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Statement by APTA President on Former Board Member Stephen M. Levine (1962-2015)

Thursday, March 5, 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Johnathan Josephs
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Life is truly fragile.

It is with deep sadness and stunned disbelief that I share the news of the unexpected and tragic passing of former Board member and colleague, Stephen M. Levine, PT, DPT, MSHA, FAPTA.

Steve was so much to so many: a tireless champion of the profession, a friend, a gentleman, and a passionate leader. He touched so many lives. Through his work he not only contributed to, but also helped to shape the profession of physical therapy as we know it today. I am confident I speak for all of us at APTA when I say he will be missed.

Steve's dedication to the profession and this association was extraordinary. He was considered one of the foremost experts on the Resource Based Relative Value Scale (RBRVS) for rehabilitation services and its application to the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule and other third party payers. He was a frequent advisor to the Medicare program, and he and his business partner, Helene M. Fearon, PT, FAPTA, have been leading the profession's efforts to develop and implement a new payment system for physical therapist services. Steve was also a faithful advocate, testifying before the Ways and Means Committee, Subcommittee on Health, of the United States Congress on the subject of RBRVS and federal payment policy under the Medicare program.

Steve was an active and devoted member of APTA for 25 years, serving in a variety of positions. He was a member of the Board of Directors for 11 years, first as Vice Speaker, and ultimately as Speaker of the House of Delegates, the highest policymaking body of the association. During his tenure on the Board he served in many roles, including a member of the Board of Directors Oversight Committee for the Guide to Physical Therapist Practice and chair of the House of Delegates Governance Review Task Force. He also assisted in developing the first vision statement for the profession, participated in numerous national strategic planning sessions related to practice, education, and payment policy for physical therapist services, and served as chair of APTA's Alternative Payment Task Force. He was considered by his colleagues to be a leading force in efforts to reduce unwarranted variation in clinical practice and elevate the standards by which physical therapists and physical therapist assistants practice. And as recently as this weekend, Steve was at APTA headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia, appearing as a featured speaker at APTA's annual seminar on payment and coding.

Steve was Executive Vice President of Compliance and Consulting Services for OpimisCorp and a founding partner of Fearon and Levine, a national consulting firm focusing on practice management and payment policy in the outpatient rehabilitation setting. Prior to this, he operated a private practice in Maryland for 18 years. He received his degree in physical therapy from the University of Maryland at Baltimore, a master's degree in health administration (Healthcare MBA) from Virginia Commonwealth University, and his DPT degree from A.T. Still University of the Health Sciences. In addition to many other honors and awards, he was a Catherine Worthingham Fellow (2014) and Lucy Blair Service award recipient (2011).

Steve is survived by his husband, Bruce Anderson, PT, also an APTA member, father, Stanley Levine, his sister, Wendy Levine, and his two nephews Andrew and Ryan Schiff. Details of funeral arrangements are yet to come. When we have further information we will share it at the APTA website where a tribute page has been created for people to leave memories of Steve.

It is during times such as these we are reminded how fleeting life can be. To honor Steve, let's take a moment to remember and savor the many good people and things in our lives.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Steve's family and many friends. We share in your loss.

And, lastly, thank you, Steve, for your friendship and your incredible work to support our profession. It was an honor to serve with you.

APTA President Paul A. Rockar Jr, PT, DPT, MS

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