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Oakworks is a proud sponsor of the Academy of Neurologic Physical Therapy and the Vestibular SIG! Thank you for all of your support.  

Congratulations to SUE WHITNEY! 

The Vestibular Disorders Association (VEDA) announces the annual VEDA Champion of Vestibular Medicine Award initiative to increase awareness of vestibular disorders that affect the inner ear and brain. CHAMPIONS OF VESTIBULAR MEDICINE

2015 award recipients include Susan Whitney, DPT, PhD, Steven Rauch, MD, Anne Hogan, PhD, and Kathryn Schneider, BHScPT, PhD.

“Champions of Vestibular Medicine are medical professionals who have had significant impact on increasing awareness of vestibular disorders,” says Cynthia Ryan, VEDA’s executive director. “Thanks to their leadership we’re seeing new diagnostic tools and treatment protocols that help reduce diagnosis times and increase treatment effectiveness.”

“So many vestibular patients suffer for years before receiving an accurate diagnosis, if they ever get one,” says Sheelah Woodhouse, President of VEDA’s board of directors. “VEDA’s number one goal is to reduce the time it takes to diagnose a vestibular disorder. We want to shine a light on this invisible illness so that vestibular patients don’t feel so alone.”


 Susan Whitney DPT,PhD, NCS, ATC,FAPTA is a Professor in Physical Therapy with a secondary appointment in Otolaryngology and the Department of Clinical Translational Science Institute at the University of Pittsburgh, in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. Through her research she works to develop new tools to treat persons living with vestibular conditions through the use of virtual reality, a vibrotactile device, and devices that can help record exercise compliance. Dr. Whitney is an energetic and inspirational leader who is well known in her field for teaching and mentoring physical therapists interested in specializing in the field of vestibular rehabilitation therapy (VRT). She has lectured extensively on vestibular rehabilitation both internationally and nationally, and has authored over 101 publications. She has been active in the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) at a local, state and national level, where she has received numerous awards. 

To read more about the annual VEDA Champion of Vestibular Medicine Award winners, visit

 29th Barany Society Meeting

June 5-8, 2016 in Seoul, Korea

For more information please visit

What is Vestibular Rehabilitation? 

Click HERE as described by Sara Oxborough.

Vestibular CPG has been published!

The Academy of Neurologic Physical Therapy of the APTA supports the development of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines (CPG) to assist physical therapists with the treatment of persons with peripheral vestibular hypofunction in order to optimize rehabilitation outcomes. The purpose of this CPG for peripheral vestibular hypofunction is to describe the evidence supporting vestibular physical therapy including interventions and discharge planning supported by current best evidence.

You can find the full document here.

Additional resources:

Description of Vestibular CPG

One page summary for physical therapists

One page summary for physicians


Lisa Dransfield, PT DPT MA

When Canalith Re-positioning (CPT Code 95992) is denied by a payer for reimbursement, a number of factors must be considered to determine the reason.  The practice setting and state in which the service is delivered affects reimbursement.  Fee schedules also vary among states; for example, an outpatient clinic in Texas that provides both audiology and physical therapy, tracked the usage and reimbursement of the code in 2014. The code was billed 600 times with an average reimbursement of $33.33. In an outpatient multidisciplinary vestibular clinic in Connecticut, the code was billed 759 times in 2014, for an average reimbursement of $48.36.

Reportedly, Medicare in Georgia does not pay for Canalith Re-positioning; whereas, Medicare in Connecticut does, at a rate of $36.78.  In Connecticut, as in 9 other states, Medicare is administered by the National Government Services (processes approximately 20 percent of the nation's Medicare Claims) and proper billing is mandatory for timely reimbursement of CPT 95992. It must be linked with a diagnosis of BPPV and if additional procedural codes are used in the same treatment, a modifier may need to be added to the additional code.


For more information on payment, visit our Payment Policy – Medicare G codes, BPPV CPT code tab


The Academy of Neurologic Physical Therapy Board is currently funding a task force to complete a Practice Analysis of Vestibular Rehabilitation to submit it for approval through the APTA House of Delegates and the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties (ABPTS) to allow Vestibular Rehabilitation to become a new clinical specialty area.  If approved, work would then begin on the specialist certification exam, administered by ABPTS in the same manner as all other current clinical specialist exams.  This is a multi-year process.  Part of the petition for recognition of a new specialization requires submitting signatures of physical therapists who support Vestibular Rehabilitation becoming it's own clinical specialty area.  We want to ensure a strong petition with numerous signatures, so we invite you & your colleagues to sign the Signature Page in support of this effort.  (Directions are on the form) Therapists do not need to be APTA members to sign the petition.  If you (or others) already signed at CSM, please do not sign again.  Thank you for your support!         

PPPD or triple P-D Research Update:

Many of you have been asking us about a newly defined vestibular condition called "Persistent Postural-Perceptual Dizziness" (or "triple P-D"), previously referred to as Chronic Subjective Dizziness (CSD). With the help of Dr. Jeffrey Staab VEDA has put together a short publication to educate patients about this disorder.

In 1986, German neurologists Thomas Brandt and Marianne Dieterich first described a condition that they called phobic postural vertigo (PPV). Symptoms included postural dizziness without vertigo and fluctuating unsteadiness provoked by environmental or social stimuli (e.g. crowds), which could not be explained by some other neuro-otologic disorder. Triggers included a pre-existing vestibular disorder, medical illness or psychological stress.

Behavioral criteria of PPV included the presence of an obsessive-compulsive personality, mild depression, and anxiety. Studies on PPV showed that it was NOT a psychiatric disorder, but rather a neuro-otologic condition with behavioral elements.

In the early 2000s, the American team of Jeffrey Staab, Michael Ruckenstein, & their colleagues performed studies to update the concept of PPV and described the clinical syndrome of chronic subjective dizziness (CSD).  The symptoms of CSD included non-vertiginous dizziness and unsteadiness that was increased by a person’s own motion, exposure to environments with a complex or moving stimuli (e.g., stores, crowds), and performance of tasks that required precise visual focus (e.g., reading, using a computer).

Other vestibular experts described space-motion discomfort and visual vertigo, symptoms that overlapped to some extent with PPV and CSD.

In 2010, scientists from around the world began a process of identifying the most important features of these syndromes.  In early 2014, they reached a consensus on the key symptoms and defined a diagnosis of Persistent Postural-Perceptual Dizziness (PPPD).

To read more about PPPD, visit VEDAs website at

Janet Helminski wins Jack Walker Publication Award.

The Vestibular Rehabilation SIG would like to recognize and congratulate Janet, who is a member of the Academy of Neurologic Physical Therapy and the Vestibular Rehabilitation SIG. 

Janet Helminski PT PhD from Midwestern University in Chicago is the recipient of the APTA's 2015 Jack Walker Publication Award for her paper:  Helminski JO. Effectiveness of the canalith repositioning procedure in the treatment of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo. Phys Ther. 2014;94(10):1373-82. The award will be presented at the APTA Next Conference in June, National Harbor, Md. We encourage all members who are planning to attend to cheer her on.
The Vestibular SIG would like to thank Janet for her many contributions including educational courses, CSM presentations and writing articles for our Vestibular Rehabilitation SIG newsletters.  The SIG is so pleased that she has been recognized for her contribution to vestibular rehabilitation.

To get more information on 2015 APTA honorees and award winners you can click here

We need your help!!

The Vestibular Rehabilitation SIG needs a few volunteers to help!  Below is a list of areas of opportunities to serve:

1) PodCast committee:  Rachel Trommelen is looking for someone to help her facilitate and produce the Podcasts.  

2) Patient and Physician Fact Sheet Committee is looking for help to update information.

Please contact Anne Galgon for more information on these opportunities!!


Other Announcements

  • The Patient Fact sheets have been updated!
  • There is a new offering for the Patient Education Fact Sheets:  Navajo language podcasts!  The first one, "What is BPPV?", is on the page, with more to follow. See the Patient Education Fact Sheets Tab. Thank you to Selena Bobula, PT, DPT for this important contribution!
  • Medicare G Code information is available on the "Payment Policy" page- thanks to Kenda Fuller for your hard work in preparing these materials!
  • Jeff Walter, PT, DPT, NCS has provided us with a link to a page on his website,, which has VIDEOS of exam techniques and other helpful resources.  Thanks, Jeff!  The link will also be on the resources page. 

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    The Vestibular Rehab SIG has it's own Twitter page

2015 Service to the SIG Award-Laura Morris!

This year the Vestibular Rehabilitation SIG awarded the Service to the SIG Award to Laura O. Morris, PT, NCS. Laura has been an integral part of the SIG since she was elected to nominating committee in 2002. She served as nominating committee member and as chair, was on the Advanced Vestibular Rehabilitation Course Planning Team, has written 7 Patient Fact Sheets, and she has been a podcast presenter. Most notably, Laura has been the website coordinator since 2006 until she was elected to Director of Communications for the Academy of Neurologic Physical Therapy in 2014. She was instrumental in making our website very useful to the Vestibular Rehabilitation SIG members. Laura started this position with a webpage and quickly realized the way to keep people engaged in the website is by constantly updating and refreshing the content. Under her direction of the website she kept the information on the website fresh, she helped develop the Map of Vestibular Rehabilitation Providers, added many videos and links to information that therapists and patients find valuable. Due to Laura’s appealing design, at one point the total number of visits to the Vestibular Rehabilitation SIG webpage was more than any other SIG and just less than the Academy of Neurologic Physical Therapy’s home page. Since her departure as the SIG Website Coordinator she has continued to work with the Clinical Practice Guideline Group and continues to consult with the VRSIG regarding various website expansions.  She has spent many, many hours and many long evenings making the vision for the VRSIG website in 2006 into a reality. She is now able to share her website experience with the rest of the Academy. Although she has moved to the Academy of Neurologic Physical Therapy leadership team, the SIG nominated her as the recipient for all the work she has accomplished and will continue to achieve for the Vestibular Rehabilitation SIG. Thank you Laura for all of your hard work!

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