A few weeks ago, we thought the roller coaster ride of the 2021 Legislative Session had come to an end, and we were headed home without passing SB 305 (the Physical Therapy Compact). It was a great surprise, early last week, when the ride started up again, and suddenly we were moving. Things picked up speed as the language from SB 305 was attached to HB 1405, which then passed the Senate and House Conference Committees last Wednesday evening. HB 1405 was then heard on Thursday in the House, passing 88-10, and then finally in the Senate, passing 48-1. What makes this all the more exciting (and nerve racking!), was that this was the final day of the 2021 Legislative Session. At this point, the Governor has 10 days from last Thursday to sign this bill, and like all bills passed in the Legislative Session, the Physical Therapy Compact will become effective on July 1, 2021. At this time, the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT) will start the process of working with the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency (IPLA) to create the mechanics by which compact privileges can be issued. In other states who have undergone this process, it normally takes 12-18 months.
Passing the Physical Therapy Compact simply could not have happened without the unwavering efforts of Senator Mark Messmer, who drove the effort the revive the language of SB 305. I should point out that this is not the first time Senator Messmer has been a strong supporter of the physical therapy profession in Indiana. Senator Messmer authored SB 586 in 2019, which provided numerous updates to our 60+ year old Physical Therapy Practice Act. We look forward to supporting Senator Messmer and many of the other Legislators who have supported our profession this session.
As we consider how to influence what happens at the Statehouse, please think about participating in the APTA Indiana PAC Fundraising Golf event on June 25. The funds raised from this event go toward impacting legislative change. If you want to see the profession of physical therapy continue to evolve in Indiana, then consider attending this fun event. Click HERE for more details.
It is not too late to register for the APTA Indiana Spring Meeting. We already have over 50 participants and would love to have more members join us this Saturday, where the focus will be on engagement in our profession. We look forward to programming from 9:00 am – 12:00 pm, led by Jennifer Green-Wilson, PT, MBA, EdD, where all members who attend will receive 3 Category I contact hours at no cost. Click HERE to register. Registration for the Spring Meeting closes today.
I want to take a moment to recognize Sarah Keenan, PT, DPT, Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Pediatric Physical Therapy, who, along with Hannah Enochs, PT DPT, Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Orthopaedic Physical Therapy, started the Service Task Force, which evolved into the Service Committee, three years ago. Sarah will be moving to Baltimore, MD in early May, starting a new chapter in her life. Thank you to Sarah for all that you have done to create many service opportunities across Indiana.
I would like to thank each of you for your commitment to advancing our profession. Because of your APTA Indiana membership, we can, and are, changing the landscape of physical therapy in Indiana. Look at what we together have accomplished in the past eight years – direct access, a significant practice act update, and now, telehealth and the PT Compact. Let’s keep this momentum going and make Indiana a place where patients and clients can receive optimal physical therapy services without barriers.
Emily Slaven, PT, PhD
President, APTA Indiana