In The News

We Need YOU to Contact CMS Today!

Posted: June 13, 2018

Retrieved 6/11/18 from the AOTA Advocacy and Policy webpage.

AOTA recently published the following article regarding the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed payment system which would go into effect October 1, 2019. Comments due by June 26, 2018 (see below)!

CMS recently issued the proposed rule for the FY 2019 Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Prospective Payment System (PPS). This proposal includes a revised case-mix methodology called the Patient-Driven Payment Model (PDPM) that will dramatically change the way payment for SNF services, including occupational therapy services, are determined. Most significantly, the PDPM would remove therapy minutes as a determinant of payment and create a payment model based on resident clinical characteristics.

AOTA’s primary concern with the PDPM is that patients who require medically necessary occupational therapy may not have access to occupational therapy services because of the model design. Concerns include:

  • The PDPM does not reference cognition or feeding/swallowing in the occupational therapy payment component. This exclusion could inappropriately limit occupational therapy practitioner’s role in addressing these areas.

  • The PDPM does not include co-morbidities in determining the OT or PT payment components.

  • PDPM implementation could be very confusing and burdensome. CMS should set forth a clear transition period.

  • CMS should also finalize the proposed combined 25% limit on group and concurrent therapy for each discipline. AOTA will comment on the group therapy definition and documentation requirements in this area. Ultimately, clinical judgment must be the deciding factor in determining the appropriate type of therapy for each individual patient.

  • On the positive side, CMS proposes to require reporting of therapy mode and minutes at discharge in order to monitor skilled therapy utilization. CMS must adopt its proposal in the final rule to assure access to medically necessary occupational therapy.

Call to Action—What Can You Do?

Comments are due online by June 26, 2018. You can submit comments to CMS, too! There is power in numbers and you can voice your concerns directly to CMS. AOTA has developed a Template Letter (download Word doc) to assist practitioners in submitting comments online to CMS by June 26. We encourage you to customize the letter with your own concerns and specific examples of the types of patients you treat whose service need may not be appropriately addressed by the PDPM. We encourage you to draft your letter in Word prior to going to the submission website.

View full article here, where you can also download the template letter.

Article published with permission from AOTA.


Final weeks to Submit Proposals for 2018 OTAC Conference!


Posted: June 13, 2018

The 2018 Annual OTAC Conference will be held October 11 and 12, 2018 at the Radisson Hotel Denver Southeast located at 3155 S Vaughn Way, Aurora, CO 80014.

As OTAC enters its conference season and occupational therapy practitioners and students face new challenges on many fronts, we must make evident the amazing work we are doing, as well as the work that needs to be done, in our partnerships, in our institutions, and in our profession to meet the needs of all our clients. We need YOU to help contribute to education, brainstorming, and the creativity of the occupational therapy community in Colorado.

We are looking for submissions related to this year’s theme- The Challenge of Change. What evidence based practice you are leading? New innovative ways of providing OT Functional treatment ideas. In what ways are you promoting the distinct value of Occupational Therapy or enhancing others’ health and wellness?

Our goal is to provide a comprehensive format of best practice therapeutic applications, evidence-based research, and interactive workshops relating to a spectrum of settings and subjects.

Please click here to submit your proposal by June 30, 2018.

Join a Special Interest Section (SIS)

Posted: June 13, 2018

Why attend an SIS? To gain knowledge or skills, continuing education, professional development, and networking opportunities in your specific area of interest. Special Interest Sections are FREE for OTAC members!

Administration & Management SIS

WhereLife Care Center of Colorado Springs, 2490 International Cir, Colorado Springs, CO 80910
When: TODAY- Wednesday, June 13 from 5-7 p.m.
Why: Are you interested in leading vs managing?  This SIS is designed to assist you in developing skills that will help you lead a rehab team both efficiently and effectively.  This will not only assist you in leading your team but also how to provide great clinical care to your patients.
Who: Open up to those individuals who supervise others
How: The first session will be a brainstorming session to help build the agenda for future sessions
What to bring: your ideas & a potluck dish to share
SIS Leader: Jennifer Levengood MS, OTR/L,

RSVP here!

Gerontology SIS

Where: Little Sisters of the Poor, Mullen Home for the Aged 3629 W 29th Ave Denver, CO 80211
When: Tuesday, June 26 from 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Why: This meeting is to network and make connections with practitioners interested in older adults and geriatrics, develop a calendar of quarterly meetings, and establish topics of interest
Who: Open to practitioners who work with or are interested in working in geriatrics
How: The first session will be a brainstorming session to help build the agenda for future sessions
What to Bring: your ideas & a potluck side or dish to share
SIS Leader: Carmen Aguirre,

RSVP here!

More SISs to come soon!

If you are interested in leading an SIS please contact Kylie Sleeth at


Don’t miss our next continuing education event

Posted: June 13, 2018 

Acquired Brain Injury: Meeting Wheeled Mobility Needs
The event is open to OTAC members only and is free for OTAC members.

When: Tuesday, June 19th from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Where: CIVICA Management (the management company contracted by OTAC), 2851 S Parker Rd #1210, Aurora, CO 80014
Presented by: Angela Regier, OTD, OTR/L, ATP, SMS

Continuing education will be awarded by AOTA for this course.

Functional mobility following an Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) varies significantly from person to person. The role of the clinical team, in conjunction with the client and family, is to establish a means of mobility that enhances independence and function. Often, this results in the need for a wheeled mobility device. While there is limited evidence available on the topic of wheeled mobility and ABI, it is clear that independent mobility is a predictor of quality of life post ABI. The team must maximize safe and efficient mobility, while considering the cognitive, visual, fatigue, and postural factors often present in this population.

Click here to register and for more information!

Please Welcome OTAC's New and Returning Members

Posted: June 13, 2018






Please welcome this week's new member:

  • Kelly Benson
  • Susan Griner
  • Julia Smith
  • Monica Waldorf

This week's renewing members are:

  • Brandy Bregar
  • Alexandra Fabrizio
  • Esther Kostopoulos
  • Lindsey Ramirez
  • Tracey Vicker

We are glad you are here another year!

Remember, the bigger the number, the bigger the voice. We are excited these members have joined OTAC to let all of our voices be heard. 

OTAC members: View the online membership directory (you must be signed in as a member). Also, search for a member. Not a member? Join us!

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