JUNE 2020 l InTouch Newsletter Print

President's Report

Dear Association Members,

I am so proud of the physical therapy profession and our association right now!  As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, I have been continually amazed at the selfless acts of courage, compassion, creativity and innovation that I have witnessed by physical therapists and physical therapist assistants as they face this pandemic.  Just like in the polio days in the 1950’s, the physical therapy profession has once again proved its worth in helping people achieve health and function!   Our association members have worked in different capacities during the pandemic from taking vitals of employees, assisting the nursing team in providing care, and many other duties when the need for physical therapy temporarily was reduced.  The profession now is working directly with positive COVID patients to help them maintain function and reduce risk of developing pneumonia – wearing full gear 8+ hours a day and increasing their risk of the disease.  Lastly, we are now seeing these individuals in rehab centers, SNFs, and outpatient centers to help them regain function.     

Outpatient PTs and PTAs have learned to be very tech savvy as they learned how to be effective in providing therapy through telehealth.  They have implemented stringent infection control policies to make their centers safe for their clients.   We have all learned how to be creative in delivering care for our clients.  We have also reached out to our communities encouraging them to maintain fitness and educated them on ways to maintain fitness at home.    

The APTA was there for us by providing countless resources to help us navigate during this pandemic.  They quickly developed resources on telehealth, educating us on proper infection control processes, and developing practice standards for working with COVID patients.  We have seen sections open their website for non-members to get information out – we are better together!  They even in under 3 months developed a platform that proved to be very successful for the very first virtual House of Delegates.  The value of our membership dues was never more apparent! 

The Nebraska chapter has been busy with the athletic trainer 407 practice act revision process.  A strong subcommittee is working on a position statement to submit to the state.   I want to thank Mark Bertch for co-chairing this committee with me.  Our committee members are Michael Witte, Jeff Zimmerman, Angela Jones, Kirk Peck, Teresa Cochran, Terry Grindstaff, and Julie Steinmeyer.   You can keep track of this process by going to this link on the DHHS website - http://dhhs.ne.gov/licensure/Pages/Credentialing-Review-Athletic-Trainers.aspx  Please don’t hesitate to reach out to any of these committee members if you have any concerns or want to offer input.  

APTA will be celebrating 100 years in 2021!  One of the programs next year will be the Centennial Scholars!  It is an opportunity to grow 100 emerging leaders of our association!  Please see upcoming emails from the chapter for an opportunity to apply to this program.  

The Early Professional SIG is up and running under Morgan Busboom as their leader.  We are now looking for experienced clinicians that would like to help the early professionals in mentoring and guidance. Please see the Early Professional SIG webpage for information on how to contact them if interested!    If you haven’t yet entered your profile in the ENGAGE platform – please do!  This allows you to get information quickly about volunteer opportunities both locally and nationally!  

Stay health and please do not hesitate to reach out to your association!  We are here to help you!





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Practice Management

NPTA Practice Management Committee Update

June 1, 2020


Some companies are posting their end dates for COVID-19 requirements.  

  • Specifically, UnitedHealthcare has resumed their prior authorization requirements and site of service reviews as of June 1st.  More UHC updates are as follows:
  • June 30 – Claims with a date of service on or after Jan. 1, 2020 will not be denied for timely filing if submitted by June 30, 2020.
  • July 24 – COVID-19 telehealth service coverage and related cost-share waivers for Individual and fully insured Group Market health plan members are extended through July 24, 2020. We’ll adhere to state regulations for Medicaid plans.
  • Sept. 30 – Cost share is waived for Medicare Advantage members for both primary and specialty office care visits, including telehealth, through Sept. 30, 2020.


Our coalition with the Nebraska Occupational Therapy Association (NOTA) and the Nebraska Speech, Hearing, and Language Association (NSHLA) is jointly working on tackling this issue.  The MPPR is applied to patients that are covered by UnitedHealthcare's Community Plan (Medicaid) and reimbursement rates fall below the fee schedule that is set for the State of Nebraska by the State Legislature.  More information to follow on this topic.

LB 956

The Legislature will return to finish the final 17 days of the legislative session on July 20th and adjourn on August 13th.   We hope that our bill will be passed by the Legislature, which will provide for a 60-day requirement before changes to such things as authorizations for the Heritage Health (Medicaid) plans in Nebraska as it pertains to PT, OT, and SLP.

PT's and ATC's

Many of you know that the Athletic Trainers of Nebraska are in the midst of changing their practice act.  APTA-NE members, including, our president, Grace Knott and PT's that are are also licensed ATC's have met 3 times to discuss the proposed changes.  In addition, the APTA-NE and the NSATA members have met on 2 separate occasions.  There is a hearing tomorrow and APTA-NE will have representatives attending the hearing.


It has been brought to my attention that Medica may be employing some new edits in relation to ICD10.  You may have had some denials with specific combinations of codes.  We are looking into this further and more updates in the very near future will follow.  Please contact me if you are having these issues.  [email protected]

Thank you so much!!!

Brian Brunken, PT, MSPT, OCS


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Education Committee

Despite the Annual Education Conference being cancelled for 2020, the Education Committee continues to look toward the future in the hopes that 2021 will bring renewed opportunities for professional learning and networking.

The Education Committee is always open to taking recommendations for speakers. We are currently determining if the 2020 line up of speakers would be open to presenting at the upcoming 2021 Education Conference.

The Education Committee encourages you to continue learning and developing your knowledge in these unprecedented times. We encourage you to check out the APTAnebraska.org website, where you can find other educational options: see the Events tab in the top right corner and click on Calendar of CEUs. We also invite those with pearls of wisdom to teach, to develop online learning modules and submit them on the NPTA.org website for Continuing Education Course Approval to get them added to the CEU Locker: NPTA Homestudy & Online Courses Page. 

Jen Bruursma, Education Committee Co-Chair

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Central District

Happy Spring from the Central District of APTA NE.  We would like to introduce ourselves as the new co-chairs to the Central District and express our excitement to take on this role.  We are both eager to bring you quality continuing education, promote networking amongst our region and work alongside the rest of the executive committee in serving our members.

Tessa Wells has been an APTA member since 2003, and a 2006 alum of the University of Nebraska Medical Center. She practiced in Kearney, NE at CHI Health Good Samaritan/Kearney Physical Therapy in both inpatient and outpatient before taking a faculty position in 2016 at the UNMC-Kearney campus. She specializes in geriatric rehabilitation and is the co-state advocate for Nebraska for APTA Geriatrics.

Stacie Christensen is a faculty member at UNMC – Kearney campus as well and practices in the acute care and inpatient rehab units at CHI Health Good Samaritan/Kearney Physical Therapy.  She is a 2008 alum of UNMC and longtime member of APTA and APTA NE.  She specializes in neurological rehab with 10+ years of experience in inpatient rehab.

In the past year, the Central District has hosted continuing education courses locally.  The fall course originated from Kearney and presented a clinical practice guideline on selecting core outcome measures for neurological patients. There was good representation from both licensed therapists and physical therapy students.  The meeting was streamed using GoToMeeting to allow remote attendance for clinicians unable to travel to the host site.  The meeting planned for Spring did not occur due to COVID-19.

We anticipate planning the next education event as we are allowed to gather again with continued use of the GoToMeeting platform to bring you education even within these unprecedented times. Please reach out to either Tessa ([email protected]) or Stacie ([email protected]) with any suggestions for future discussions or any questions or concerns that we can assist with. We look forward to serving you!



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Western District

Mike Moravec recently retired from being the Western District chair. Thank you Mike for your time and effort that you dedicate to our association over the lat 5 years as chair.

The Western District recently hosted a two part online class on pain neuroscience  by Justin Dunaway of the Institute of Clinical Excellence (ICE). The courses were  very informative  and attended by therapist across the state. We are looking forward to providing more of these educational opportunities in the future.

Sidney Regional Medical Center is planning on hosting the ICE class of Total Spine Thrust Manipulation on July 25th and 26th. Sidney Regional Medical Center would like to welcome anyone to attend and share in this educational experience. Due to the current COVID circumstances, this class may be subject to change. 

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House of Delegates

Good afternoon to the APTA Nebraska chapter.

I love our new rebranding and how consistent we will be across the nation with how strong the APTA is becoming.

Soon the first virtual House of Delegates will convene on June 1st, 2nd and 3rd via Zoom. Please join us on the APTA website if you’re sitting in your office with a little time to kill. I think you will find the HoD inspiring and the process through virtual media this year is interesting to say the least.

You will be represented by Bobby Griese, chief delegate, Kasey Murphy, Brent Todd, Cheryl Wisinski, Karen Paschal, Grace Knott, alternate delegate, and Ian Thompson, PTA caucus representative.

9 main motions have been put on the consent calendar and will be voted in first order of business in the house. Then the other 32 motions will be debated virtually starting with the by-law amendments because every 5 years the HoD looks at by-laws and changes that are needed to support the current times.

Hope to see you all soon at a meeting that we are face to face without masks when it is safe!

Bobby Griese, PT, DPT

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Early Professional Special Interest Group (EPSIG)

The Early Professional Special Interest Group (EPSIG) had its first executive committee meeting via zoom on May 31st in preparation for recruitment of members and mentors for the group. Among many topics the committee discussed in detail the following: mentorship for members; committee’s vision for social media; recruitment of members and mentors; and events the SIG would like to host in the future. The executive committee consist of the following young professionals: Chairperson – Morgan Busboom, PT, DPT, CSCS; Vice Chairperson – Devan Sedlacek, PT, DPT; Director at Large – Maggie Morehouse, PT, DPT; Secretary – Cara Cameron, PT, DPT; PTA Director – Cortney Kelley, PTA; Nominating Chair – Reana Mulcahy, PT, DPT.

Please stay tuned for information from the SIG on recruitment of members and mentors, social media, and events!

Reminder that the SIG is an organization for early professionals in physical therapy that are within 5 years out of school and current members of the NE Chapter of the APTA.

Please contact the executive committee with any questions by emailing [email protected].

Morgan Busboom, MS, CSCS
Creighton University School of Pharmacy and Health Professions
Doctor of Physical Therapy Candidate 2020

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