Coordinating Our PT Requests to Congress
I'm now participating in monthly conference calls for advocacy for physical therapy. Participating might be too strong a word. I listen. Others report. As a result, I've learned that much effort is being put into eliminating the therapy cap and other reimbursement issues.
At the end of the call, the facilitator encouraged everyone to keep talking to their elected officials. We were told our big ask this month involves the therapy cap. Please ask Congress to support the latest bill under discussion.
That made me wonder how many things we're asking for and who is doing the asking. The APTA has paid lobbyists. This probably happens on the state level as well. Their job is to push legislation we want. I'm not sure how the process works, but it seems to me we'd have a bigger impact if everyone was pushing a united message.
In Texas there seems to be three key areas we focus on: direct access, preservation of scope of practice, and reimbursement issues. I don't know if the same people work on all of them or if separate groups focus on each one. I do know the TPTA PAC is constantly asking for donations to push our agenda. I wonder if we would be more effective if we picked one area, say reimbursement as that affects almost everyone, and put all our efforts and funding into that legislation.
The average therapist is more worried about having a job, a decent salary and getting time off than many of the items I heard discussed. It almost sounds as if our legislative group is out of touch with the majority of practicing therapists. Of all the practicing therapists I interact with on a regular basis, only one would put direct access at the top of a list for legislation.
I'm not saying all those things aren't important. It just seems to me there's a better way to accomplish our goals with the resources we have.