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Springfield Updates From the General Assembly (4/10/18)

Tuesday, April 10, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Matthew Nicholas
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All in all, it was a good day in Springfield.  With the primaries behind us, it was full steam ahead in the General Assembly and three of the bills that IPTA considers priorities made important progress today during the House’s Health Care Licenses Committee hearing.

Direct Access Bill Passes Committee with Agreed Amendment Pending

Today, HB 4643’s Chief Bill Sponsor Representative Daniel Burke appeared before the House Health Care Licenses Committee to ask that HB4643 be passed out of committee, pending an agreed amendment that would follow shortly.

HB 4643 would remove the final barriers that stop consumers in Illinois from being evaluated and treated by a physical therapist without a referral or current and relevant diagnosis.  The pending amendment will address concerns expressed by physicians, chiropractors, dentists, and insurance companies, which were all represented at today’s hearing, although none offered testimony.  IPTA President Mike Riley, Executive Director Colleen Flannery, and IPTA lobbyists participated in today’s meetings and hearing with Colleen providing brief oral testimony on the details of the forthcoming amendment.

The bill received some added support with the addition of a few cosponsors, Representatives: Robyn Gabel, Jay Hoffman, Theresa Mah, John C. D’Amico, Jerry Costello II, Natalie Finne, Michael Unes, Laura Fine, and Barbara Wheeler.

After short discussion, HB 4643 passed out of committee (13-2) and will be held on Second Reading until the amendment is filed. 

Licensure by Endorsement May Get Easier

At the request of IPTA, an amendment to HB 5212 (sponsored by Representative Tom Demmer) clarified what is expected to be an easier path for PTs and PTAs licensed in other states to apply for licensure by endorsement in Illinois. 

The bill provides for an abbreviated path for licensure by endorsement, and provides an even quicker path for PTs and PTAs who have held another state’s license for at least 10 years. 

Today’s hearing on HB 5212 was a win with the PT Endorsement Bill passing out of committee unanimously and is now heading to the House floor for full vote later this month. 

Telehealth Act Could be Amended to Include Other Health Professions, Including Physical Therapy

Another win today was passage of an amendment to HB 5070, which expands the Telehealth Act to include physical therapists, as well as occupational therapists, pharmacists, clinical social workers, speech-language pathologists, audiologists, hearing instrument dispensers, and dentists.  With the amendment passed, HB 5070 will held to the House floor for a full vote in the coming weeks.

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