"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

Thursday, April 25, 2013

New Florida state legislation threatens Physical Therapist Assistant education

"Hi, my name is Tim and I'm in the Senator's district. I'm calling today to ask the Senator to oppose Florida House Bill 1071."

"Ok", said the voice on the other end of the line. "What's your zip code?"

"34222", I said.

"Ok, got it. Thanks for calling. I'll make sure the Senator gets this", said the voice.

"Ok, thank you."  I said and I hung up.

Well, that was easy.  I also sent an e-mail to my Senator asking him to oppose Florida House Bill 1071 (CS/HB 1071).

According to the Florida Physical Therapy Association (FPTA), HB 1071 is legislation originally intended to address a number of glitches in current law affecting the accrediting of healthcare providers and hospitals. HB 1071 has passed the Florida House of Representatives on April 24th, 2013. Unfortunately the legislation was amended on the House floor prior to passage and language was added to the bill that is problematic for the Physical Therapist profession. The legislation will now be considered by the Florida Senate.

The problematic amendment adds NEW language to the Florida Physical Therapy Practice Act (licensure law) that addresses physical therapist assistant education and licensing requirements. Specifically the new language could allow for individuals who have graduated from schools NOT accredited by Commission on Accreditation for Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) to sit for the PTA licensure exam!

This language is extremely problematic for a number of reasons and was added without consultation from FPTA. The proposed change would undermine the CAPTE accreditation currently required for all U.S. PT and PTA schools offering education and training of students seeking examination and licensure. If enacted, this language could open the floodgates for entities who are not experts in physical therapy, nor meet the quality standards of CAPTE to offer “PTA educational degrees” in the state of Florida.

The Florida Physical Therapy Association is strongly OPPOSED to this amendment.

Accrediting agencies like CAPTE hold programs to high standards that have been informed by multiple stakeholders inside and outside of the profession that guide quality student training - this is in the best interest of the public safety and patient care. Relaxing accreditation requirements could diminish the current levels of care protecting Floridians requiring physical therapy rehabilitative and habilitative care.


Please click on the following internet link to send an email to your state senator in Tallahassee on this important issue. It’s easy and only takes a couple of minutes – the email is already prepared for you. The message to your state senator will urge him or her to OPPOSE CS/HB 1071 unless this problematic language is deleted from the bill. In addition, the message will ask them to oppose any amendments to SB 594 and SB 966 changing PTA educational accreditation:


Please be sure to follow up with a phone call to your state senator as well.

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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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