"Physical therapy is not a subspecialty of the medical profession and physical therapists are not medical doctors; we are a separate profession that provides a unique service that physicians are unable and untrained to provide."

Letter to the AMA from the APTA, Dec 2009

Friday, September 30, 2011

Ready, Fire, Aim: The Case for CoPayment Legislation in Florida in 2012


Florida needs passion in 2012.
  • Without passion we will not have legislative success.
  • Without passion, we will not have increased grassroots support.
  • Without passion, we will not have more donations to our Political Action Committee.
The three "hot topics" from the Austin, Texas APTA State Payment and Policy Forum on September 23-26, 2011 were these:
  1. Direct Access (Texas)
  2. POPTs (California)
  3. Co-payment legislation (Kentucky, New York and New Jersey) 
Texas raised $60,000 over-and-above it's typical level of PAC donations for its Direct Access PAC in a highly public and highly controversial legislative session packed with hot button issues crowding the media:
  • illegal immigration
  • concealed carry permits for Glocks on college campuses
  • innoculating 6th grade girls with HPV vaccine
The Texas Physical Therapy Association (TPTA) rose above these emotional issues with a carefully orchestrated public relations campaign that emphasized the Texas consumer.

The TPTA also excited over 500 physical therapists and physical therapist assistants to travel to the Texas capitol for Rally Day in support of Direct Access legislation.

Incidentally, Texas also excited the mainstream media (television) to broadcast news stories about direct access to physical therapists.

California lit up the physical therapy blogosphere in 2011.

California also lit up the print media in Los Angeles and, according to Paul Gaspar DPT, legislators' colorful language lit up the California capitol, Sacremento. (Incidentally, the original, Spanish name for Sacremento was "Sacred Mind". I wonder how sacred was the legislators' language? :)

California raised over $100,000 in direct POPTs PAC support from AROUND THE NATION. Not just California. That's passion.

Not only did California excite the nation, generate passion from physical therapists and raise buckets of money but THEY ALSO WON! POPTs are now illegal in California.

Now, California physical therapists just need enforcement of the new, anti-POPTs legislation.

Kentucky was a slam dunk! The Kentucky House voted 98-to-zero to approve physical therapy co-payment legislation.

Dave Pariser, PT, PhD was partying hard in New Orleans in February 2011 and he had to come home when he heard that a groundswell of public and legislative opinion had arisen in favor of CoPay.

Dave had to come home to shepherd SB 112 through the Senate. It squeaked through, 30-to-6, in favor. Thanks, Dave and to the KPTA.

The actuality was that the KPTA had NO INTENTION of Kentucky CoPay legislation winning ANY support in 2011. But, it did. Why? Passion.

This time the passion was from the Kentucky consumers. They wanted relief. They wanted relief from the gradual shift that insurance companies and employers had placed on employees' copays.

Kentucky voters wanted Co-payment legislation in 2011.

Florida needs passion in 2012.

The stated intent of the Florida Physical Therapy Association, from the FPTA Assembly on September 24th, 2011, is to move forward with Temporary Licensure for Physical Therapy Students. While Temporary Licensure is important, its definitely not passionate.

Without passion, the Florida Physical Therapy Association (FPTA) will get nowhere in 2012.

Temporary Licensure will not be effective in 2012 for the following reasons:
  • Student don't have money to donate to the FPTA PAC for Temporary Licensure .
  • No one else is going to donate to the PAC (above 2011 levels) for issues that they're not passionate about.
  • Controversy is necessary to raise physical therapists above the media fray - don't be afraid of controversy.
  • Controversy sells - PAC donations are driven by emotion, not logic.
  • Grassroots support will arise when physical therapists appeal to the consumer/patient
My pick for Florida in 2012 on a platform of Temporary License legislation:
  • Flat to negative Political Action Committee (PAC) donations over 2011
  • No rally in Tallahassee with 250 therapists supporting Temporary License legislation
  • No grassroots support for Temporary License legislation
  • Odds of successful passage of Temporary License legislation, 3-to-1 against, that is, 25% chance of passage.

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Tim Richardson, PT owns a private practice at Medical Arts Rehabilitation, Inc in Palmetto, Florida. The clinic website is at MedicalArtsRehab.com.

Bulletproof Expert Systems: Clinical Decision Support for Physical Therapists in the Outpatient Setting is a manager's workbook with stories, checklists, charts, graphs, tables, and templates describing how you can use paper-based or computerized tools to improve your clinic's Medicare compliance, process adherence and patient outcomes.

Tim has implemented a computerized Clinical Decision Support (CDS) system in his clinic since 2006 that serves as a Reminder, Alerting, Prompting and Predicting CDS using evidence-based tests and measures.

Tim can be reached at
TimRichPT@BulletproofPT.com .

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