APTA attended the Republican Nation Convention (RNC) this week in Tampa, Florida. Next week, the association heads to Charlotte, North Carolina, for the Democratic National Convention (DNC).
The conventions provide an opportunity for APTA to represent the interests of the physical therapy profession through meetings with key congressional leaders from both parties and participation in various briefings and events. This week at the RNC, APTA had a presence at key health care policy briefings and interacted with several members of Congress who serve on committees important to APTA’s public policy priorities. APTA has had a long-standing presence at both conventions.
In a convention highlight on Wednesday, Ann Romney spoke about her experiences with physical therapy. See related article titled "Ann Romney Expresses Support for Physical Therapy."
You can follow APTA at the RNC and DNC on Twitter.
At a ribbon cutting ceremony for a therapeutic playground at All Children's Hospital, in St Petersburg, Florida, Ann Romney spoke about how physical therapy helped her after her multiple sclerosis diagnosis at age 49. At that time, Romney had lost the use of her right side.
The ceremony followed her appearance Tuesday night at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.
Do you know an extraordinary physical therapist (PT) or physical therapist assistant (PTA) who deserves recognition for outstanding personal and professional achievement? By nominating the person or people you feel are most deserving of an APTA Honor or Award for 2013, you can help APTA celebrate their many contributions to the physical therapy profession.
APTA now is accepting Honors and Awards nominations. Your participation in the nominating process is extremely important. It's quick, easy—and in keeping with APTA's green initiative, all APTA national Honors and Awards applications are available for electronic submission.
Go to www.apta.org/honorsawards and submit your nominations online. All submissions must be received by December 1.
E-mail questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800/999-2782, ext 3233, for more information.
California physical therapists (PTs) have been infuriated by the legislatively wrangling that California SB 924 has been subject to during the past 2 weeks, made all the more frustrating because the bill is stalled in the Assembly Rules Committee during this last week of the California legislative session.
The legislation, a compromise bill brokered by California Senate President Darrell Steinberg and sponsored by state Sen Curren Price, was intended to end a long and bitter battle in the state legislature between the California Chapter and the California Medical Association (CMA) over the issues of direct access to physical therapist services, and whether PTs may be employed by, or be shareholders of, medical corporations, and alternatively whether physicians may be employed by or shareholders of PT corporations. While the chapter supported the direct access elements of SB 924, it was not in favor of the corporation aspect of the bill. Conversely, CMA supported the corporation language in the bill and remained adamantly opposed to allowing direct access.
For the most part, the legislation had been moving without major incident through the California legislature; SB 924 passed the Senate unanimously on January 30, and passed the Assembly Business & Professions Committee on June 26.
The flare-up started on Thursday, August 16, when SB 924 passed unanimously out of the Assembly Appropriations Committee, but not before the committee made hostile amendments to the direct access aspects of the bill behind closed doors, without input from the California Chapter or the bill’s chief sponsor, Sen Price. Under the prior compromise version of SB 924, a signed plan of care from a physician or podiatrist was required to continue treatment after the initial 30 business days or 12 visits provided via direct access; the physical therapist also needed to provide written disclosure to the patient explaining the provisions tied to the direct access law. As amended by the Assembly Appropriations Committee, a diagnosis from a physician or podiatrist must be obtained after the initial 30 business days or 12 visits via direct access in order to continue treatment. The disclosure language the PT must provide to the patient also was amended to add language stating the private insurance may not pay for the services without a physician referral. The amendments made by the Appropriation Committee were held from the public for 5 days before being released, causing an uproar.
The bill took another turn on Friday, August 24, when the amendments that were placed into SB 924 during the Assembly Appropriations Committee hearing were removed on the Assembly floor, while new unwelcome amendments were added. But shortly thereafter Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez referred SB 924 to the Assembly Rules Committee, a procedural stall tactic, where SB 924 may stay until the end of the legislative session. If SB 924 is not moved from the Assembly Rules Committee and sent to the Assembly floor for a full vote by midnight Friday, August 31, SB 924 will die. The California Chapter is urging its members to contact their Assembly member to ask for an up–or-down vote on SB 924 by the full Assembly before the midnight deadline this Friday. The full text of the current version of SB 924 is available here.
To provide members opportunities for conversation related to the governance proposal and garner feedback about the elements that members support, are uncertain about, or do not support, a series of virtual town hall discussions centered on House of Delegates processes have been scheduled. The first town hall will be held on September 18. To offer members on both coasts ample opportunity to take part in the conversation, APTA has scheduled 2 town halls for that evening, 6 pm-7:30 pm Eastern Time and 10 pm-11:30 pm Eastern Time. Contact Amber Neil if you are interested in attending. Additional town halls will be held on September 20 and 27 at the times indicated above.
Minutes of the 2012 House of Delegates (House) now are available. The minutes provide information on how the House revised and voted on all motions and bylaw amendments brought forward this year. The document is housed in the House of Delegates community's archive folder. In addition, the Policies and Bylaws page on APTA's website also has been updated to reflect policies that were adopted or amended at the 2012 House.