Greetings fellow MAPTA members. I recently had the pleasure of attending the Federal Advocacy Forum March 26-28 in Washington, D.C. Over 200 members attended including 70 students to learn, get inspired and collaborate. Programming began Sunday afternoon and all day Monday. Tuesday everyone hit the hill to discuss APTA’s legislative priorities with their respective Senators and Representatives.
The APTA’s top three legislative priorities for the 115th Congress are as follows:
- Medicare Access to Rehabilitation Services Act of 2017. This bill would repeal the cap on outpatient rehabilitation services, which has been in place since 1997. Currently there is an exceptions process (KX modifier/manual medical review) in place that is set to expire December 2017. Repeal of the therapy cap continues to receive strong bipartisan support. Senator Tester has been a supporter of previously introduced legislation to repeal the cap and Senator Daines has not been a supporter.
- Physical Therapist Workforce and Patient Access Act of 2017. This legislation would authorize physical therapists to participate in the National Health Service Corps(NHSC) Loan Repayment Program. The NHSC addresses the health needs of more than 9.7 million underserved individuals in the U.S.
Licensed health care providers may earn up to $50,000 toward student loans in exchange for a two-year commitment at an NHSC-approved site through this program. The NHSC-approved sites are located in Health Provider Shortage Areas (HPSA). There are 112 designated HPSAs in Montana. Currently there is no rehabilitative care component within the NHSC. Senator Tester is one of the sponsors of this legislation.
- Sports Medicine Licensure Clarity Act of 2017. This bill would provide certain licensure clarifications and legal protections for PTs, physicians and ATCs who practice across state lines as they travel with professional and collegiate teams or other athletes and teams sanctioned by a national governing body. Currently these health care professionals may lose their professional liability insurance coverage during travel. This bill has not yet been introduced in the Senate.
If you would like more information regarding federal advocacy issues, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the federal advocacy site at apta.org.
Interested in advocating for our profession? We are currently looking for a key contact for Senator Daines.