After denials by Tricare to cover a young patient's physical therapy on a horse, and similar denials for other beneficiaries, a proposed bill would require the military health insurer to cover certain forms of physical therapy.
Rep Michael Burgess (R-TX) introduced the Rehabilitative Therapy Parity for Military Beneficiaries Act (HR 1705) on Wednesday. The law calls for Tricare to cover "therapies provided on a horse, balance board, bolster, and bench" if these therapeutic exercises or activities are included in the individual's plan of care. APTA was heavily involved in developing the bill's language, which bolsters the argument that a horse, like a ball or balance board, is simply a tool the physical therapist uses and not an alternative form of therapy.
"Every patient is different, has a different set of needs, and therefore may respond very differently to various types of therapy," Burgess stated. "Ensuring access to needed services is critical for patients to maintain, improve, or regain function."
APTA applauds the efforts of Rep Burgess to ensure all patients have access to therapy services, particularly those who are fighting for our country and whose families bear the greatest weight.
The Dallas Morning News covered the story of the young patient, Kaitlyn Samuels, last month.
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