"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

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

California and Florida Physical Therapy Bills Move Forward

Physical therapists across the United States have gotten off to a fast start in 2012, as evidenced by two bills moving forward in California and in Florida.

California Senate bill SB 924 allows consumers to go directly to a physical therapist for treatment without first going through their doctor.

Senator Curren Price's bill was approved unanimously Monday, January 30th, 2012.

The Senate bill is a compromise bill that requires a therapist to refer a patient to doctors if the therapist learns that the patient needs medical attention.

It also requires the therapist to get a doctor's approval if the therapy goes beyond 12 visits or 30 business days.

Previous versions of the bill were opposed by the politically powerful California Medical Association (CMA). The CMA has not taken a position on the new compromise bill. The bill now goes to the California State Assembly.

Also, congratulations to the Florida Physical Therapy Association (FPTA) which scored an impresive victory Tuesday, January 17, 2012 as HB 799, the physical therapy temporary license bill by Rep. Tom Goodson passed out of its first committee of reference.

HB 799 by Rep. Goodson amends chapter 486, Florida Statutes, to allow Physical Therapy graduates of accredited programs, who are waiting to take the exam after graduation, to work under a temporary license permit.

The graduate would work under the direct supervision of a physical therapist while working (in the same room) and could only function in this temporary capacity until the results of the first exam are known. A licensed physical therapist may only supervise one temporary licensee permit at a time.

If the graduate with a temporary permit passes, they can continue working under the temporary permit until the permanent license is issued. If the graduate fails the exam, the temporary license is revoked and they may not work until passing the exam.

The legislation will also grant a similar license to physical therapist assistant graduates. Again, they would work under the direct supervision of a physical therapist. Similarly, if the exam is passed, they may continue working but cannot continue if the exam is failed.

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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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Consistent with the American Physical Therapy Association Vision Statement for Physical Therapy 2020, the American Physical Therapy Association supports exclusive physical therapist ownership and operation of physical therapy services.