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Legislators Return to Session in Springfield

Thursday, February 6, 2020   (1 Comments)
Posted by: Matthew Nicholas
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Legislators Return to Session in Springfield



- Mike Riley, PT
IPTA President (2016 - 2021)
Member since 1973


Advocacy, what is next?

That is a question that I hear from many therapists. The IPTA is always wanting to hear from our members and supporters about issues that are impacting their practice. Our lobbyists have done a great job keeping us informed of current and proposed bills in the State Legislature that might impact our profession. Recently we met with the new Secretary of the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation, Deborah Hagan, along with six of her staff to share our concerns about term protection as well as to discuss the PT license compact.

PT License Compact

It was quite evident during our discussion that the Department had done their homework on the compact and voiced numerous concerns about the document as well as shared with us some of the ways that they have been working to expedite the licensing process.

When we consider the benefits of joining the license compact, one important consideration is that many of us who have licenses in multiple jurisdictions (states) would be, in essence, giving them up in exchange for just a privilege to practices in those other states while only being licensed in our home state of Illinois. 

Recently, it has come to our attention that CMS and at least one other insurer is not recognizing the compact's "privilege to practice" as satisfying federal license requirements and the APTA has written a letter to CMS asking for them to consider changing this interpretation. This issue will be closely monitored as we continue to learn from the experiences that other compact member states and licensees are having as the compact is implemented.

While legislation has been enacted in 26 states, large states like Illinois, California, Florida and New York have not moved forward.  Colleen and I will be at CSM where we hope to learn more about the progress of the compact at our component meetings.

FSBPT Press Release

Term Protection

We spent a great deal of time with the IDFPR Secretary and staff discussing term protection and the confusion to the public when chiropractors advertise physical therapy when there is no therapist present in their practice. While it appears very clear to us that the term "physical therapy" is protected by state statute, the IDFPR has asked for our patience as they consider their ability to enforce the protection as it applies to chiropractors who are licensed under the Medical Practice Act.  As we wait for their next communication, we continue to urge members to file complaints with the IDFPR when you recognize that chiropractors are violating laws that protect the public from misleading information, including their use of the term "physical therapy" and "physiotherapy" when a licensed physical therapist is not associated with their clinic.

Athletic Trainers

Colleen has stayed in close contact with the athletic trainers and continues to review their proposals and provide feedback as they seek to modernize their practice act.  We are optimistic that some middle ground will be reached and we will be able to support their efforts. 

Grassroots

Our members have been terrific in responding to requests to reach out to their legislators to support our positions. Building relationships with your elected representatives and senators is extremely important in the success of our advocacy efforts. Jim Milder, PT, our IPT-PAC chair, has done a great job in keeping this key group of members informed about issues that may require phone calls, emails or visits with the legislators. That support by local therapists and assistants is often the difference maker when it comes time for a vote in Springfield.

Our Lobbyists

Jake Butcher, a member of our contract lobbying firm, has accepted the role of Chief of Staff for the new Senate President, Don Harmon. Jake has been extremely helpful with our legislative efforts in the last several years and we wish him luck in his new endeavor. Our lobbyists continue to participate with us on a regular basis and we feel comfortable that they will continue to meet our needs.

Share your thoughts! Comment below!

Comments...

Angela W. Pennisi PT MS says...
Posted Tuesday, February 11, 2020
Thank you President Riley for the thorough update and review of these complex issues. I appreciate the suggestions on what members can do to support term protection an acknowledge the challenges that have arisen with CMS on enrolling providers licensed through the compact. Hopefully, together we can continue to advocate successfully on these issues!

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