On February 5th, myself and 2 other coworkers attended the Physical Therapy Day on the Hill at the State Capitol in St. Paul. This is an annual event sponsored by Minnesota Physical Therapy Association to lobby for new legislation related to the field of physical therapy. Did you know that rules and regulations regarding what physical therapists can do vary from state to state? For example, in some states physical therapists can order imaging and in other states physical therapists aren’t allowed to perform dry needling. The legislature and the governor have the ultimate authority over what laws and privileges physical therapists have. This is why it’s so important to educate government officials on the importance of physical therapy!
This year, the primary topic we were educating the legislature on was a bill that would allow physical therapists to authorize disability parking permits to patients. Currently MDs, chiropractors, PAs, and nurse practitioners are the only medical professionals that are allowed to authorize the permits. Physical therapists are one of the only professions that have standardized testing to determine a patient’s fall risk and are constantly assessing a person’s mobility. Therefore, they would be a great profession to be able to authorize the permits. The bill passed in both the House and Senate transportation committees. In the House, it will go to a floor vote, and in the Senate, the bill was transferred to another committee. Hopefully soon, physical therapists will be able to authorize disability parking permits for our patients! This will decrease overall medical costs, as patients won’t have to return to their MDs just for a parking permit.
You might think what does this have to do with me? Our legislature works for us! We have to tell them what we want! Do you love your physical therapist and are so happy they got you back to doing the things you love? Are you happy that you can see a physical therapist without a referral? Do you wish you could go to physical therapy more often, but because of high co-pays or deductibles it is too expensive? Let your representative know! That’s the first step to creating change and improving access to physical therapy! There will be plenty of other topics that relate to the physical therapy field in the upcoming years. Stay tuned!
Rebecca Varoga, PT, DPT
Physical Therapy Consultants, Inc.
PTC_therapy February 20th, 2019
Posted In: General