Legislation to improve patient access to physical therapist services in Texas took an important step on Thursday, April 11, when Texas HB 1039, Patient Access to Physical Therapy, was considered in the Texas House Committee on Public Health. Texas Chapter members provided excellent oral testimony to the committee in support of the legislation, including physical therapists Michael Connors, PT, DPT, OCS, Cynthia Fisher, PT, DPT, MS, PCS, Nick Patel, PT, DPT, CSCS, CCP, Mike Geelhoed, PT, DPT, OCS, MTC, Jennifer Kish, PT, DPT, SCS, Kathleen Manella, PT, PhD, Matt Walk, PT, FAAOMPT, Allan Besselink, PT, Dip.MDT, Ben Keene, PT, OCS, FAAOMPT, and Jarod Carter, PT.
Opposition testimony to HB 1039 was provided by the Texas Orthopaedic Association and a physical therapist employed in a physician-owned clinic. The Texas Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine also provided testimony against the bill, expressing concern about the ability of physical therapists to perform dry needling.
Improving patient access in the Lone Star state has been an important goal for the Texas Chapter.
The legislation awaits action by the House Public Health Committee; the deadline for house bills to be reported out by house committees is Monday, May 6. Meanwhile, the chapter is also advocating for House Bill 2357 and Senate Bill 1099, legislation that would provide title protection for the doctor of physical therapy (DPT) and master of physical therapy (MPT). The senate bill passed the Texas Senate on Thursday, April 18; the house version has passed through committee and is awaiting a vote by the Texas House.
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