• APTA advocates for federal legislative and regulatory issues impacting the physical therapy profession. Our goal is to promote the physical therapy profession within the health care system, while ensuring access to care for patients.

    The national issues webpages are designed to provide information for policy makers on legislation and regulations impacting physical therapy and the patients it serves at the federal level. This webpage will be updated regularly with the latest information on hot topics affecting the profession.

    APTA's Public Policy Priorities

    • Fraud and Abuse

      APTA has launched Integrity in Practice, a comprehensive campaign to promote high quality of care. It does so by helping physical therapists navigate complex regulations and payment systems and by making tools and resources available for physical therapists to encourage and promote evidence-based practice; ethics; professionalism; prevention of fraud, abuse, and waste; and more.

    • Prior Authorization Legislation

      The increase in prior authorizations for medically necessary physical therapy services is increasing delay and impacting patients’ clinical outcomes. The volume of prior authorizations and increase overall documentation has led to PTs experiencing administrative burden. This results in less time in the clinic and less patients receiving care. The need to modernize and improve transparency for prior authorizations is essential to improving care for Medicare Advantage patients.

    • Reduce Opioid Use Through Increased Access to Physical Therapy

      APTA has long emphasized that physical therapy is a safe and effective alternative to prescription medication for the treatment of chronic pain. Current policies creates barriers for patients seeking physical therapist treatment. To end America's opioid epidemic, several policies must change.

    • Physical Therapy Workforce Legislation

      APTA strongly supports legislation that would authorize physical therapists to participate in student loan forgiveness programs such as the National Health Service Corps, ensuring patient access to essential physical therapy services.

    • Small Business Issues

      Many physical therapists work in a private practice or small business setting. Issues like locum tenens and Medicare private contracting allow greater access to physical therapy services, while reducing burdens on providers.

    • Telehealth and Physical Therapy

      Telehealth services are gaining a tremendous amount of attention at both state and federal levels as more providers, payers, and patients are seeking cost-effective and quality approaches to care. Currently, physical therapists (PTs) are not able to bill for telehealth services under the Medicare program.

  • Last Updated: 12/6/2019
    Contact: advocacy@apta.org