More than 260 physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, and students from across the United States wrapped up APTA's annual Federal Advocacy Forum in Washington, DC, today.
"The forum provides an invaluable opportunity for APTA members to hear from decision makers and communicate with elected officials," explained APTA President Paul Rockar Jr, PT, DPT, MS, during the forum. "Lawmakers also have the chance to learn about the challenges facing our patients, which aids discussion about the issues of significance to the physical therapy profession and the patients we serve."
Topics discussed at this year's forum included the Medicare Access to Rehabilitation Services Act (HR 713/S 367), which includes permanent repeal of the therapy cap, and the Physical Therapist Workforce and Patient Access Act (HR 1252/S 602), which would add physical therapists to the list of professionals eligible to participate in the National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program. Members also lobbied Congress to support APTA's sustainable growth rate (SGR) priorities. Earlier today, forum participants visited members of Congress and their staffs on Capitol Hill to advocate for these important issues.
Also today, APTA recognized its annual forum award winners and others for their efforts toward physical therapy initiatives.
On Monday, Mike Allen, chief White House correspondent for Politico and creator of Politico Playbook and Politico Morning Money, gave the breakfast keynote address. Later, Neera Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress and counselor to the Center for American Progress Action Fund, discussed the Affordable Care Act and the health care climate in Washington, DC. Forum breakout sessions featured updates to legislative issues facing the physical therapy profession, strategies and techniques for effective lobbying, and updates on APTA's PT-PAC and grassroots advocacy efforts.
Social media was constantly buzzing during the forum—Twitter followers can go to @APTAtweets or hashtags #FAF2013 and #PTadvocacy for updates and photos; Facebook users can visit facebook.com/APTAfans.
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