As we approach the end of 2019, I want to thank each of you for your support of APTA Indiana. Your dedication to the profession, through membership or leadership of our Association, has helped us improve the practice environment for our profession and the care that patients receive in Indiana. The updates to the Indiana Physical Therapy Practice Act took much of our attention in the first half of the year, but in the second half, we also had plenty happening.
On May 1, Governor Holcomb signed SB 586 into law, and the updates to the Indiana Physical Therapy Practice Act went into effect on July 1, 2019. Here is a link to the current Practice Act. The key updates are as follows:
- Creation of a 5-person Physical Therapy Board to regulate the practice of physical therapy in Indiana.
- Expansion of direct access from 24 days to 42 days.
- Recognition of dry needling as being within the physical therapy scope of practice.
- Provides improved “title protection” for licensed physical therapists and for the term physical therapy.
- Removes the ability of a physician to supervise a physical therapist assistant.
- Adds a definition of “physical therapy aide” which is a person who performs designated and routine tasks related to physical therapy services.
- Limits the times that the National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE) can be taken to six.
Several of you have inquired about legislative plans for our profession in 2020, and whether we are going to have a PT Day at the Statehouse, so I wanted to take a moment to share this information with you.
The APTA Indiana State Legislative Committee recently met to discuss next steps in advancing our profession through legislative change. In 2019, telehealth was to be included in the updates to the Practice Act. However, due to language challenges with the Indiana legislature, this was not possible. We appreciate the importance of there being clear language relating to telehealth and our profession and will be working on this and language relating to the Physical Therapy Compact over the coming months. The Indiana legislative session in 2020 is a short session and is not an optimal time for introducing new legislation. Therefore, the goal is to introduce legislation in 2021.
In light of the fact we do not have legislation being introduced in 2020, and would like to build our message for 2021, we will not be having a formal PT Day at the Statehouse as we did in 2018 and 2019. However, we will be connecting with many of you to talk about ways we can support our legislators who supported us in 2019. It is crucial that we look at not only monetary support for these legislators, but also other ways we can stay connected with them.
Legislative change does come with a price, and that starts with supporting those legislators who support our profession. As mentioned previously, APTA Indiana is committed to increasing our PAC funds. Beginning in 2019, you have the chance to contribute the $10 that you are now saving on your Chapter membership dues back to the APTA Indiana PAC. Per state law, not one penny of your membership dues can be contributed to the PAC as this needs to be a voluntary contribution. Indiana is the ONLY state to reduce membership dues, encouraging members give back to their PAC. You are not bound to only give $10, you can give more to help move our profession move forward in the state of Indiana.
In October, the first meeting of the APTA Indiana Pain Task Force occurred with 11 members expressing an interest in being involved and finding ways to better educate our profession, other medical professionals and the public, about the role of physical therapy in helping manage chronic pain and reducing dependency on opioids. This Task Force will present their proposals to the APTA Indiana Board at the January BOD meeting.
The first APTA Indiana Student Conclave was held on November 16 and was an outstanding success. Over 100 students of physical therapy from around the state had the opportunity to learn from a variety of great speakers, network with peers and visit the Exhibit Hall. A huge thank you to Allie Kemp, SPT, Hannah Chettleburgh, SPT and all those on the planning committee who organized the event and had every detail covered.
Congratulations to those recently elected to serve APTA Indiana. We welcome Chris Gales, PT, DPT, MS, Membership Director, Matt Zaudtke, PT, DPT, ATC, Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Orthopaedic Physical Therapy, re-elected as Treasurer, Blair Frye, PT, MSPT, Chief Delegate, Bryan Bourcier, PT, DPT, ATC, Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Sports Physical Therapy, Director at Large for the Northern Region, Nate Nevin, PT, DPT, Fellow, American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists, re-elected as Director at Large for the Southern Region and David Jackson, PTA, Nominating Committee. Congratulations also to Gail Altekruse, PT, MBA and Alicia Taylor, PT who were elected as APTA Indiana Delegates, Nate Nevin, PT, DPT, Alternate Delegate and Rochelle Hawkins, PTA, re-elected as PTA Caucus Representative.
Looking ahead to 2020, we have a few things on the calendar. We have scheduled a Strategic Planning Meeting on May 9, 2020 and will be soliciting your input early in the New Year via a member survey. So, please be on the look out to provide your input and help guide the Chapter’s priorities as we plan for the next three years. This meeting will take the place of our Spring Meeting and all members are invited to attend. On September 25-26, 2020, APTA Indiana will be hosting a joint conference with the Kentucky Chapter in Indianapolis.
As we are heading into the final few weeks of 2019, I again want to thank you for your support of APTA Indiana and wish you a safe and peaceful holiday season.
Emily Slaven, PT, PhD
President, APTA Indiana