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As digital health technology continues to evolve, APTA and several leading provider companies want to make one thing certain: No matter the delivery system, physical therapy must involve an actual physical therapist.

This has been APTA’s longtime position and the cornerstone of its advocacy on term and title protection. Now APTA is meeting with digital health providers to ensure alignment.

The association's new Digital Health Transparency Campaign is aimed at bringing together leaders in the profession and those in digital health care to voice a shared commitment to transparency. Fundamental to that commitment is agreement to a pledge that digital physical therapist must be "performed or directed only by licensed physical therapists in accordance with all regulations and APTA's Standards of Practice for Physical Therapy."

The pledge includes the acknowledgement that "physical therapist examination, evaluation, diagnosis, development of a management plan, and intervention shall be represented and reimbursed as 'physical therapy' only when performed by a physical therapist or when selected interventions are performed by a physical therapist assistant under the direction and supervision of a physical therapist.”

To date, nine digital health care companies have signed on to the pledge: Everflex Health, Hinge Health, Limber Health, Omada Health, Inc., OneStep Physical Therapy, RecoveryOne, Second Door Health, SWORD Health, and Vori Health. APTA is reaching out to more companies to join the campaign.

"APTA recognizes that digital health care is not just a possibility for the future — it's a reality of the present," said APTA CEO Justin Moore, PT, DPT. "At the same time, the association believes that the promise of digital physical therapy is challenged without a licensed PT directly involved in the provision of care. We applaud the digital health leaders who share our commitment to transparency and advancing quality care for patients, and we encourage more companies to join in this effort."

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