Question Regarding APP Membership:
- Why did AAPM&R decide to create an APP membership category?
The incorporation of APPs in the rehabilitation team is intended to support physiatrists in assuming medical leadership duties suited to their level of expertise, consistently providing more complex patient care, and enhancing the reach of PM&R care overall. To support the efforts of the rehabilitation care team, AAPM&R is committed to developing educational resources for both physiatrists and APPs regarding how APPs can be effectively integrated into the physiatrist-led rehabilitation team. It is AAPM&R’s intention to provide training for APPs to bolster their skills and strengthen the core function of the rehabilitation team as a whole. To further support this team approach, the Academy offers membership for APPs. It is expected that these steps will result in APPs that are committed to physiatry over the long term, making the investment in training and membership worthwhile.
- Who is currently eligible for APP membership?
Per the AAPM&R bylaws: An Advanced Practice Provider must be a Physician Assistant or Nurse Practitioner eligible for membership in their professional discipline’s national association. Advanced Practice Providers shall have recognized education or licensure/ certification, or formal appointment relevant and customary for the professional type.
- Can APPs currently be members of the Academy?
Yes, APPs can now become members of the Academy. The new membership category was approved at the 2018 Business Meeting on Saturday, October 27 during the Annual Assembly.
- I am paying for my APP’s membership. Are there any discounts for members paying for multiple APP members?
No, there are no multi-member or group discounts. The APP member rate is priced to support the creation of resources and value for APP members, while at the same time taking the payer of membership (typically a physiatrist) into account.
- What benefits do APPs members receive?
APPs receive access to our Member Directory, discounts on in-person and online education, access to the All APP Member Forum and Member Communities on PhyzForum. They also receive print and digital communications, including PM&R (the purple journal), The Physiatrist, and Connection.
APPs can serve in volunteer roles and as members on AAPM&R committees, but they do not have voting rights, and cannot hold a Board or Committee Chair position.
- Does the Academy advocate on behalf of APPs?
As an organization that represents physiatry, the Academy does not advocate on behalf of APPs for any position that would compromise our physiatrist members.
Do APPs have access to PhyzForum?
Yes, APP members have access to the following forums on PhyzForum:
- All APP Member Forum (automatically enrolled in it upon becoming a member)
- All Member Communities of interest (self-selected by the APP member)
APP members do not have access to the All Physiatrist Member Forum.
- Can APPs use “FAAPMR” as a credential?
No. “FAAPMR” is a designation specifically for Fellow Members. A Fellow Member must acquire primary certification from the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (ABPMR) or the American Osteopathic Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (AOBPMR) and maintain medical licensure. A Fellow Member’s achievement of primary certification grants them Fellow membership, regardless of country of residence.
- What certification can APP Members acquire?
None. AAPM&R is providing membership to APPs, not certification. Unlike the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (ABPMR), we are not a certifying organization. The membership credential “FAAPMR” is a designation specifically for Fellow Members and cannot be used by APPs.
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Questions Regarding the Proposed Bylaws Changes:
- What is the proposed bylaws revision and what does it mean?
APPs can continue to be members of AAPM&R. If the proposed bylaws revision is approved by membership, it would require the APP member to acquire a member physiatrist sponsor. The proposed bylaws amendment is noted in red font below.
12. Advanced Practice Provider. An Advanced Practice Provider must be a Physician Assistant or Nurse Practitioner eligible for membership in their professional discipline’s national association and have a current Fellow Member (IV.A.1), Part-time Fellow Member (IV.A.7) or Associate Member (IV.A.2) as a sponsor. Advanced Practice Providers shall have recognized education or licensure/ certification, or formal appointment relevant and customary for the professional type. For the purposes of this Section A.12, the Academy’s Membership Committee shall determine in its sole discretion what constitutes a “a physician assistant or nurse practitioner.”
- How would the proposed sponsorship work?
APPs will be required to attest and provide a Fellow, Part-Time Fellow or Associate Member sponsor name as part of their application. Academy staff will contact the sponsor candidate to receive their attestation and support of membership for the APP. The sponsoring member will be required to confirm he/she works with the APP on an integrated rehabilitation team. The sponsor agrees to contact the Academy if the APP leaves the practice and/or he/she is no longer working with them in a team delivery mode, or if he/she wants to withdraw their sponsorship for any reason.
- What happens if the proposed bylaws are not approved?
APPs would still be members of the Academy but without the need for a physiatrist sponsor, per the 2018 AAPM&R Business Meeting decision. The current bylaws would not change or be impacted.
- What is the sponsor required to do?
As part of the sponsorship process, the physiatrist sponsor members must meet the following requirements:
- Be a current Fellow, Part-Time Fellow or Associate member in good standing as defined by the bylaws.
- Attest to sponsoring an APP member:
- Sponsoring member must work with the APP on an integrated rehabilitation team.
- Agrees to contact the Academy if the APP leaves the practice or is no longer working with them in a team delivery mode.
- Sponsors must contact the Academy if their sponsorship of the APP is being withdrawn.
- Who could be a sponsor?
A Fellow Member, Part-Time Fellow Member or Associate Member sponsor whose membership is in good standing may be a sponsor for an APP applicant.
- Could someone sponsor more than 1 APP?
Yes, a current physiatrist member (Fellow, Part-Time Fellow, or Associate) can sponsor more than 1 APP to be a member. The Academy believes that physiatry-led, patient-centered, team-based care is the best approach to providing transformative rehabilitation care for patients. If a physiatrist member has more than 1 APP on their integrated rehabilitation team, all are welcomed.
- Will a sponsor have to be provided by the APP member each year?
Upon renewal/reinstatement of dues, the APP member will be asked to confirm that all contact information is up-to-date, including their sponsor.
- What if the sponsor does not renew their membership?
If an APP member sponsor does not renew their membership, the APP will be asked to identify a new sponsor and provide contact information. If a new sponsor is not provided, the application/renewal cannot be processed.
- Will a sponsor have to be identified when registering for Annual Assembly?
No, a sponsor will not have to be identified when registering for the Annual Assembly as the APP member sponsor has been identified and confirmed as part of the membership application/renewal process. For non-members, the Annual Assembly is open to non-physiatrists, including physicians and other, non-clinical staff.
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Questions Regarding the Bylaws Process:
- What is the process for voting on the bylaws?
Proposed bylaws revisions are voted upon at the AAPM&R Business Meeting, which is typically held in conjunction with the Annual Assembly. A quorum of 25 voting members in good standing is required. Each voting member is entitled to 1 vote. A majority vote decides. Per the AAPM&R bylaws, voting by proxy or cumulative voting is not allowed.
- When will the vote for the proposed bylaws take place?
The proposed bylaws vote will take place at the 2019 AAPM&R Business Meeting, which will occur on November 16, 2019 in San Antonio, Texas at the Annual Assembly. Additional details will be released at a later date.
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Questions Regarding Scope of Practice:
- What does AAPM&R believe to be the role of an APP in practice?
AAPM&R supports the services APPs offer in practice, but the involvement of the APP in initial assessment and implementation of treatment depends on the complexity and acuity of the patients’ condition, which should be determined by the physiatrist.
- Does AAPM&R think APPs should practice independently?
The Academy strongly opposes the independent practice of APPs and other non-physician clinicians. In rehabilitation care, APPs must work closely with a physiatrist that serves in a supervisory role.
- Does AAPM&R advocate for APPs to practice independently?
No, the Academy is opposed to training or advocating for APPs to practice independently of physiatrists.
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Questions Regarding APP Education & Training:
- What education and training do APPs have access to?
APPs will be welcome to participate in all online education and didactic courses that do not have capacity limits.
All hands-on offerings—which have limited capacity—will state specifically who the educational activity is planned for, and the required pre-requisites based on the learning objectives. In addition:
- For activities designed specifically for physicians (i.e., more advanced procedures, etc.), the Academy may limit registration to physicians only. The Academy may choose to include APPs in hands-on courses primarily designed for physicians if there is value in their participation from a team-based training perspective; in these cases, it would be communicated that priority would be given to physicians during hands-on training.
- Is there education/training available that is specifically designed for physiatrists to on-board their APPs?
The Academy is developing education specifically for physiatrists to help them on-board APPs into their rehabilitation care team. Educational resources will be available in the summer of 2019.
- Is there education/training available that is specifically designed for APPs?
The Academy is developing education specifically for APPs to meet their unique needs, although there may be APP interest, as well as member interest, in APPs participating in courses or programs designed for our physiatrist members. Educational resources will be available in the summer of 2019.
- Can APPs earn an AAPM&R STEP Certificate?
No. APPs are not eligible to participate in any current STEP programs.
- Can APPs earn CEU through AAPM&R?
AAPM&R is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ for educational activities for physicians. APPs may earn certificates of participation in these CME activities which may be used towards NP and PA certification requirements.CE credits more specific to NPs and PAs may be offered for activities that specifically target these audiences.
- Can APPs attend Annual Assembly?
Yes, APPs have been able to and can attend the AAPM&R Annual Assembly.
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