Resolution on Patient Access to Physical Therapists’ Services Without Current Professional Practice Restrictions Regarding Referral
WHEREAS, physical therapy is the care and services provided by or under the direction and supervision of a licensed physical therapist as authorized by state law. Physical therapists provide services to patients who have impairments, functional limitations, disabilities, or changes in physical function and health status resulting from injury, disease, disorders or other causes. Physical therapy restores, maintains, and promotes optimal fitness, wellness, and quality of life as it relates to movement and health. Physical therapists’ services include examination, evaluation, prognosis, and interventions, including consultation and education, regarding impairments, functional limitations, and disabilities. Physical therapy does not include medical diagnosis or the diagnosis of disease.
WHEREAS, several states still prohibit, within the professional practice act, an individual from obtaining physical therapists’ services without a referral from another licensed health care provider.
WHEREAS, a majority of states and the United States uniformed services, the U.S. Army, the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Air Force, and the U.S. Public Health Service, have eliminated the professional practice restriction regarding referral.
WHEREAS, patient access to physical therapists’ services is not a mandate for reimbursement or payment.
WHEREAS, patient access to physical therapists’ services without current professional practice restrictions regarding referral promotes free-market health care and gives individuals the liberty to obtain treatment from a licensed physical therapist as the patient best sees fit.
WHEREAS, if the physical therapist’s evaluation process reveals findings that are outside the scope of the physical therapist’s knowledge, experience, or expertise, the physical therapist shall so inform the patient/client and refer to an appropriate practitioner.
WHEREAS, patients should have the ability to access physical therapists’ services without current professional practice restrictions regarding referral.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) recognizes the benefits that access to physical therapists’ services, without current professional practice restrictions regarding referral, provides to a free-market health care environment.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that [insert state] seek to enact legislation facilitating patient access to physical therapists’ services by eliminating the professional practice restriction regarding referral.