacy priorities for the 114th Congress that received the most attention and activity, along with a detailed explanation of the legislative and regulatory activity in pursuit of the PPS mission.

CMS Seeks to Expand Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement Model to Surgical Hip and Femur Fracture Treatment Episodes

By Alpha Lillstrom Cheng, JD, MA
November 11, 2016

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) remains focused on regulations to move away from fee-for-service (FFS) and toward value-based payment systems. The first Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR) model was implemented this April. Then on August 2 CMS proposed an expansion of the current CJR bundling provisions for total hip (THA) and knee (TKA) arthroplasty to a model that will include Medicare beneficiaries undergoing surgical hip and femur fractures treatment (SHFFT) episodes.

Choosing a President


How will your choice affect your business?

By Jerry Connolly, PT, CAE
October 10, 2016

The conventions of the national political parties have come and gone and a historic presidential election approaches. It has been a tumultuous primary season with results that few predicted; a political outsider as the candidate of the usually more traditional GOP, and the first woman as the nominee of a major political party.

The Value of Feedback


Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services seeks to implement merit-based incentive payment system.

By Alpha Lillstrom Cheng, JD, MA
September 9, 2016

The Private Practice Section’s (PPS) federal policy efforts focus on advocating for and supporting the passage of bills that impact private practice physical therapy. However, the passage of legislation is not the end of the road for policy development. After a bill is signed into law by the President, the intent and direction of the law needs to be determined and implemented by an agency in the executive branch. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and its Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) are tasked with drafting, proposing, and finalizing regulations that put meat on the bones of health care laws. Through a process known as “notice of proposed rulemaking” (NPRM), CMS releases draft regulations to the public and requests feedback and comments from stakeholders. Based on the summary, analysis, and draft comments developed by your lobbying team, PPS routinely weighs in on these proposals on behalf of the membership.

They Need You


Engage with candidates this campaign season.

By Alpha Lillstrom Cheng, JD, MA
August 8, 2016

It is August in an election year. While many things are uncertain in this incredible election cycle, one thing is for sure—candidates are pounding the pavement, knocking on doors, kissing babies, and eager to meet as many constituents as possible in order to earn as many votes as they can. This presents you with many opportunities to engage with those running for office while he or she is in campaign mode.

During campaign season, people running for office host events such as town hall meetings, rallies, and listening sessions. These public events are often well publicized and are the perfect opportunity to introduce yourself to the candidate and their staff. Often the local papers or news stations report on upcoming events, but the most efficient way to find out when and where an event will take place is to sign up for notices on his or her website. The process is similar for anyone running for office, but the mechanisms differ slightly because of differing levels of organization and resources a given candidate might have. Campaign websites vary widely in their sophistication and ease of use. The easiest way to find a campaign website is to search for the full name and the candidate and “campaign” in a search engine such as Google. For candidates challenging an incumbent legislator, it is often most efficient to call or stop by their campaign office and ask for the best way to get on their event mailing list. In the case of incumbent members of Congress running for reelection, there are two places to look—their campaign website and their official congressional website. Generally a sitting senator’s official website uses the following naming convention: www.senator’slastname.senate.gov; for an incumbent representative it will be www.representative’sname.house.gov. If your legislator has the same last name as another member of Congress, use their first name too; for example www.paulryan.house.gov is Speaker Paul Ryan’s official congressional website. Another way to make sure you learn of upcoming events in your area is to reach out to both the incumbent’s district and campaign offices and ask to be added to their event mailing list.

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