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So... What's Next?

Tuesday, August 8, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Matthew Nicholas
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So... What's Next?

Many members have asked where do we go next after dry needling? My first response is that there is still work to be done for dry needling. SB 898 is in the Governor’s office now where he can choose to sign, veto or suggest changes. Providing it is signed, we will still need to work through the rules process with the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulations (IDFPR). As a result of the initial opposition to SB 898, the dry needling bill contains a great deal of the language that we often find in the rules and we hope this will expedite the rules process this fall.

My next response about what’s next is to consider the opioid crisis in Illinois. The Department of Health and Family Services recently reported that, of the 2,278 Illinois statewide drug overdose deaths during 2016, over 80% (1,826) were opioid related fatalities. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) would lead us to believe that at least some of those could have been prevented, had nonopioid approaches for the long-term treatment of many pain conditions been better utilized. This brings us to APTA’s #ChoosePT campaign and our goal of eliminating barriers to accessing physical therapy first. 

#ChoosePT means making physical therapy the first choice of treatment for injury and chronic pain. Physical therapy is the safe, non-addictive alternative for managing pain. In order to make physical therapy accessible in Illinois, though, we need to advocate for:

  1. Removing restriction in the Illinois PT Act that impedes access to a physical therapist.
  2. Providing for fair physical therapy copays under insurance.
  3. Allowing PTs to perform to the full extent of their education and training.
  4. Protecting patient choice of their physical therapist.
  5. Protecting truth in advertising by enforcement of laws that protect physical therapy terms.

These next three months will be important ones for the IPTA. We will be talking specifically about our new legislative goals at the October District meetings – it is important that you attend. Whatever we do legislatively impacts all licensed PTs and PTAs in Illinois, so please share this information with non-members that may be interested in removing barriers to accessing physical therapy in Illinois. Details are forthcoming.


- Mike Riley, PT
IPTA President (2016 - 2018)
Member since 1973

Several times during the last legislative session, the IPTA reached out to our members for support -- and members responded by contacting their legislators and filing electronic witness slips to help us get bipartisan support for SB 898. This grassroots support needs to continue in order for us to build upon that win and address other barriers to access this fall and next year. 

Your membership and your proactive support are critical to our success moving forward. If you haven’t already done so, email ipta@ipta.org and become a key contact for your state senator and representative. As we meet with key bill sponsors and committee members to discuss our future goals, bipartisan support will be vital. 

We know that our legislative efforts are most successful when they are reinforced by individual members of the IPTA that reach out to their legislators and explain why our goals will help the citizens in his/her community. I hope I can count on you to do just that. By doing so, you will help us shape the future of physical therapy in Illinois so that we can fulfill our mission of improving the health, wellness, and quality of life for the people in Illinois through physical therapy.

1"The Opioid Crisis in Illinois: Data and the State's Response." DHS: The Opioid Crisis in Illinois: Data and the State's Response. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 July 2017.

2"Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR)." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 18 Mar. 2016. Web. 26 July 2017



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