Advocacy efforts by APTA members in Texas and California are being boosted this week with the help of some excellent media coverage on issues that significantly impact the quality of patient care – direct access and referral for profit.
In Texas, about 500 physical therapists, physical therapist assistants and students attended the 2011 Texas Physical Therapy Association (TPTA) Legislative Day in the state capital, where they advocated for passage of HB 637, legislation that would allow direct access to physical therapists. Their efforts resulted in two excellent news stories in the Austin area – one on Fox News affiliate KTBC, and the other on ABC News affiliate KVUE-TV. Mentioned in the ABC interview is a website TPTA has developed to raise awareness of the legislation and the importance of direct access – http://www.accessyourphysicaltherapist.com/. The Texas chapter has also set up a Facebook page to promote the issue.
In California, members of the California Chapter’s Private Practice Special Interest Group are fighting a bill that would repeal the state’s anti-referral for profit law. In a press release, the Private Practice Group warns of the consequences to patients when physicians employ physical therapists and send patients to their own physical therapy clinics for treatment. A Web site has also been set up to educate consumers on the referral for profit issue – http://stoppopts.org/. In addition, a Facebook page on the issue has been developed.
The California and Texas chapter efforts follow on the heels of a recent PT advocacy day hosted by our Indiana Chapter. Approximately 500 PTs, PTAs and students gathered in the Indiana capitol building (pictured above) at the end of January in support of direct access legislation and to combat efforts to restrict physical therapists from performing spinal manipulation.
And just this week, the South Carolina Chapter hosted its PT Day at the statehouse in Columbia to advocate against cuts in Medicaid and the ongoing attempt to repeal its current anti-POPTS law.
Congratulations to our members in Texas and California for their excellent public education and media outreach efforts and to all our state chapters on their growing grassroots and lobbying efforts!