Sure, it was a little rainy. Sure, it was a bit cool for June in Washington, DC. But that didn’t stop more than 1,100 physical therapists (PTs), physical therapist assistants (PTAs), and students of physical therapy from across the United States from converging on Capitol Hill to remind lawmakers of the importance of the profession.
Galvanized by Congress’s recent decision not to include a permanent repeal of the Medicare therapy cap with legislation that eliminated the flawed sustainable growth rate formula, supporters of physical therapy showed up in record numbers on June 4 for PT Day on Capitol Hill (Hill Day), an event that began with an 8:00 am rally before participants fanned out across the halls of Congress for scheduled 440 visits to house and senate offices to discuss issues affecting the physical therapy profession and the patients and clients it serves.
In a video dispatch from the event (below), Monica Massaro, APTA congressional affairs manager, described the event as the second-largest PT advocacy event in APTA history.
While a permanent repeal of the therapy cap remains a priority for the association, Hill Day participants also discussed several other key APTA legislative priorities, including legislation that would allow PTs to participate in the National Health Services Corps, and another bill that would permit PTs to bring in another qualified PT to cover for them during temporary absences such as illness, pregnancy, and vacation. Also discussed: legislation that would recognize PTs as health care professionals qualified to make return-to-participation decisions for youth sports participants who have experienced a concussion.
PTs also participated in a health and fitness clinic for legislators and their staffs. Assessments included grip strength, balance, blood pressure, and a golf swing analysis.
Highlights from PT Day on Capitol Hill
Every year, APTA hosts an advocacy event to educate policymakers about a physical therapist’s role in improving and restoring mobility in individuals’ lives. This year’s event coincided with the association’s NEXT Conference & Exposition in National Harbor, Maryland, June 3-6.
Want to make your voice heard even though you couldn’t attend PT Day? Check out APTA’s legislative action center and download templates that make it easy to write your legislators.