Category Archives: Rehabilitation and Medical

IMPACT act of 2014: Public Comment Period Extended

Public Comment: Collection of Standardized Assessment-Based Data Items

CMS is soliciting for public comment on a collection of standardized assessment-based data items developed under the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation Act of 2014 (IMPACT Act) to meet the domains of: cognitive function and mental status; special services, treatments, and interventions; medical conditions and co-morbidities; and impairments. Standardized assessment-based data items were developed for the Long-Term Care Hospital, the Inpatient Rehabilitation Facility, the Skilled Nursing Facility, and the Home Health Agency settings. CMS is seeking public comment on the whether items have the potential for improving quality, the utility of the items for describing case mix, the feasibility of the items for use in post-acute care settings, and the validity of the items. This call for public comment is open from August 12th through September 12th , 2016. For more information, visit the Public Comment webpage.

Published May 2016: AHA/ASA Guidelines for Adult Stroke Rehabilitation and Recovery

Through a collaboration of healthcare providers, The American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association published an updated article for stroke rehabilitation and recovery guidelines in May 2016.

According to these new standards, qualified professionals to service adults in stroke rehabilitation and recovery include: “the patient and his or her goals, family and friends, other caregivers (eg, personal care attendants), physicians, nurses, physical and occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, recreation therapists, psychologists, nutritionists, social workers, and others”. Continue reading Published May 2016: AHA/ASA Guidelines for Adult Stroke Rehabilitation and Recovery

Healthy People 2020 and Recreation Therapy

Healthy People provides science-based, 10-year national objectives for improving the health of all Americans with the goal to achieve the below by 2020:

  • Attain high-quality, longer lives free of preventable disease, disability, injury, and premature death.
  • Achieve health equity, eliminate disparities, and improve the health of all groups.
  • Create social and physical environments that promote good health for all.
  • Promote quality of life, healthy development, and healthy behaviors across all life stages.

Continue reading Healthy People 2020 and Recreation Therapy

Recovery Time for People with Multiple Sclerosis and Exercise Interventions

Picture1Cycling and stationary bike exercise has been proposed as recent trending exercise interventions for people with neuromuscular diseases such as Parkinson’s and MS.  Many new therapeutic programs are emerging to engage people with multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease in cycling endeavors. (i.e. I Ride with MS, Bike MS, ActiveMSers, Theracycle, Pedaling for Parkinsons). Many recreational therapists in physical rehabilitation conduct exercise interventions for people with multiple sclerosis (MS). Continue reading Recovery Time for People with Multiple Sclerosis and Exercise Interventions

Effectiveness of Recreation Therapy in Group Setting for People with Traumatic Brain Injury

Recreational therapists are able to work in physical rehabilitation with patients in one-on-one interactions or group settings. Many other allied health professionals Picture1are boxed into only implementing individual therapy to reach personalized patient goals. However, group dynamics for therapeutic interventions have potential for reaching goals outside of one-on-one interactions.  Continue reading Effectiveness of Recreation Therapy in Group Setting for People with Traumatic Brain Injury

Healthy Living, Heart Health, and Recreational Therapy


Medical news continues to trend on healthy living styles to decrease negative health outcomes, especially cardiovascular diseases. Cardiovascular health is becoming a focal point of research in the past decade since becoming the leading cause of death in the United States, according to the CDC. A new research study was published this year on the 4 main cardiovascular health factors and their correlation to healthy living. The four health categories are being sufficiently active, eating a healthy diet, being a nonsmoker, and having a recommended body fat percentage. The results of this study concluded that only 2.7% of adults in the United States were tested as healthy in all 4 areas. For those considered unhealthy for one of more areas, secondary diagnosis were present of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and compromised fasting glucose, protein, WBC, and homocysteine levels.

What does this mean for recreational therapy as an allied health profession? What programs can be implemented to continue to promote patient cardiovascular health through educational and physical fitness interventions?

For more information about this cardiovascular health study, please see below link:

COPD and Increased Physical Activity as a RT Service


When working in rehabilitation, whether acute, sub-acute, or outpatient, COPD is a common secondary diagnosis of many patients. COPD stands for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease which is a is a progressive disease that makes it hard to breathe. Symptoms of COPD include coughing that produces large amounts of mucus, wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness. Continue reading COPD and Increased Physical Activity as a RT Service

Rehab & Pediatric Best Practices

We are looking to determine best practices for treating rehabilitation patients with brain injuries no more than 6 months post injury who function at a RLAS I-III (or the equivalent arousal/functional presentation for non-TBI patients).  At our pediatric inpatient rehab facility here at Children’s Specialized Hospital, we are re-vamping our sensory stimulation protocol.  Please share information about what interventions (if any) is provided by recreational therapy, in what form (1:1, group), and what frequency (how many times per week/ duration of therapy session).  Please include what age-group and diagnoses you treat as well as the number of beds at your facility and number or Recreational Therapy staff.   Thank you.

Jamie Richards, CTRS

Recreational Therapist
Children’s Specialized Hospital, New Jersey