Welcome to Advance Physical Therapy, Inc. Newsletter

Happy Holidays from all of us at Advance Physical Therapy! It's amazing how another year is already coming to a close.  Life just seems to get busier and our calender doesn't get lighter. Even as our days are filled with work, school, family and social commitments, we like to take this time of year to slow down, and reflect on the customs and people that enrich our lives and make it meaningful. Take some time during the day to stop, breath and be still for a moment.

This month's newsletter highlights an important legislative development for California patients seeking direct access to physical therapy care. We'll also discuss ways to feel your best without having to invest any time. 

Lastly, we are pleased to announce a new partnership that we have with Anthem Blue Cross PPO. Effective immediately, we are happy to accept new and existing patients as an in-network provider. This benefit substantially lowers the deductible cost of care and visit co-pays after the deductible is met. Give us a call today. We look forward to working with you.

To Your Health and a Prosperous New Year,
Advance Physical Therapy, Inc.

Direct Access to Physical Therapy Care
On October 7th, Governor Brown signed AB 1000, a healthcare bill that allows patients to directly access their physical therapist (PT) without a physician referral. The bill passed amidst a mountain of scientific evidence indicating that patients with direct access to PT or those who see their PT within 2-4 weeks of pain onset get better faster, save an average of hundreds to thousands of dollars, and are often able to avoid more invasive treatment interventions. The evidence has become so compelling that the California Orthopedic Association and Medical Association flipped their position in 2013 and registered support for AB 1000. According to the testimony of their lobbyist, Tim Shannon, "The direct access to physical therapists in AB 1000 is appropriate."

This effective date starts on January 1, 2014 and California citizens will join the majority of Americans and have direct access to physical therapy services. Dr. James Syms, PT, DSc, ATC, SCS and President of the California Physical Therapy Association states: "Roadblocks to efficient and cost-effective care, particularly when an individual is experiencing pain, need to be torn down." The enactment of the law AB 1000 does exactly this by giving individuals the right to seek immediate relief from pain, injuries and impairments, while saving time and money by reducing physician-office visits and co-payments. Treating pain is often very time sensitive and the ability to obtain quality care immediately without having to get an initial physician referral allows individuals to receive treatment earlier in the process and potentially avoid symptoms from getting worse.

If the patient's problem requires more than 45 days, or 12 visits to treat the problem, the patient is then required to see a physician for consultation, while the physical therapist is responsible for submitting a written plan of care to the physician in order for treatment to continue.
By choosing to see your physical therapist first, you will experience:
  • immediate, high-quality and excellent care you have come to expect
  • improved  accessibility to rehabilitative services
  • safe and effective treatment for faster relief of pain and physical impairment
  • more effective preventive measures to minimize your injury and pain from returning
Some private insurances may not have updated their policies in accordance with this new law yet, and may still require a physician referral for reimbursement of physical therapy services. Give us a call today. We will be happy to review your individual policy's requirements and direct you towards obtaining physical therapy services.
Advance Physical Therapy Partners with Blue Cross & Blue Shield of California

As the new year approaches, consumers should become increasingly informed of numerous changes in the federal and state healthcare system. For example, thousands who were satisfied with their coverage have lost their health insurance coverage because it fails to meet the Affordable Care Act's standards. As a result, many will have to purchase more expensive plans, which often includes coverage they do not want or need. Many are also learning that they may not be able to keep their doctor because he/she will not be a provider for their new insurance plan.

While lively debate continues as to whether the trade-offs in the Affordable Care Act were worth it, the new year will bring a California access to healthcare policy that has a positive upside for informed patients needing physical therapy services as mentioned in the above article.

We have taken measures to ensure that our existing patients and new patients are able to use our services without having to switch providers. Advance Physical Therapy, Inc.  continues its in network provider coverage with Blue Shield and now has added Blue Cross to our in-network provider program. We are also providers for many other insurance carriers and our front office administration will assist you in checking your benefits and coverage.
One-Minute Health Builders
15 Ways to Feel Your Best in No Time

It's the small daily habits and choices we make that lead to better health and a longer life. Dr. Wayne Scott Anderson, MD, the medical director of Take Shape for Life, highlights 15 one-minute health builders that can have profound effects on living healthier.

1)  Use blue place mats or blue plates.  The color blue has been shown to decrease appetite, while yellow or red increases appetite. Why do you think McDonald's arches are the color they are? Also: Downsize your plates from the standard 11-inch to a 9-inch plate since we tend to over stack our plates.

2) Eat white fruits and vegetables.  A recent Dutch study published in Stroke found that eating fruits and vegetables with white flesh, such as pears, apples, bananas, cauliflower and cucumber protects against stroke.

3) Pedal like crazy for one minute.  Canadian scientists have discovered how little exercise is necessary to stay healthy. Participants exercised on stationary bikes for one minute of intense effort followed by one minute of easy recovery. The effort and recovery were repeated 10 times for a total of 20 minutes three times a week. The participants showed significant improvements in their health and fitness after several weeks. Cardiac patients in particular showed a significant boost in their heart function.

4) Floss for your heart.  Harvard researchers found a direct relationship between heart attacks and C-reactive protein, a substance that indicates inflammation in the body. If you have periodontal disease (a form of gum disease), you have inflammation. If your gums are infected, they will release oral bacteria into the bloodstream. Some of these organisms may contribute to the atherosclerotic plaques that cause blood clots and heart attacks. Daily flossing (and brushing) is the best way to reduce gum inflammation and prevent infection.

5) Use lip balm that contains sunscreen.  The cells in the "transitional zone" between your lips and the adjoining tissues are vulnerable to sun damage and cancer. In addition to wearing a hat to screen your face, spread lip balm generously to protect this area.

6) Skip the candlelight at dinner.  Studies show that we tend to eat less in bright light. When you feel like snacking, drink a glass of water and wait 10 minutes. About 30% of the time, thirst is disguised as hunger. You may not need to snack.

7) Put black tape over the LED light on your bedroom clock.  You'll sleep better and eat less. A recent study found that persistent exposure to dim light at night caused mice to gain 50% more weight than mice not exposed to light at night.

8) Take a few moments before bed to write down some notes.  Write down the things you did right each day (such as using a smaller plate), along with some things that could use improvement (you didn't take a walk). People that write down their positive actions and intentions as opposed to just thinking about them, tend to be more motivated. Writing down your "mistakes" is just as helpful because it takes stress out of your mind and leaves it on the paper.

9) Try lavender.  Research shows that the scent of lavender can lengthen total sleep time and increase deep sleep. Try putting a lavender sachet or handkerchief with one or two drops of lavender oil under your pillow. Or add several drops of lavender oil to a bath before bed.

10) Burn "phone calories."  When you're on the phone, take advantage of the time to stand up and pace. This is an example of nonexercise-activity thermogenesis - something that you do normally that isn't really exercise but still burns calories. You burn about one extra calorie for every minute that you're on your feet, compared with sitting.

11) Write down the names of 5 people you know who are trying to be healthier.  Start a group with these people to take daily walks, go to the gym or share healthy recipes. Studies have found that people who changed their behavior as a team and share accountability were more successful and had lower risk for heart disease than those who went solo.

12) Ask a friend to text you.  Several studies have shown that smokers were twice as likely to quit if they received supportive text messages. People who received a text reminding them to wear sunscreen did so 56% of the time as opposed to 30% for those who didn't get a reminder. So whenever you need a reminder to do something, ask a friend for some text accountability.

13) Freeze fruit.  Put bananas, strawberries and grapes in the freezer - and reach for these when you feel like having a sweet treat.

14) Take a mindful minute.  It's estimated that more than 80% of all diseases are related to stress. "Mindfulness" simply means living in the moment, and it greatly relieves stress. For instance, when you eat, allow yourself to savor each bite. When you walk, notice the pleasurable sensations - the strength in your muscles, the sun on your face.

15) Take four deep breaths.  Do this whenever you feel stressed or angry. Repeat until you feel calm.

Simple strategies and choices can impact our lives in great ways.
If we can answer any questions or field any topics of interest regarding  physical therapy, health and wellness or about our programs, please contact us. We'd love to hear from you.
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2944 Broadway Street                         1208 E. Arques Avenue Suite #105
Redwood City, CA 94062                     Sunnyvale, CA 94085

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