The Legislative & Advocacy Priorities for the 116th Congress were developed in December by the Government Affairs Committee and endorsed by the Board of Directors.  Check it out on the PPS website so that you review it and print it out to share with your legislators and their staff.

As you review the document you will notice that some issues such as access to private contracting with Medicare beneficiaries (aka opt-out), achieving nationwide access to use a locum tenens to treat Medicare patients when their regular PT can’t be in the office, as well as supporting expansion of policy to allow for reimbursement for care provided via telehealth remained on the list of priorities.  The “ACA Reform” category was removed because unlike last Congress, healthcare repeal or the replacement of the Affordable Care Act is not at the top of the Congressional agenda this Congress.  However, the principles of promoting physical therapy as an essential health benefit in all insurance plans and retaining guaranteed access to insurance for those with pre-existing conditions as well as protect the ban on the rescission of insurance for those who do have coverage were retained in the new category of “Health Coverage Principles”.  The goal of addressing physical therapy workforce issues including cost of education and pursuing federal programs to reduce student loan burden remained on the list.  New to this Congress, the GAC chose to include a focus on the use of physical therapist services as non-pharmacological treatment options in response to the opioid crisis as well as three priorities focused on population health.  If you have any questions, please reach out.

Advocacy Opportunity 1:
Help us build a strong argument for lawmakers to support our efforts to allow PTs to opt-out of Medicare and receive cash pay from patients who are Medicare beneficiaries.  Please send me a description of a situation where you have been approached to provide care to a Medicare beneficiary but would have preferred to utilize an opt-out option and contract directly with the patient for payment.  Your names will not be disclosed to policy makers so please provide as much detail as you can so that it can be a strong illustration of the issue. 


Due to the retirement of long-time chairman Orrin Hatch, the Finance Committee is now chaired by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA); the Ranking Member will remain Ron Wyden (D-OR).  The Senate Small Business committee is now chaired by Marco Rubio (R-FL) while Ben Cardin (D-MD) retains his spot as Ranking Member.  The Health Education Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee leadership will not change—it will continue to be chaired by Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Patty Murray (D-WA) will remain the Ranking Member.  The Senate Veterans committee will also remain the same with Johnny Isakson (R-GA) at the helm and Jon Tester (D-MT) as Ranking Member.  Check out the full rosters below.  Red font indicates that the member is a new addition to that committee.






Chuck Grassley (IA) Chair

Ron Wyden (OR) Ranking Member

(handles Medicare issues)

Mike Crapo (ID)

Debbie Stabenow (MI)


Pat Roberts (KS)

Maria Cantwell (WA)


Mike Enzi (WY)

Bob Menendez (NJ)


John Cornyn (TX)

Tom Carper (DE)


John Thune (SD)

Ben Cardin (MD)


Richard Burr (NC)

Sherrod Brown (OH)


Johnny Isakson (GA)

Michael Bennet (CO)


Rob Portman (OH)

Bob Casey (PA)


Pat Toomey (PA)

Mark Warner (VA)


Tim Scott (SC)

Sheldon Whitehouse (RI)


Bill Cassidy (LA)

Maggie Hassan (NH)


James Lankford (OK)

Catherine Cortez Masto (NV)


Steve Daines (MT)



Todd Young (IN)





Health, Education, Labor & Pensions

Lamar Alexander (TN) Chair

Patty Murray (WA) Ranking Member

(handles healthcare issues related to workforce, education and community-based care)

Mike Enzi (WY)

Bernie Sanders (VT)


Richard Burr (NC)

Bob Casey (PA)


Johnny Isakson (GA)

Tammy Baldwin (WI)


Rand Paul (KY)

Chris Murphy (CT)


Susan Collins (ME)

Elizabeth Warren (MA)


Bill Cassidy (LA)

Tim Kaine (VA)


Pat Roberts (KS)

Maggie Hassan (NH)


Lisa Murkowski (AK)

Tina Smith (MN)


Tim Scott (SC)

Doug Jones (AL)


Mike Braun (IN)

Jacky Rosen (NV)


Mitt Romney (UT)





Small Business

Marco Rubio (FL) Chair

Ben Cardin (MD) Ranking Member


Jim Risch (ID)

Maria Cantwell (WA)


Rand Paul (KY)

Jeanne Shaheen (NH)


Tim Scott (SC)

Ed Markey (MA)


Joni Ernst (IA)

Cory Booker (NJ)


James Inhofe (OK)

Chris Coons (DE)


Todd Young (IN)

Mazie Hirono (HI)


John Kennedy (LA)

Tammy Duckworth (IL)


Mitt Romney (UT)

Jacky Rosen (NV)


Josh Hawley (MO)





Veterans Affairs

Johnny Isakson (GA) Chair

Jon Tester (MT) Ranking Member


Jerry Moran (KS)

Patty Murray (WA)


John Boozman (AR)

Bernie Sanders (VT)


Bill Cassidy (LA)

Sherrod Brown (OH)


Mike Rounds (SD)

Richard Blumenthal (CT)


Thom Tillis (NC)

Mazie Horono (HI)


Dan Sullivan (AK)

Joe Manchin (WV)


Marsha Blackburn (TN)

Kyrsten Sinema (AZ)


Kevin Cramer (ND)


Advocacy Opportunity 2:
Check the above committee membership rosters for the Senate committees and see if your Senator(s) have been assigned to any of the four committees.  If so, please reach out to their offices via their websites (the standard naming convention is “lastname.senate.gov”) and share the PPS legislative priorities with their staff. 

As staffing is completed for those members who have been assigned to committees of relevant jurisdiction, key contachs will hear from me with individual contact information.  Thank you for your continued advocacy!

For information on PPS’s legislative priorities and activities, visit the Advocacy section at www.ppsapta.org



  1. Tracy Urvater's Gravatar

    Direct Access?

    Tracy Urvater | February 3, 2019 at 6:28 PM

    Thank you for your dedicated advocacy efforts above. I would like to add the additionally important impact that unrestricted direct access can have on our ability to help patients without the need for unnecessary and sometimes costly physician visits. Unrestricted direct access should coincide with our ability to refer for appropriate imaging when needed without the need to refer to physician first. I have an active passionate interest in this, have met with local legislators and need the support of PPS, APTA, NYPTA and AAOPT. I'm ready to help.

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