News & Press: Legislation

LEGISLATIVE ALERT - URGENT ACTION NEEDED – PTA/WORKERS’ COMP BILL

Monday, November 20, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Carla Rosenbaum
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LEGISLATIVE ALERT - URGENT ACTION NEEDED – PTA/WORKERS’ COMP BILL

 

Dear Member,

 

Our bill related to the provision of care by the Physical Therapist Assistant within the Workers’ Comp system has been delivered to the Governor’s Office. The bill passed the NY State Assembly and Senate this past June and now requires final approval and signature by Governor Cuomo. He has until Wednesday, November 29th to sign or veto this important bill. WE NEED YOU to send a message to his office to show your support of the bill and to help ensure its final approval.

Please follow the directions below to send Governor Cuomo a message urging his approval of the PTA/Workers’ Comp bill. You are welcome to modify the provided text in order to personalize your message. Thank you in advance for your commitment to our profession. 

 

Sincerely,

 

Jake McPherson, PT, DPT, NCS, MSCS - Chairperson, NYPTA Public Policy Committee

 

Michael Mattia, PT, DPT, MS, MHA– President, NYPTA

 

Directions for Sending Message to Governor Cuomo’s Office:

1. Click link to “Contact the Governor”: http://www.governor.ny.gov/content/governor-contact-form

2. Enter your demographic information

3. TOPIC: Select “Legislation” from the dropdown menu

4. SUBJECT: We suggest: “A2859-B  - (Zebrowski): Physical Therapist Assistant, Workers’ Compensation”

5. Message Sample (Copy and paste into the space provided. Please add your name to personalize the closing):

 

Dear Governor Cuomo,

 

I am writing to respectfully request that you approve A. 2859-B (Zebrowski) which would permit physical therapist assistants to render care within the workers’ compensation system.
 
The legislation rightfully recognizes the integral role that physical therapist assistants play in the delivery of physical therapy care. This legislation has been modified from prior versions to clarify that only physical therapist assistants regulated and subject to the jurisdiction of the State Education Department may provide these services.
 
 Physical therapist assistants are active participants in the provision of physical therapy care. Their role in the delivery of care is equivalent to that of physician assistants or registered nurses (physician), dental hygienists (dentist) and occupational therapist assistants (occupational therapist).  Physical therapist assistants are licensed health care professionals who work under the onsite supervision of physical therapists.  Physical therapist assistants are educated at the associate degree level and must pass a licensing examination.  Physical therapist assistants are trained to provide physical therapist care once a treatment plan has been established by a physical therapist.  Any change in patient response to treatment must be evaluated by the physical therapist and any change in the plan of care is solely the purview of the supervising physical therapist.
 
Virtually all health care payors cover physical therapist assistant services. The workers’ compensation systems exclusion of physical therapist assistants creates an inefficiency that does not exist elsewhere in the delivery of health care.  As a result, physical therapy practices have to segregate worker compensation cases to make sure that a physical therapist assistant does not participate in the care.
 
The unique limitation on physical therapist assistants imposes an additional and unnecessary burden on the delivery physical therapy care.  The workers’ compensation system places a number of additional responsibilities on participating physical therapists including consultation and adherence to treatment guidelines for each condition treated, additional forms that are unique to the workers’ compensation system and the variance process which requires a physical therapist to rely on the treating physician to submit a variance request to the carrier. 
 
If enacted, A.2859-B will have no impact on the utilization of physical therapy services. Physical therapist assistant services are in lieu of and not in addition to physical therapist services.  Moreover, the workers’ compensation system has safeguards against any possibility of overutilization.  The medical treatment guidelines cap authorized visits unless a variance request is reviewed and approved.  The legislation also mandates best practices requiring that supervising physical therapist be on-site, co-sign treatment notes and bears responsibility for the physical therapist assistant services.
 
In conclusion, A.2859-B corrects an oversight in the workers’ compensation law for purposes of physical therapy services.  In so doing, it rationalizes the delivery of physical therapy services to injured workers.
 
For these reasons I urge you to approve A.2859-B.
Sincerely,
(your name)


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