New Missouri Law Limits Patient Copays for Physical Therapy

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Legislation Equalizes Copay Amounts for Visits to Primary Care Physicians and Prescribed Treatment by Physical Therapists

ALEXANDRIA, VA, July 9, 2013 — Missouri became the latest state to adopt a law limiting patient copays for services provided by physical therapists (PT) when Governor Jay Nixon signed SB 159 on June 25, 2013. The bill specifies that the copayment and coinsurance amounts insurance companies charge patients for prescribed services provided by a physical therapist may not be higher than copayments and coinsurance amounts charged for an office visit with a primary care physician.

The new law, sponsored by Sen Eric Schmitt (R-15) and a similar bill, HB 30, which was sponsored in the House of Representatives by Rep Dwight Scharnhorst (R-98), will take effect August 28, 2013.

With copays reaching as high as $75 per visit, the cost of health care was a real issue for patients in Missouri. According to Paula Burnett, PT, Missouri Physical Therapy Association (MPTA) president, many were simply unable to afford the care their physicians prescribed. "MPTA worked closely with our bill sponsors to produce a bill that was easy to understand and made sense," said Burnett. "MPTA worked hard to make this happen, and our members were very active in contacting and speaking with their senators and representatives. We are pleased that Missouri legislators agreed that there is a need for this legislation and moved it through the House and Senate. Passing this bill will ensure that patients have better access to physical therapy, which can lead to improved health and quality of life."

"Physical therapists provide important health care services that help people function in their daily lives. However, the high cost of copays keeps many patients from receiving the care they need," said American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) President Paul A. Rockar, Jr, PT, DPT, MS. "It is great to see yet another state pass legislation that will facilitate access to care for those who need it."

"We are thrilled that, after more than 2 years of work, this bill has become state law. This will make physical therapy more affordable for all those Missourians who are simply trying to get better," said Chris Marsh, PT, MPTA, state government relations chair.

MPTA, the Missouri Chapter of the American Physical Therapy Association, is a professional membership association serving nearly 2,000 active and retired physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, and students of physical therapy.

The American Physical Therapy Association represents more than 85,000 physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, and students of physical therapy nationwide. Learn more about conditions physical therapists can treat and find a physical therapist in your area at www.MoveForwardPT.com. Consumers are encouraged to follow us on Twitter (@MoveForwardPT) and Facebook.

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