Update on Sensory Integration International (SII)

Here is an important announcement from the California Attorney General’s office. This concerns practitioners who are seeking refunds for SII courses. Please take note that deadline for filing of reimbursement requests is on 15 May 2008.

Consumer Alert! – Sensory Integration International (SII)

Dear Consumers,

There has been a partial settlement of the Los Angeles civil case People of the State of California v. Sensory Integration [sic] International, et al. (LACSC Case Number BC356213). Under the terms of the settlement, a fund (“Settlement Fund”) will be created for the purpose of providing refunds/partial refunds to persons who registered and paid for courses offered by Sensory Integration International (SII), who were unable to take the courses, and never received refunds of registration fees.

In order to be eligible for a refund/partial refund from the Settlement Fund, please submit a written request to: Office of the Attorney General, Charitable Trusts, 300 S. Spring Street, Los Angeles, California, 90013, Investigative Auditor Martha Gallardo, or by email to martha.gallardo@doj.ca.gov. You may also submit the request by facsimile to (213) 897-7605.

You will need to provide written documentation to the AGO showing that you paid for a course(s), and a signed statement declaring that you did not attend the course(s) and did not receive a refund of the registration fee from SII or from any other source.

The proof of payment the AGO requires would be, depending on the form of payment to SII, either a copy of the check paid to SII (front and back of check), credit card statement or bank statement with the account number blackened, any sales receipt from SII or confirmation of enrollment. In addition, where applicable, any subsequent correspondence from SII regarding postponement of the course(s), your requests to SII demanding a refund, and any subsequent correspondence with or any email with SII regarding a refund owed to you or acknowledgment from SII regarding a refund due to you (either by way of letter or email, or both).

All requests and supporting documentation must be submitted to the AGO no later than May 15, 2008, in order to be eligible to receive a refund/partial refund from the Settlement Fund.

Just to reiterate, any refund issued, will be for course registration fees that you paid for and did not attend, and did not receive a refund from SII or from any other source. Refund amounts will be determined based on the total number of consumers eligible for the refund pool, thus any refund issued may be less than the amount of a refund claim submitted.

Investigative Auditor Martha Gallardo can be contacted at (213) 620-2102 or martha.gallardo@doj.ca.gov.

Source: California Board of OT

Worst US Nursing Homes Listed

A number of our fellow therapists are working in skilled nursing facilities in the US. It is also not uncommon for agencies enticing therapists with job placements in nursing homes.  It is thus worthwhile to read this Science Daily news as it features Special Focus Facility (SFF) nursing homes.

ScienceDaily (Feb. 14, 2008) — The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has built upon historic action it took last November by making public more names of underperforming nursing homes across the country.

On November 29, 2007, the agency began publishing the names of Special Focus Facility (SFF) nursing homes that had failed to improve significantly after being given the opportunity to do so. Serious deficiencies include such things as failing to give residents their medications in the correct dose at the correct time, taking steps to prevent abuse or neglect, inappropriate use of restraints and failure to prevent or properly treat bed sores.

Once a facility is selected as an SFF, state survey agencies are responsible for conducting twice the number of standard surveys and will apply progressive enforcement until the nursing home either (a) significantly improves and is no longer identified as an SFF, (b) is granted additional time due to promising developments, or (c) is terminated from Medicare and/or Medicaid.

As for neglecting their residents, the staff should also make sure that accidents like falls are prevented. Well, it is high time this survey has happened. People who stay in such facilities pay these nursing homes to take care of them, not to mistreat them.

Read more of this article here. Click here to download the Nursing Home List.

Source: Science Daily

Physician Quality Reporting Initiative in 2008: New Ways to Qualify for 1.5% Bonus

The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) will have a 1.5 – hour live audio conference titled PQRI in 2008: New Ways to Qualify for 1.5% Bonus on January 30, 2008 from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. EST.  Registration closes Friday, January 25, at midnight EST or when all available places are filled, whichever comes first.

Featured Speakers
Rhea Cohn, PT, DPT
Ken Harwood, PT, PhD, CIE
Michael P Johnson, PT, MS, OCS

In 2008 physical therapists who bill Medicare for outpatient physical therapy services in private practice settings (using the 1500 claim form or 837-P) can obtain a 1.5% bonus payment if they report on quality measures. Physical therapists can now report on 8 new measures in 2008 under this program, referred to as the “Physician Quality Reporting Initiative.”

Michael Johnson, PT, MS, OCS, consultant on quality measure development, joins Rhea Cohn, PT, DPT, APTA’s associate director of reimbursement, and Ken Harwood, PT, PhD, CIE, vice president of practice and education, to tell you what you need to know about the Physician Quality Reporting Initiative for 2008. During the Q & A session following the presentation, you may ask your questions directly to the experts. Upon completion of this audio conference, you will be able to:

o       Evaluate whether your private practice should participate in the program.
o       Identify the new quality measures for 2008 that apply to physical therapists in private practice settings.
o       Recognize how quality measures are developed.
o       Alter your billing to report the codes used under the quality reporting program.
o       Position your practice to collect data to report on the new quality measures and to ensure successful reporting.

Cost
APTA Members and Life Members: $79
APTA Members’ Office Managers (must be registered by the APTA member): $79
Nonmembers: $149.
No group rates are available.

Each registrant will receive a CD-ROM of the audio conference to be mailed after March 1, 2008.

If you can’t participate live in “PQRI in 2008: New Ways to Qualify for 1.5% Bonus,” you may purchase the CD-ROM (Product ID# AV-45VP), which includes the audio conference recording and handouts, all for the same price as the LIVE seminar. The CDs will be available after March 1, 2008, and cost $79 for members and $149 for nonmembers. Don’t miss this chance to learn how to obtain the 1.5% bonus payment for reporting on quality measures.

Registration Information
1. Please Note: An e-mail address is required for registration in order to send a confirmation. APTA does not share e-mail addresses with any other parties. Please use your most frequently used email address to ensure the timely receipt of your confirmation materials.

2. You will need a credit card for payment.

3. You will receive an e-mail with a toll-free number, an access code, and a unique pin number to dial in for the audio conference. In addition, you will receive the Web site address to download course handouts. It is essential that we have a correct e-mail address so that we can provide this information.

4. Online registration is coming soon! To register, download the registration form, or call the APTA Member Services department at 800/999-2782, ext 3395.Continuing Education Units: Each registered participant will receive a Certificate of Attendance to earn 0.2 CEU or 2 contact hours after successful completion of a test with a score of 70% or better.

Source: APTA

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