This week we went to the NY State Capitol in Albany as part of the New York Physical Therapy Association's lobby day, where we educated state legislators and asked them to co-sponsor bills that would help the physical therapy profession and patients.
These bills included:
Currently in New York, physical therapy is listed as a specialist co-payment, which can be $50-75. We are working to get it down to be the same as a primary care provider, which is typically $20. Unlike a specialist like the cardiologist, whom you might see only once a year, you need to see your physical therapist multiple times. This is a serious burden on patients and a barrier to physical therapist services which leaves patients to suffer in pain, have functional issues, and possibly resort to opioids.
Unrestricted Direct Access
There are 18 states in the United States where a prescription from a physician is not needed for someone to go to physical therapy. We hope to make NY #19! Physical therapists have a doctorate of physical therapy and have a vast base of knowledge and know how to assess and treat a patient without a physician's prescription. We also know when something is outside our scope of practice and we should refer you to someone else.
Physical Therapist Assistant Licensure
Physical Therapist Assistant's are all licensed in New York State. Thus, we need their practice act's nomenclature to reflect this. It currently has incorrect wording.
Physical Therapist Assistant's treating Worker's Compensation patients
Currently in New York, Physical Therapist Assistants cannot treat Worker's Compensation Patients. NY is the only state in America where this is true and it's time we change this to allow these patients greater access to services.
We will continue to strive to make an impact that positively affects us all!
Dr. Theresa Marko, PT, DPT, MS is a physical therapist & owner at Marko Physical Therapy, PLLC in NYC.
Dr. Marko specializes in general orthopedics, as well as adolescent injuries and pediatric issues. If you would like to reach out to her you can by email or phone.