A new APTA podcast highlights the increased attention that concussion management has received during recent years in the media and at federal and state policy levels.
"While the momentum created by the enactment of these new state laws marks a significant improvement in the recognition of this important public health issue, it also presents a reason for concern," says Nate Thomas, PT, DPT, MBA, associate director of APTA's federal government affairs. "Legislative and policy efforts at the state and local level on concussion management have been highly inconsistent, particularly in the guidelines for management and return-to-play decisions. Politically-driven efforts to make the treatment of concussions an exclusive, discipline-specific practice can be detrimental to an athlete's access to qualified health care professionals and the quality of care necessary to address the complexity of concussion injuries."
Thomas also reviews APTA's official position statement on concussion management adopted by the House of Delegates in June and discusses the Protecting Student Athletes From Concussions Act (HR 469), federal legislation that would facilitate the development of concussion management guidelines by school systems to address the prevention, identification, treatment, and management of concussions in school-age children. The guidelines outlined in HR 469 explicitly include physical therapists as one of the health care professionals in the concussions care management team.
Access the podcast and a transcript at this link.