Congressman Pallone Addresses Physical Therapy Advocates

WASHINGTON, DC, Tuesday, April 1, 2008 — Congressman Frank Pallone Jr, D-NJ, today discussed health care developments on Capitol Hill with more than 200 physical therapy advocates gathered in Washington, DC.

"Improving access to quality health care is a top priority in Washington and in communities across the United States," said Pallone, who represents New Jersey's Sixth District and chairs the House Energy and Commerce Committee Subcommittee on Health. "The practitioners in this room fight that battle every day, and I encourage you to demand action from policymakers to continue that campaign in Congress."

Pallone addressed the gathering of physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, and students of physical therapy at the American Physical Therapy Association's (APTA) 2008 Federal Advocacy Forum, an annual event on Capitol Hill. This year's forum focused on efforts to find long-term solutions to annual Medicare caps on outpatient rehabilitation services (S 450/HR 748), make physical therapists who choose to practice in underserved areas eligible for student-debt relief (S 2485/HR 1134), and prevent physician self-referral of physical therapist services. Following two days of educational and grassroots programming, participants met with members of Congress and staff to demand action on these issues.

"Congressman Pallone is a strong supporter of improving patient access to health care services, including physical therapy," said APTA President R Scott Ward, PT, PhD. "The American Physical Therapy Association appreciates his efforts and his call for continued health care advocacy."

Physical therapists are health care professionals who diagnose and manage individuals of all ages, from newborns to elders, who have medical problems or other health-related conditions that limit their abilities to move and perform functional activities in their daily lives. Physical therapists examine each individual and develop a plan of care using treatment techniques to promote the ability to move, reduce pain, restore function, and prevent disability. Physical therapists also work with individuals to prevent the loss of mobility by developing fitness- and wellness-oriented programs for healthier and more active lifestyles.

The American Physical Therapy Association (www.apta.org) is a national organization representing physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, and students nationwide. Its goal is to foster advancements in physical therapist education, practice, and research. Consumers can visit www.findapt.us to find a physical therapist in their area, as well as www.apta.org/consumer for physical therapy news and information.

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