Congress is back in session, with many issues of importance to our profession on its docket. But even during the congressional recess in August, many of our members were keeping in touch with their legislators back home - and in some cases inviting them to their practices to provide a firsthand look at the important role physical therapists and physical therapists assistants play in the lives of the American people.
Case in point: On August 22, the Chairman of the Health Subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee, Rep Wally Herger (R-CA), visited a practice in his home district -- Butte Premier Physical Therapy in Chico, California. This was the first clinic visit for the chairman, whose committee is 1 of 2 key health policy committees in the House of Representatives that play an important role in APTA's legislative issues, including repeal of the therapy cap. Clinic owner Leigh Langerwerf, PT, DPT, led the tour with Herger, who was able to observe the care of 2 patients, while clinic staff described the scope of PT services and discussed APTA's legislative priorities. This grassroots effort represents the importance of a strong collaborative effort between APTA and individual members. Thanks to Leigh Langerwerf for helping to coordinate this important event.
Throughout the August recess, APTA made a concerted effort to increase the number of home district meetings and site visits, and we had an excellent response from our membership and components. We've had 8 sites visits (either completed or scheduled in the near future) and 15 regular visits in congressional offices. It can't be stressed enough how important these visits are for our legislative advocacy efforts.
Thanks to all of our members who opened their clinics and practices to members of Congress in support of APTA's legislative initiatives. We'd love to hear about your experiences on this blog.
Rep Wally Herger (R-CA) (left) with Leigh Langerwerf, PT, DPT.
The FLorida Physical Therapy Association Polital Action Committee is attending fundraisers around the State of Florida put on by the major parties.
The legislators like this model because they get to meet their constituents in the district. The people like this model because we don't have to travel to Tallahassee.
Right now, I'm in Austin, Texas at the APTA State Policy and Payment Forum where, I believe, the most relevant and important changes to legislation occur, at the state level.
Notwithstanding the PPACA, Federal law tends not to change year-to-year. But, state law is much more volatile.
Posted by TIm Richardson, PT
on 9/24/2011 9:26 AM