TPTA Wins Innovative Component Award
By Paul Hardin, CAE
THE 2013 APTA INNOVATIVE COMPONENT AWARD WAS AWARDED TO TPTA. THIS AWARD STRIVES TO RECOGNIZE THE COMPONENT SHOWING EVIDENCE OF CREATIVE, OUT-OF-THE-BOX THINKING. ENTRIES IN THIS CATEGORY DEMONSTRATE INNOVATIONS THAT HAVE INCREASED THE VALUE PROPOSITION FOR MEMBERS AND IMPROVED THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE COMPONENT. THE INNOVATIONS SUBMITTED FOR THE AWARD INCLUDE:
Expanding the Membership Committee and Their Activities to Grow to 5,000+ Members
- Members regularly report on the value of their membership; however, sharing that value with over 20,000 licensed PTs and PTAs in Texas is a challenge. The TPTA Membership Committee responded to this challenge in many ways over the past few years. The highlights include:
- Restructuring the Membership Committee to include over 30 members on five subcommittees, including: PTA, Student and Faculty, Districts, Facilities, and New Professionals Subcommittees;
- Completing a membership survey to aid the Membership Committee and staff in developing and enhancing member benefits that will address needs members consider most vital to their practice;
- Enhancing our "Reach 100” school and facilities campaign to increase participation; and;
- Achieving our 2012 goal of 5,000 members in September with a future goal of 7,500 members.
Identifying and Meeting Payment Policy Needs in Texas
Therapists throughout Texas have been impacted by payment policy issues, ranging from rate reductions to policy changes to Medicaid managed care expansion. In 2012, the TPTA took many steps towards addressing these issues. The highlights include:
- Adding a staff member (beginning January 2012) to provide support to the TPTA Payment Policy Committee and assist with building resources;
- Engaging our membership to respond to several rounds of proposed Medicaid reductions and prevent the staggering cuts that were proposed;
- Developing relationships with Texas Health & Human Services Commission Medicaid staff to address payment policy issues;
- Responding to proposed Workers’ Compensation Performance-Based Oversight measures involving physical therapy;
- Completing a comprehensive payment-practice membership survey to aid the Payment Policy Committee and staff in addressing member needs, which indicated that only 20% of Texas members are well-versed in payment policy issues;
- Seeking input from facilities regarding practice needs via a facility survey; and
- Developing a payment policy webinar plan, which began with our first webinar on Medicare that attracted over 110 participants.
Training Leaders via the Tom Waugh Leadership Program
Expanding organizations needs leaders to guide them in building innovative programs that address membership needs and increase the value of membership. In 2012, the TPTA created the Tom Waugh Leadership Program to build new leaders. Program highlights include:
- Developing a comprehensive leadership training curriculum to build future generations of TPTA leaders;
- Engaging 16 potential leader mentees and 16 existing leader mentors to participate in the inaugural program; and
- Creating a fellowship program to take these newly developed leaders to the next level of service in 2013.
Increasing Governmental Affairs Efforts to Have a Greater Impact
Physical therapists play a key role in the healthcare arena; this role requires equal involvement the advocacy and policy arena. In 2012, the TPTA Governmental Affairs Committee built on an already effective and engaged committee to prepare for the 2013 legislative session. The highlights include:
- Expanding the Governmental Affairs Committee to include four sub-committees, including Scope, Non-Scope, Federal Affairs and PAC Fundraising;
- Developing an improved strategy for obtaining direct patient access in Texas, which included research on all direct access laws and efforts throughout the United States and meeting with organizations typically opposed to direct access to address concerns and attempt to build a consensus on issues;
- Drafting and passing a "term protection” bill to protect "DPT” and "MPT” within our state practice act; and
- Identifying over 100 bills to monitor during session and creating a plan to seamlessly work with experts on other committees (such as the Payment Policy and Practice Committees) to review these bills and address changes if passed during session.
Enhancing Continuing Competence in Texas by Partnering with the Licensing Board
The Texas Board of Physical Therapy Examiners identified the need to enhance continuing competence for Texas licensees and the TPTA partnered with the Board to lay the groundwork for additional continuing competence activities. Highlights include:
- Developing a Continuing Competence Task Force to address licensee needs in conjunction with the Board;
- Reviewing existing continuing competence activities and their effectiveness;
- Identifying new opportunities for continuing competence activities; and
- Reporting many new recommendations to the Board for implementation in 2013.
Providing Community Service Opportunities at Annual Conference
Many members attend Annual Conference and enjoy spending time in the conference city. In 2012, the TPTA Annual Conference Committee recognized the need to also give back to these communities and organized community service opportunities for our members. Highlights include:
- 42+ conference attendees volunteered for "Adopt A Block” which helps neighborhoods clean, mow lawns and other projects that the neighborhood needs.
- In conjunction with this project, we heard that an elderly woman had not had hot water for several months due to her water heater breaking. During the conference we held a fundraiser which raised $290.00 to help pay for a new water heater.
- 33+ conference attendees volunteered for the "I Love My Park” project. This project helped the City of San Antonio plant the flower beds in HemisFair Park directly behind the San Antonio Convention Center.
The past year saw TPTA increase member training by creating videos on subjects like "Government Affairs: An Introduction,” "Tracking CCUs Online” (a member benefit through the TPTA website), "What Membership Means to Me” by the Austin Community College students and "New Reviewer Training” for the CC Approval Program. These videos allow the members to better understand how the Association enhances and protects their profession along with giving them quick tools that they can use when it’s convenient for them.
As the above areas demonstrate, the TPTA is committed to answering our members’ needs and wants by implementing creative and innovative solutions. All of these accomplishments are only possible with the extreme dedication of the many members involved. TPTA is grateful to our members, and we are also excited and humbled to receive the 2013 APTA Innovative Component Award.