Today in the US Capitol, APTA sponsored a congressional briefing on "The Importance of Rehabilitation in America’s Healthcare System," highlighting for policymakers the value of rehabilitation services and devices for people who sustain injuries, or have disabilities or chronic conditions.
The briefing was hosted by Reps Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R–WA) and Jim Langevin (D-RI), co-chairs of the House Bipartisan Disabilities Caucus. Gerard Francisco, MD, chief medical officer at TIRR Memorial Hermann Hospital and attending rehabilitation physician for Rep Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), spoke on the value of rehabilitation services and therapies. Paul Tobin, president and CEO of the United Spinal Association, addressed the unique rehabilitation and assistive technology needs of veterans and other populations. Jeanne Wilcox, PhD, professor of Speech and Hearing Science at Arizona State University (ASU) discussed the importance of habilitation services for children with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Wilcox also is director and founder of ASU's Infant Child Research Programs.
APTA provided materials to participants regarding the repeal of the therapy cap as part of its efforts to educate congressional staff and members about the need to address the issue in a timely fashion.
APTA is a member organization of the Independence Through Enhancement of Medicare and Medicaid (ITEM) Coalition, the Consortium for Citizens With Disabilities Health Task Force, and the Coalition to Preserve Rehabilitation, which collaborated with the House Bipartisan Disabilities Caucus on the event.
Paul Tobin sustained a spinal cord injury in August 1993 while body surfing.
Jeanne Wilcox, PhD, provided examples of advances in rehabilitation technology.
Rehabilitation is "longitudinal," said Gerard Francisco, MD.