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  • Bill Allowing PTAs in TRICARE Ready for President's Signature

    Well, that was quick: a week after an agreement was reached on legislation that would allow physical therapist assistants (PTAs) to participate in the TRICARE payment system used throughout the US Department of Defense health care system, both the US Senate and House of Representatives have passed the bill. It's now ready to be signed by the president.

    The PTA provisions are part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that includes language proposed by APTA to add PTAs and occupational therapy assistants to the TRICARE program.

    "This is a significant win for PTAs, but an even bigger win for patients in the TRICARE program," said Michael Hurlbut, APTA senior congressional affairs specialist. "The important services PTAs provide should be as accessible as possible, regardless of payer."

    Comments

    • Pass bill

      Posted by Beth DeGarmo on 11/18/2017 9:27 AM

    • I just have one question regarding the PTAs who served the military in the TRICARE system for the past 17 years. Some PTAs served for the Military as a contractors without being informed it is not legal for them to practice. Thank you

      Posted by Mohamed Farid Ramadan on 11/20/2017 10:19 AM

    • I am a PTA.

      Posted by Taylor on 11/21/2017 11:11 PM

    • I am so thankful for the provisions that will allow PTA's to take a larger role in the service of our Tricare patients! Finally, we can fully 'Assist' our PT's regardless of insurance!

      Posted by Zachery on 11/22/2017 3:54 PM

    • What a great benefit to pt care and the PT / PTA team.

      Posted by Lee Ann Derr on 11/22/2017 8:32 PM

    • This is a positive win for both the PT and OT professions. I hope that the quality of care delivered to tricare beneficiaries will increase through quality collaborative care and not fall victim to the all to often over utilization of assistants and support staff which plagues our professions. Let us facilitate the best outcomes for these patients through appropriate supervision using evidence informed patient centered care.

      Posted by Steven Spoonemoere on 11/24/2017 4:24 PM

    • "It's now ready to be signed by the president." << Any word on when this will be signed / implemented?

      Posted by Matthew Lafond -> CNP`BL on 4/12/2018 9:45 PM

    • @Matthew: The National Defense Authorization Act was signed by the President in December 2017. The legislation included the provision to add PTAs and OTAs as authorized providers under TRICARE. However, to add PTAs and OTAs as authorized providers under TRICARE requires changes to the regulations. The Defense Health Agency can only effectuate the change through the regulatory rulemaking process. The agency has indicated that it in drafting the rule, it is considering existing Medicare rules and regulations as a guide. The proposed rule will be released sometime in the fall of 2018 or early spring of 2019. Note: TRICARE does not consider PTAs as a covered provider until the rule is finalized.

      Posted by APTA Staff on 4/16/2018 11:57 AM

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