In February Senate Bill 728 and House Bill 2118 were filed with the Texas Legislature. This legislation which would allow Texas citizens to directly access physical therapists for the prevention and treatment of conditions affecting movement and function by removing the requirement of obtaining a referral prior to beginning physical therapy treatment. Since our last post, there has been some forward movement for both pieces of legislation. House Bill 2118 has been referred to the House Public Health committee, where it is awaiting scheduling for a hearing. There are now 5 co-authors of this bill. Senate Bill 728 was referred to the Senate Business and Commerce Committee, and had a public hearing last week. After the hearing and committee member testimony, the bill was left pending in committee. This action means that for the moment the matter has been postponed by the Texas Senate.
Vocal support from constituents is needed so that our elected officials are aware that Access to Physical Therapy is an important issue for the Texas citizenry. Being able to choose your own health care provider for any specialty area of practice seems a reasonable expectation. Being able to access physical therapist’s expertise in dealing with musculoskeletal issues without delays in care while waiting for additional office visits and for the processing of unneeded referrals would be smart, efficient medical practice. If you would like any additional information about how Senate Bill 728 and House Bill 2118 could benefit health care consumers in Texas, we would be happy to discuss the issue and answer your questions.
The Symmetry therapists have been in contact with the sponsors of Senate Bill 728 and House Bill 2118, thanking them for bringing this issue to the table. We have also written to our local representatives, urging their support of this legislation. We are now in the process of communicating with members of the Senate and House committees that are in a position to consider the bills and further move this legislation forward. We will continue to follow any movement that occurs with regard to physical therapy legislation, and will provide updates as this occurs. Please consider adding your voice to the discussion. Add your name here to a petition calling for better access to physical therapy for Texas citizens. Or even better, use this link for contact information, and express your opinion directly to your own Texas Senator and Representative! We appreciate your support!