We are almost through this year’s legislative session in Tallahassee, Florida, and what started as a huge scope expansion battle has now dwindled to some minor changes to the Physical Therapist practice act. There are some in our profession who believe we have achieved a victory – The Society disagrees. A victory would be the inclusion of language that completely protects and prevents the PTs from using solid filiform needles in an amendment to the bill. We have NOT achieved that yet. The Society and the FAA have been strongly pushing for this amendment to be included in the PT bill this year. We are not finished fighting and will continue to lobby for solid language until the end of session.
Here’s the problem – the current Physical Therapist nationwide initiative is to expand their scope and include the use of our needles. They have been playing with semantics all over the country, and in the weaker states, they are winning. In the stronger states, like in Washington, the courts ruled against the PTs. Last summer, the Florida Board of Physical Therapy did not vote in favor of dry needling, and this was because they were afraid of getting sued. If the national PT association, along with their attorneys, are able to find a way to get around this fear, they will make rules that allow them to start doing this here, and bill insurance under manual therapy, the way they are doing all over the country. You may ask, how is that legal? Well, they are getting away with it, and the courts are ruling in their favor. Is it fair? No, but understand, this isn’t about what is right or fair, but about who has the money and the legal team.
The Society is not willing to just let this go and call this a win until we have our language in place.
The PTs have a five year plan to expand their scope. We will be there every step of the way, but we can only continue this fight with your help. If we don’t fight for our profession, we will lose it. That is what all professions deal with in the United States. Each profession is responsible for promoting, protecting, and enhancing their own profession. If the Physical Therapists succeed in their long term plans, and we are not right there with legislative representation, lobbying, along with public relations, press releases, and a PR campaign, our profession is “toast.” WE will drift into the distance as a boutique practice that only a few find and benefit from, and where only a few are successful. This would be a HUGE injustice, since we all know that our medicine can save the dysfunctional American medical system, if we would just be included. The only way to be included is if public demand gets so loud that we can no longer be ignored.
If we -- you and I, don’t do this together, it will be our communities that lose out. We’ll all be fine, and our families will have access to our care, but what about everyone else? Will you help us protect and promote our medicine for the future of our American healthcare system? Think about how great it would be if EVERYONE had access to our amazing medicine! It is possible; it just takes ALL OF US to contribute.
Currently, we’d like to hire a PR firm that can get press releases into the paper on a regular basis and have feature stories about our work. This doesn’t happen by chance, it takes hired professionals to achieve this outcome. Will you help? If we all contribute, we will all benefit from a public relations initiative. This takes constant attention, time and money. What will you contribute?
It is now time for you to do your part to protect our profession. Please go to www.fsdom.org to select your level of participation.
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