Today, The Private Practice Section is pairing up with APTA for the Federal Advocacy Forum on Capitol Hill. PPS Key Contacts and advocates are working alongside APTA Key Contacts bringing our message to Members of Congress. We encourage PPS members who are not on the hill today, to magnify our advocates’ impact by calling or emailing your legislators before the end of the day. Talking Points and PPS One-Pagers are outlined in the April Legislative Update Below.
PHYSICAL THERAPY WORKFORCE
The PPS-endorsed Physical Therapist Workforce and Patient Access Act (H.R.1639/S.619) authorizes physical therapists to participate in the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Loan Repayment Program. Should PT's be eligible to participate in the program, they could seek positions in health professional shortage areas in exchange for funds earmarked to repay student loans. From the clinic owner's perspective, they could use the program as a recruitment tool to attract new therapists and use the program as a financial on-ramp to supplement the salary outlays for the first few years while growing the practice to support the additional salary. The bill does not authorize any new funding for the program.
The National Health Service Corps (NHSC) allows for the placement of certain health care professionals in areas which are designated as a health care professional shortage area (HPSA).
While the NHSC was configured to address primary care needs in underserved communities, it has no rehabilitative care component and physical therapists are not eligible to participate in the program.
82% of NHSC providers stayed on in the communities after their service obligation expired; this is an example of an effective federal investment.
Physical therapy clinics in HPSAs could use this program as a recruitment tool and simultaneously reduce their initial salary outlay as their business grows to support an additional physical therapist for the long-term while simultaneously improving patient access to essential physical therapy services.
ADVOCACY OPPORTUNITY #1
Reach out to your legislators and use the above talking points to explain how physical therapy is recognized as an essential part of recovering from physical injury and many surgeries and that rehabilitative care is akin to primary care, especially in communities where physical labor is the backbone of the economy. Ask for your Representative and Senators to cosponsor the Physical Therapist Workforce and Patient Access Act (H.R.1639/S.619). Please include the one-pager found at the Advocacy section at www.ppsapta.org with your outreach.
One of PPS' top legislative and advocacy priorities is to support legislation that would allow PTs and other Medicare enrollees to opt out of Medicare on a case-by-case basis. In the House, the Medicare Patient Empowerment Act (H.R.4133) has 3 cosponsors; we need your help getting previous House cosponsors back on the bill. The bill language is the same as it was last Congress and would allow Medicare enrolled providers (including physical therapists) to contract directly with their patients who are Medicare beneficiaries. The decision to opt-out would not affect the entire practice, only the billing relationship between that patient and therapist.
Allow providers to contract directly with their patients who are Medicare beneficiaries-on a case-by-case basis.
Allow Medicare beneficiaries to contract with their choice of provider at Medicare rates or at rates established between the patient and physician or practitioner.
Allow providers to continue as a participating or non-participating Medicare provider with respect to any patient or service not covered under the contract.
Empower individual beneficiary choice at no additional cost to the Medicare program.
ADVOCACY OPPORTUNITY #2
Reach out to your Representatives and use the above talking points to explain how you would use the patient-centered policy to better serve your patients and your community, include an example if you have one. Ask for your Representative to cosponsor the Medicare Patient Empowerment Act (H.R.4133). Please include the one-pager found at the Advocacy section at www.ppsapta.org with your outreach.
Thank you for your continued advocacy and engagement.
For additional one-pagers and talking points for other PPS's legislative priorities and activities, visit the Advocacy section at www.ppsapta.org