Talking Points to Legislators
When prescribed by a physician as a part of a patient’s comprehensive care plan, physical therapy is an important element of the overall treatment. HOWEVER, these bills remove the need for a medical diagnosis before physical therapy is administered, which could be dangerous to patients and costly to the Alabama health care system.
Three reasons you should VOTE NO on SB25 & HB50:
- Importance of a Medical Diagnosis – Physicians use knowledge and training obtained from medical school, as well as detailed blood work, advanced X-ray, MRI, CT and ultrasound, in rendering diagnoses and determining a course of treatment. PTs did not attend medical school, cannot make medical diagnoses, nor order or interpret advanced imaging and diagnostics. Physicians make a diagnosis. PTs make an assessment.
- Expense of Unnecessary Care – Physical therapy utilization will likely increase and patients receiving unnecessary therapy could quickly use up their insurers’ allotted PT visits. In turn, this can lead to out-of-pocket costs for patients and increased expenses to insurers, Medicaid and the health system overall. Direct access could increase health care costs for everyone.
- Patient Safety – When unnecessary physical therapy is performed, patients may be delayed in receiving appropriate and potentially life-saving care. Without the education, training, and access to instruments like physicians have, a PT might not be able to recognize that your back pain is actually due to a tumor. PT direct access could put Alabama patients at risk.
Across the country, 47 state legislatures have placed some type of limitations on the provisions of physical therapy. Alabama should do the same.