Legislative Updates

 

Spinal Manipulation Bill - CALL TO ACTION

 

Today, March 2, the Spinal Manipulation Bill was introduced in the Senate, S 177. The primary sponsors in the Senate are Sen. Louis Pate, Sen. Joyce Krawiec, and Sen. Ron Rabin (R). As in the House, we want to get as many co-sponsors as we can, so we need your help NOW.

If your senator is one of the primary sponsors listed above, please call or e-mail them to thank them. If your senator is not a sponsor, call or e-mail them TODAY. To find who your senator is, go to Who Represents Me or download the APTA Action app on your phone. 

We were able to get 23 co-sponsors in the House, but want to get more in the Senate. In order to move S 177 forward we need ACTION NOW! This is our year! We are in an amazing position to eliminate the physician referral requirement for spinal manipulation which prevents your patients from getting the physical therapy services they need. For talking points on the spinal manipulation bill click here. 

You will remember during the last legislature, the Senate bill never got out of the Senate Rules Committee, though the House bill was passed by the House by a vote of 102-13. 

PLEASE CONTACT YOUR SENATOR TODAY AND ASK THEM TO CO-SPONSOR S 177. 

Thanks for everything you've done already and for being ready to execute again this year!

If you have any questions, contact Executive Director, Nancy Garland at nancyjgarland@ncpt.org.

 

 Modernize Physical Therapy Practice: 

 Reduce a Burdensome Regulation

S.177 Modernize Physical Therapy Practice was introduced in the Senate on March 2 by Senator Pate, Senator Ron Rabin and Senator Krawiec.

 

 

 

The companion bill, HB 187, was introduced in the House on February 23 by primary sponsors Rep. Nelson Dollar, Susan Martin, Josh Dobson and John Torbitt, and now has 23 sponsors.

Bill Summary

  • This bill does one single thing:  eliminate the NC statutory law requirement for a physician referral for physical therapists (PTs) to perform spinal manipulation, which physicians agree is not necessary, and when eliminated will increase the time used to best care for patients, and will decrease the cost and delay of an extra appointment to obtain a special referral

Physician Support

  • The North Carolina Medical Society is not opposed
  • 149 physicians and surgeons have issued personal letters of support which represent physicians who work regularly with PTs from all across NC
  • The North Carolina Orthopaedic Association does not oppose with the language in S.177/ HB 187
  • Triangle Orthopaedic Associates does not oppose the language in S.177 /HB 187
  • Dr. Dan Murrey, CEO and lead physician of OrthoCarolina (with 125 surgeons, 100 PTs, and 25 locations) and OrthoCarolina endorses S.177  /HB 187
  • Dr. deAraujo, orthopedic surgeon at Goldsboro Ortho and past president of the North Carolina Ortho Association, endorses S. 177 /HB 187
  • Dr. Alman, Chair of Duke Orthopedics, endorses S. 177 /HB 187
  • Dr. Bytomski, Head Physician for Duke Sports, endorses S. 177 /HB 187

What is Spinal Manipulation

  • When performing spinal manipulation, PTs provide a thorough exam, evaluation, and screening to determine which patients are safe for spinal manipulation and which patients may benefit from it--not all patients will; and spinal manipulation is only one part of a comprehensive PT treatment plan
  • PTs have been performing spinal manipulation since the 1920's.  Forty-seven other states, the District of Columbia, the VA, the Public Health Service, and all four military services do not require a special physician referral for spinal manipulation
  • PTs are safe and educated on spinal manipulation as evidenced by the lack of problems in the 47 states and military which do not require a special one-treatment referral, by the lack of consumer complaints to the North Carolina Board of PT Examiners, and by the lack of insurance claims noted by HPSO, the largest insurer of PTs
  • The only opposition is from the chiropractors

Bottom Line

  • This bill is financially neutral: in fact, it will save money for patients of PT.  Once the burdensome regulation requiring a special referral is eliminated, patients will not have to pay for an extra appointment to obtain a special referral

Spinal Manipulation Bill Introduced in House
TAKE ACTION NOW!

Today, February 23, the Spinal Manipulation Bill was introduced in the House - HB 187. The lead sponsor in the House is again our champion Rep Nelson Dollar(R), along with other champions Susan Martin (R), Josh Dobson ( R), and John Torbitt ( R). HB 187 will eliminate the unnecessary requirement for a physician referral for a physical therapist to provide spinal manipulation. We want to get as many co-sponsors as we can, so we need your help NOW! If your State Representative was one of the co-sponsors listed above, please call or e-mail them and thank them. We have until next Monday to hopefully get 100 co-sponsors in the House. To find who your representative is go to Who Represents Me  or download the APTA Action app on your phone.

This is our year! We are in an amazing position to eliminate the physician referral requirement for spinal manipulation which prevents your patients from getting the physical therapy services they need. You will remember that during the last legislature, spinal manipulation bills were introduced in both the House and Senate, but only the House took action on their bill. The House bill was unanimously voted out of the Health Committee and passed the House by a vote of 102-13. Those voting against the bill in the House were as follows: Cunningham, Earle, Michaux, J.Bell, Blust, Boles, Brody, Bryan, Conrad, L.Jonson, Lewis, Malone, and Pittman. Iler was absent. So, everyone else who was in the House during the last legislature voted for the bill.                

If your representative was a sponsor during the last General Assembly, please remind them that they were co-sponsors on the previous bill. The sponsors in the House last year were as follows: Dollar; B. Brown, Torbett, S. Martin, Cleveland, Farmer-Butterfield, Holley, Hunter, and Lambeth. From the day that a bill is introduced, we have only 5 days to gather co-sponsors. Again, it is our goal to get 100 sponsors in the House, so you need to act NOW.
 
Thanks for everything you've done already and for being ready to execute again this year! If you have any questions, contact Executive Director Nancy Garland at nancyjgarland@ncpt.org.

House Health Committee Votes HB 57 Out of Committee

On February 15, the House Health Committee voted HB 57--The ENACT PHYSICAL THERAPY LICENSURE COMPACT out of committee. The vote was unanimous. The bill was sponsored by Rep. John Szoka, Representative Grier Martin, and Representative Holly Grange. The bill will improve access to Physical Therapy services, allow military spouses and PTs from other Compact states to have their license mutually recognized by North Carolina.

NCPTA lobbyist Alex Miller was interviewed by WRAL after the hearing. Watch the interview here.

A Victory for Physical Therapists and Patients Court Ruling in NCPTA's Antitrust Lawsuit
As you know, the NCPTA has sued the North Carolina Acupuncture Licensing Board in federal court. The NCPTA filed the lawsuit to protect patients' access to dry needling, and to ensure that our members can deliver this safe and effective treatment. The lawsuit, which is available at this link, seeks to hold the Acupuncture Board and its members accountable under the federal antitrust laws.
 
Today, I am pleased to report a major development in the case:  The Court has ruled that we sufficiently alleged the Acupuncture Board and its members violated--and continue to violate--the federal antitrust laws by seeking to make dry needling unavailable to patients who benefit from it. You can find a copy of the Court's order at this link.
 
The Court's decision represents a big win for dry needling patients and for the physical therapists who provide dry needling to those patients. Strong public policy favors each patient's access to care.  This decision embraces that policy.
 
The NCTPA remains committed to protecting the rights of our members and their patients. If you would like to support these efforts as the lawsuit proceeds, please contact us at ncpta@ncpt.org.

 
Thank you,
 
Kyle Covington, PT, DPT, PhD
NCPTA President