Physical Therapy Advocacy

H175: An Act Relative to Title Protection
To protect the credentials CPT and DPT for sole use by Physical Therapists

DPT

  • Since the entry-level education for a physical therapist is now at the doctoral level, changing our licensing credential from the present “PT” to “DPT” will help the consumer better understand PT’s qualifications and level of knowledge relative to other health and wellness professionals.
  • **Once a significant majority of licensed PT’s have achieved an academic DPT degree, we will advocate to change the licensing credential to DPT.  In the meantime, we would like to protect this designation “DPT” to be available when this time arrives.

CPT

  • The term “PT” is a protected designation (Chapter 112 Section 23P) to be used only by licensed physical therapists.
  • Many personal trainers are currently using the designation “CPT” to signify that they are a certified personal trainer, even though PT is a protected term.
  • This has led to frequent consumer confusion as they see the title “CPT” and think they are being treated by a physical therapist.
  • We believe that in many cases the use of “CPT” is done as purposeful deception.
  • Personal trainers have a varied background and do not require an academic degree to achieve certification.
  • In addition, the term “CPT” is frequently used clinically to mean “Chest Physical Therapy” which is a technique used by physical therapists for treating several pulmonary conditions.

**Personal trainers should not be using the term “CPT” or any other designation containing the term “PT” as this adds to title confusion among consumers.

 

H175: An Act Relative to Title Protection
To protect the credentials CPT and DPT for sole use by Physical Therapists

Full text:

Section 23P of Chapter 112 of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting the following after “P.T.T”: “C.P.T”, “D.P.T”, “D.R.P.T.”, “Dr. P.T.”

 

H846: An Act Relative to Physical Therapy Copayment
To cap Physical Therapy copayments to match that of primary care physicians, approximately $20

  • We are not against copayments!
  • We are against excessive copayments that prevent patients from being able to participate in their prescribed therapy.
  • This bill will not increase the amount of money in the pockets of physical therapists; rather it distributes more of the cost of physical therapy back to the insurer.
  • Privately insured consumers do not understand that physical therapy has such high copayments, which essentially makes Physical Therapy a “phantom benefit”.
  • The designation “specialist” has been assigned to physical therapists by most private insurers.  Typically a patient will go to a “specialist” like an orthopedist or neurologist one or two times, so the high copayments assigned to these specialists are relatively affordable.  BUT, when a patient has to pay this high deductible 6-12 times, as is necessary to receive quality PT treatment, it is frequently prohibitive.
  • **As a result of high co-pays, many patients cannot afford the full course of therapy, which may lead to their prolonged or permanent dysfunction, or resulting in the need for costly pharmacology, diagnostic imaging or surgery.

**We have requested a copayment consistent with the Primary Care Physician, which is typically $20, to make PT services more affordable for patients. By decreasing co-pays, there will be improved outcomes for patients and reduced “down-stream costs” for the healthcare economy.

 

H846: An Act Relative to Physical Therapy Copayment
To cap Physical Therapy copayments to match that of primary care physicians, approximately $20

Full Text:

SECTION 1.   Chapter 175 of the General Laws is hereby amended by adding the following new section:-

Section 226.  Physical Therapy Copayments

(a)  An insurer shall not impose a copayment, coinsurance, or office visit deductible amount charged to the insured for services rendered for each date of service by a physical therapist licensed under section 23B of chapter 112 that is greater than the copayment, coinsurance, or office visit deductible amount charged to the insured for the services of a primary care physician or an osteopath licensed under section 2 of Chapter 112 for an office visit.

(b) An insurer shall state clearly the availability of physical therapy coverage under its plan and all related limitations, conditions, and exclusions.

 

H176: An Act Establishing a Board of Registration in Physical Therapy
To establish a Physical Therapy Licensing Board; Section 1 and 2 are necessary to remove PTs and PTA from present Board of Allied Health Professions and Section 3 establishes a new PT Board

  • Physical Therapy is presently part of the Board of Allied Health Professionals (BoAHP), along with Occupational Therapy and Athletic Training.
  • Physical therapists do not have a controlling vote on issues related to physical therapy, but only a one-third vote, that is controlled by a majority.
  • Approximately 90% of the activities of the BoAHP are related to physical therapy.
  • The BoAHP also licenses outpatient physical therapy practices, a responsibility only affecting PT’s but that falls under the same majority vote of all three professions.
  • The new Board of Physical Therapy (BoPT) would expedite the routine workload and be better able to self-police abuse and fraudulence within the PT profession, thus exercising greater consumer protection.
  • **Consumer would be best served if physical therapists controlled their own rules and regulations, and governed their own practice and issues related to physical therapy.

Concerns related to the cost of establishing a Board of Physical Therapy:

  • If PT’s had their own board, the remaining BoAHP would only need to meet quarterly instead of monthly and would be dealing with a magnitude of only 10% of issues compared to its current workload.
  • PTs and PTAs are so invested in the need for a BoPT, they are willing to have an increase in their Licensing Fees to cover any additional expenses.  This is an anecdotal finding by APTA of MA President when meeting with PT groups.

There are 9,705 active PT’s licensed and 3,360 active PTA’a licensed to practice in MA.

 

H176: An Act Establishing a Board of Registration in Physical Therapy
To establish a Physical Therapy Licensing Board; Section 1 and 2 are necessary to remove PTs and PTA from present Board of Allied Health Professions and Section 3 establishes a new PT Board

Full Text:

SECTION 1.  Section 11A of Chapter 13 of the General Laws is hereby amended by striking out the word “eleven” and replacing it with the word “eight”.

SECTION 2.  Section 11A of Chapter 13 of the General Laws is hereby amended by striking out the words:-

“two of such members shall be physical therapists licensed in accordance with the provisions of said section twenty-three B; one such member shall be a physical therapist assistant licensed in accordance with the provisions of said section twenty-three B; except that such members constituting the first board shall be persons who are eligible for licensing as practitioners of said allied health profession.”

SECTION 3.  Chapter 13 of the General Laws is hereby amended by adding the following section:

Section 109.  Board of registration of physical therapy; membership; appointment; term

(a) There shall be within the division of professional licensure a board of registration in physical therapy. The board shall consist of nine (9) members who shall be appointed by the governor for terms of three (3) years. The members appointed shall be residents of the commonwealth, four (4) of whom shall be physical therapists licensed in accordance with the provisions of section 23B of chapter 112 and who shall have been actively engaged in the practice of physical therapy for at least seven years; two (2) of whom shall be physical therapists licensed in accordance with the provisions of said section 23B who are educators of physical therapy and are on the faculty of a college or university situated in the Commonwealth; two (2) of whom shall be physical therapist assistants licensed in accordance with the provisions of said section 23B; and one (1) of whom shall be a consumer.

Of the initial members appointed to the board, serving terms of three (3) years will be two (2) physical therapists, one (1) physical therapist assistant and one (1) physical therapy educator.  Those serving terms of two (2) years will be one (1) physical therapist, one (1) physical therapist assistant, one (1) physical therapy educator and the consumer member. Serving a term of one (1) year will be one (1) physical therapist. Terms of reappointment shall be for a term of three (3) years. Each member of the board shall hold office until his successor has been appointed. A vacancy in the membership of the board shall be filled for the unexpired term in the manner provided for the original appointment.

Members shall be appointed for a term of three years. No member shall be appointed to more than two consecutive full terms; provided, however, that a member appointed for less than a full term may serve two full terms in addition to such part of a full term and a former member shall again be eligible for appointment after a lapse of one or more years. Any member of the board may be removed by the governor for neglect of duty, misconduct or malfeasance or misfeasance in office after being given a written statement of the charges against him and sufficient opportunity to be heard thereon.

(H176 continued)

Said board shall elect its chairperson annually and shall meet twice annually at the call of such chairperson or upon the request of the majority of the board. A quorum shall consist of at least five members present. Board members shall serve without compensation but shall be reimbursed for actual and reasonable expenses incurred in the performance of their duties. The board shall meet at least four times annually.