Who We Are

APTA Private Practice of the American Physical Therapy Association represents almost 4,000 physical therapists and physical therapy assistants who practice in independent businesses. Their businesses are both large and small, some with single locations, some with many locations across multiple states and regions. Physical therapists specialize in providing neuromusculoskeletal interventions and should be the point of entry for treatment of movement disorders. These therapists compete on the basis of cost, quality, and convenience with rehabilitation therapy that is delivered in hospitals, nursing homes, and doctors' offices. When appropriate, APTA Private Practice works with stakeholders with whom our priorities align.

Legislative & Advocacy Priorities 117th Congress

The highest priority for APTA Private Practice is permanently mitigating Medicare payment policies that undermine the importance and value of physical therapist and physical therapist assistant care as well as its impact on patients and their communities.

In addition, APTA Private Practice is committed to pursuing the following legislative and regulatory priorities:

  • Eliminate administrative barriers to enable Medicare beneficiaries to optimize access to physical therapists for treatment
  • Pursue policy changes that enable Medicare beneficiaries to access physical therapist care directly
  • Influence payment reform proposals, and continue to fight for fair and equitable payment for physical therapists and physical therapist assistants in private practice across the healthcare continuum
  • Prevent interruptions in patient care by continuing to pursue the expansion of the locum tenens* provision of Medicare to include physical therapists practicing in all communities and pursue favorable Medicare standards for supervision of assistive personnel across physical therapy practice settings
    *also known as substitute billing privileges
  • Achieve legislation that allows physical therapists to privately contract with Medicare beneficiaries
  • Pursue legislation that promotes transparency, patient access, quality of care, and patient choice of both providers and settings for Medicare and Medicare Advantage beneficiaries
  • Address and mitigate negative effects associated with any healthcare arrangement where business and financial interests could be prioritized over patient-centered care

  • Pursue legislation to include physical therapists and physical therapist assistants among those non-physician providers who are authorized to be paid for providing care to Medicare beneficiaries using telehealth
  • Promote the use of a hybrid model such that physical therapist services may be provided in person and via telehealth; ensure that payment for physical therapist services provided via telehealth require that an in-person physical therapy visit is available to all patients
  • Achieve legislation that requires Medicare and Federal Health plans to provide parity for both coverage and payment for physical therapist services through telehealth
  • Evaluate opportunities for the inclusion of physical therapists in legislation that promotes the use of technological innovations in healthcare
  • Promote legislation that supports the utilization of electronic health records by physical therapists
  • Pursue policy that requires that physical therapy that is provided "incident to" must be provide by a licensed physical therapist

  • Promote physical therapy as an essential health benefit in all insurance plans
  • Empower patients to access medically necessary physical therapist services from the providers of their choice by addressing and mitigating the negative effects of market control on physical therapists in private practice and their patients, including opposing networks and policies that unreasonably limit patient access and choice
  • Pursue elimination of arbitrary limits to access and obstruction for payment for services provided by physical therapists
  • Support consumer opportunities and choice by increasing transparency of coverage across all payers and healthcare provider pricing
  • Advocate to retain guaranteed access to insurance for those with pre-existing conditions as well as the ban on rescission for those who do have coverage

  • Seek opportunities to position the physical therapist as a primary care provider for neuromusculoskeletal dysfunction and promote the physical therapy profession as a point of entry into the medical model for movement disorders
  • Promote recognition of physical therapists as essential health care workers who provide preventative and wellness services as well as manage chronic disease
  • Support policies that empower physical therapists to evaluate and support healthy and independent lifestyles and to promote mobility throughout the lifespan
  • Pursue legislation to require physical therapist services to be a covered service under Medicaid

  • Advocate for standardized processes to promote administrative simplification
  • Pursue policies which enable physical therapists to enter into private practice and sustain their small businesses while supporting the economic vitality of their community
  • Support equitable payment for physical therapist services provided in a private practice setting
  • Monitor, respond to, and participate in tax policy updates to support physical therapists in private practice
  • Support opportunities for small businesses to purchase health insurance across state lines; advocate for the expansion of Association Health Plans and group purchasing

  • Promote policy that increases opportunities for Veterans and their dependents to receive direct access to outpatient services provided by physical therapists in private practice
  • Support legislation that promotes the use of physical therapist services as non-pharmacological treatment options in response to the opioid crisis
  • Promote the inclusion of physical therapists and physical therapist assistants in the medical team providing care to address concussion management, chronic pain, and social determinants of health