Congressional At-Home Work Period:
Congress will be in recess for the Memorial Day holiday from May 27-31st. This means Members of Congress are likely to be back in their home districts participating in events and meetings, between May 24th and June 2nd.
Advocacy Opportunity 1:
On May 27th you are likely to see your legislators at Memorial Day events around the district. One of the goals of the PPS Key Contact program is that the Member of Congress you are assigned to will come to associate you with the profession of physical therapy, the local economic impact of your small business, and seek you out as a trusted touchstone on which legislation proposed would be favorable to private practice physical therapists. If you see your lawmaker, be sure to say hello, hand them your business card, and then follow up with a call to the district office to request a meeting with staff. Also, take the opportunity to offer a site visit to your clinic during the scheduled 4th of July recess (July 1st-5th). When planning your meeting with your legislator or his/her staff, please refer to the “Nuts and Bolts of In-District Advocacy” document on the PPS advocacy page for tips.
Supporting the Physical Therapist Workforce in Underserved Areas
Just this month, Reps. DeGette (D-CO) and Shimkus (R-IL) introduced the House companion bill (H.R.2802) to the Senate bill (S.970) introduced by Senators Tester (D-MT), Wicker (R-MS), and King (I-ME)—the Physical Therapist Workforce and Patient Access Act. This legislation seeks to add physical therapists to the list of providers eligible to participate in the National Health Service Corps. The language is largely the same as years past except for adding a hook that specifically mentions that physical therapists could provide non-pharmacological intervention for pain in order to prevent opioid abuse or to help those who are already struggling with addiction to opioids. A one-pager that you can refer to during meetings and share with Congressional staff has been posted on the PPS advocacy page. As of Friday May 24th, the bill has 3 Senate cosponsors and 6 cosponsors in the House. Pitch in and help us increase that number!
Advocacy Opportunity 2:
Call or email your lawmaker and their healthcare policy staff and ask for your Senator/Representative to cosponsor the Physical Therapist Workforce and Patient Access Act (S.970/H.R.2802) to add physical therapists to the list of providers eligible to participate in the National Health Service Corps. If you are on social media, follow up with a tweet or facebook post.
Use the following talking points:
- Adding physical therapists to the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) will increase patient access to PT care and rehabilitation in underserved communities across America.
- Cosponsor S.970/H.R.2802 in order to improve access to nonpharmacological options for the prevention, treatment, and management of pain—either to prevent opiate abuse or to help those who are already struggling with addiction to opiates.
- The National Health Service Corps is due to be reauthorized this fall so it is ever more important for legislators to signal their support by cosponsoring the legislation.
- This bipartisan effort could improve lives of those in pain while also encouraging PTs to practice in rural and underserved areas.
Thank you for your continued advocacy! nFor information on PPS’s legislative priorities and activities, visit the Advocacy section at www.ppsapta.org