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Therapy Cap, PT workforce shortage, locum tenens, and concussion management
among key legislative priorities.
ALEXANDRIA, VA, June 1, 2015 – Galvanized by Congress's recent decision not to include a permanent repeal of the Medicare therapy cap with legislation that eliminated the flawed sustainable growth rate formula, more than 1,100 physical therapists (PTs), physical therapist assistants (PTAs), and students of physical therapy from across the United States will converge on Washington, DC, on June 4 for PT Day on Capitol Hill (Hill Day).
The day will begin with a rally in Upper Senate Park at 8:00 am. Participants will then fan out across the halls of Congress for scheduled visits with representatives from 350 congressional districts to discuss issues affecting the physical therapy profession and the patients it serves.
Annually, the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) hosts an advocacy event to educate policymakers about a physical therapist's role in improving and restoring mobility in patients' lives, and to discuss the profession's key legislative priorities. This year's event coincides with the association's NEXT Conference & Exposition, which will take place in National Harbor, Maryland, June 3-6.
"APTA is encouraged by the momentum created by the recent surge of support of lawmakers concerning permanent therapy cap repeal," said APTA President Paul Rockar Jr, PT, DPT, MS. "We are fortunate to have a large group of passionate members joining us to rally and speak directly with lawmakers to build on that momentum."
While APTA will continue to advocate for a solution to permanently repeal the therapy cap to ensure patients are not denied vital coverage for much needed therapy services, Hill Day participants will discuss several other key APTA legislative priorities, including:
- Physical Therapist Workforce and Patient Access Act (HR 2342/S 1426)
This legislation would allow PTs to participate in the National Health Service Corps, addressing shortages in the PT workforce and providing greater access to PT services in underserved areas of the country.
- Prevent Interruptions in Physical Therapy Act (HR 556/S 313)
This legislation would allow PTs to enter into locum tenens arrangements under Medicare, giving them the ability to bring in another licensed PT during temporary absences for illness, pregnancy, vacation, or continuing medical education to allow care to continue.
- Supporting Athletes, Families, and Educators to Protect the Lives of Athletic Youth Act (SAFE PLAY Act) (HR 829/S 436)
The legislation recognizes PTs as health care professionals qualified to make return-to-participation decisions for youth sports concussions. Additionally, it provides for education, awareness, action plans, training, and further research related to health issues associated with sports—including cardiac conditions, concussions, and heat advisories—in which PTs play a role.
PTs will also be participating in a health and fitness clinic for legislators and their staffs from 11:30 am to 2:30 pm in the Cannon Caucus Room. Assessments will include grip strength, balance, blood pressure, and a golf swing analysis.
The American Physical Therapy Association represents more than 90,000 physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, and students of physical therapy nationwide. Learn more about the types of conditions physical therapists can treat, and find a physical therapist in your area, by visiting www.MoveForwardPT.com. Follow Move Forward PT on Twitter and Facebook.