Thomas Crisp Contributing Columnist
November 8, 2013
Physical therapy is an important reminder that VA physical therapists are a major reason so many veterans are on the road to managing their conditions. Thousands of veterans rely on their VA physical therapist to help them prevent injury and further loss of movement.
Veterans enrolled in the VHA health care system are assured personal treatment from the onset of a condition until their reach their goals or until they achieve maximum benefit from interventions — one of the many reasons VA physical therapists form strong bonds with many brave veterans who have served our nation.
From injured active duty personnel to middle age and elderly veterans, patients rely on their VA caregivers to develop unique and resourceful treatment interventions often for complex medical conditions. Blending science with inspiration, VA’s physical therapists teach veterans how to prevent or manage a health condition and help motivate them during treatment so they can function optimally.
Physical therapists work with Veterans to help them understand their body so they will achieve long-term health benefits. VA now has the most comprehensive computerized patient records system in the nation. The system puts each Veteran’s medical records, lab results, x-rays, EKGs and more at the fingertips of physical therapists and the entire patient care team as they work together to design treatment interventions.
In addition, VA rehabilitation teams work with today’s state-of-the-art assistive and adaptive technologies to achieve patient goals. VA physical therapists develop a plan of care for Veterans using a variety of treatment techniques that help them move, reduce pain, restore function and prevent disability. They also help prevent loss of mobility and motion by developing a fitness and wellness-oriented program tailored to each Veteran’s specific needs.
VA’s physical therapists are highly-educated, licensed health care professionals who can help patients reduce pain and improve or restore mobility — in many cases without expensive surgery and often reducing the need for long-term use of prescription medications and their side effects.
Veterans enrolled in the VA health care system can find the physical therapist at their VA medical center. The locator is www.va.gov/directory/guide/division_flsh.asp?dnum=1.
For physical therapists interested in a PT career with VA, check out www.vacareers.va.gov. [Source: www.va.gov/health/NewsFeatures/2013/October/Physical-Therapists-VAs-Bodybuilders.asp Oct 2013]
COLA 2014 Update
The Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that it would publish September’s Consumer Price Index figure on Oct. 30. That number is the final data point needed to calculate the 2014 COLA for federal and military retirees, as well as Social Security beneficiaries and those receiving veterans’ benefits.
The government shutdown delayed the announcement of the 2014 COLA figure, which the government planned to publish on Oct. 16. The government, closed for 16 days because of a budget impasse, reopened on Oct. 17. With available data the 2014 COLA was estimated to be around 1.5 percent which was confirmed Sept. 30 as what the COLA will be.
Retirees received a 1.7 percent COLA bump in 2013 and a 3.6 percent boost in 2012. The 2012 COLA increase was the first since 2008. The 2014 increase takes effect on December 1 and will be reflected in retirees’ first annuity payments in January 2014. [Source: NAUS Weekly Update 25 Oct 2013]