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  • Bill Protecting PTs Traveling With Sports Teams Passes House

    The US House of Representatives has passed legislation that helps to protect physical therapists (PTs) and other health care providers who travel across state lines with sports teams.

    The Sports Medicine Licensure Clarity Act (HR 921/S 689) aims to provide added legal protections for sports medicine professionals when they're traveling with professional, high school, college, or national sports teams by extending the provider's "home state" malpractice and professional liability insurance to any other state the team may visit. On September 12, the House officially passed the bill in a noncontentious vote.

    Originally, the bill's coverage was restricted to only physicians and athletic trainers. Advocacy staff at APTA worked closely with the office of sponsor Rep Brett Guthrie (R-KY) and House Energy and Commerce subcommittee staff to add PTs to the list. The bill also opens the possibility of coverage for physical therapist assistants who are under the direct supervision of a PT.

    In addition to Guthrie, cosponsors include Rep Cedric Richmond (D-LA) in the House, and Sens John Thune (R-SD) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) in the Senate. The Senate has not yet scheduled a date for a vote on the bill, and APTA advocacy staff is working with sponsors to determine next steps.

    Comments

    • THANK YOU!

      Posted by Derek Wagner on 9/14/2016 7:46 AM

    • There is no mention of club sports coverage in this article. Does anyone know if club sports are to be covered? We often provide on the field coverage for home and occasionally would be able to cover away events as well. If anyone knows about club sport coverage, or if that is to be included in the bill it would be appreciated. Thanks

      Posted by Jeff Zimmerman on 9/14/2016 3:25 PM

    • would that also apply to telehealth for those working with teams traveling out of state?

      Posted by Bob Wiersma on 9/14/2016 3:32 PM

    • this is good work and worth the battle. thank you

      Posted by michael on 9/14/2016 4:07 PM

    • This is wonderful news and also affects the arts. I am hoping that shows and dance companies that tour would be included in this as well.

      Posted by Leigh on 9/14/2016 10:25 PM

    • Great progress and an important concern. What will qualify as a "sports team". I work with world class Drum Corps which are highly athletic and full of injuries but recognized mainly for music. I consider it an athletic team and they travel across the country all summer. It would be helpful if we are able to see all answers you give to the various questions from people. Thank you for your work!

      Posted by Margaret Powers on 9/19/2016 1:21 AM

    • Jeff, Bob, Leigh, Margaret and others: great questions! At this time only professional, collegiate, national governing body, and high school sports teams and athletes are covered. This does not include club teams or performance/show/dance companies. Additionally, telehealth services are not included in this legislation. APTA will continue to advocate for greater inclusion, but we are encouraged by the movement on this legislation and think it's a good first step toward coverage for PTs traveling across state lines. If you have additional questions, please contact Ken Sprague on APTA staff at kensprague@apta.org.

      Posted by APTA Staff on 9/19/2016 8:48 AM

    • Will this bill also include student physical therapists on clinical affiliations? If so, clinical sites with sports teams would become more readily available.

      Posted by Terence on 10/10/2016 10:31 AM

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