(May 26, 2021)
Members of APTA Indiana:
Over the past eight years, the profession of physical therapy has experienced monumental change in the practice of physical therapy within Indiana.
- 2013 – Legislation passed to allow 24 days of direct access.
- 2019 – Legislation passed updating a 60+ year old Physical Therapy Practice Act, leading to the following updates:
- The appointment of a Physical Therapy Board to take the place of the Physical Therapy Committee, which had functioned under the Medical Licensing Board.
- Term protection for the use of ‘physical therapy’.
- The addition of dry needling to the physical therapists’ scope of practice.
- The expansion of direct access from 24 to 42 days.
- Other elements – PTA supervision, the use of physical therapy aides, the NPTE exam and number of times this can be taken.
- 2021 – Legislation passed to enact the Physical Therapy Compact and telehealth.
Every single update listed above, improving our ability to provide physical therapy services to our patients and clients, was made possible because of you. You make a choice to invest your resources, both financial and time, into your profession and professional association. Perhaps your investment was paying membership dues. Thank you! Membership dues support the work of APTA Indiana’s lobbyist, Steve Beebe, and also support events like PT Day at the Statehouse. Maybe your investment was your time in serving on a committee that worked directly on legislative change. Thank you! If you responded to a request to contact your Senator or Representative, thank you for advocating on behalf of our profession!
All of these ‘investments’ have dramatically moved the needle on how we can provide physical therapy services in Indiana. This shift in the needle is even more remarkable, considering that 1/5 of licensed PTs and less than 1/20 of licensed PTAs, accomplished this. Did you know that 21% of licensed PTs and 4% of Licensed PTAs in Indiana are members of APTA Indiana? The National average for PT membership is 27% and for PTAs it is 6%. You can probably guess where I am going with this…Why are other physical therapy professionals not at the table with us working to change practice? We hear it all the time…APTA membership costs too much, the APTA does nothing for me, I don’t like what the APTA stands for……I am sure you have heard some of these and more. Yet, these are the same individuals who get to utilize the 42 days of direct access, provide dry needling services, and take advantage of the work of the APTA Indiana Practice and Payment Specialist, who is working with the Chapter to push back on reimbursement challenges that are impacting all professionals. This professional ‘freeloading’ is upsetting. I don’t have a simple answer to how we can fix this. I do know that each and every one of us has the opportunity to advocate for what APTA Indiana does to support our profession. The APTA Indiana Membership and Public Relations Committees will be releasing, in the next month, a variety of resources that will be available to assist you in conversations with potential members.
As we look ahead, we see the potential to obtain unrestricted direct access, imaging privileges, and the ability to challenge payors on dwindling payment for physical therapy services. We can accomplish this, and more, by increasing our collective voice, by increasing membership. We can also increase the opportunities to continue to move the needle by supporting those in the Indiana Statehouse who support us. We have two ‘fun’draising opportunities coming up in June which will help us grow our PAC funds.
- Wednesday, June 16 at 5:30 pm, APTA Indiana will be hosting an event at TopGolf in Fishers, to thank Senator Messmer for his incredible support of our profession over the past three years. Those who register will be able to play golf, have dinner and a drink, as well as the opportunity to meet and thank Senator Messmer in -person. Registration for this event can be found HERE.
- Friday, June 25 at 1 pm, the Third Annual APTA Indiana PAC Golf Outing will take place at The Legends Golf Club in Franklin. Consider playing hooky from work on a Friday afternoon to support a great cause. We are now looking for teams and Sponsors. Full details about the event can be found HERE.
Thank you for your APTA membership. You are instrumental in improving the care our patients and clients can receive here, in Indiana.
Emily Slaven, PT, PhD
President, APTA Indiana