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New York physical therapists push for legislative change amid healthcare strains

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  • Staff Report 

New York physical therapists are advocating for a legislative change that would allow them to treat patients without a referral for more than the current limits of 10 visits or 30 days. This initiative, led by the state chapter of the American Physical Therapy Association, aims to reduce healthcare costs and dependency on surgeries and painkillers by enhancing access to physical therapy.


During recent meetings with state lawmakers, association president Michael Tisbe emphasized the readiness of physical therapists to handle more direct patient care, arguing that current restrictions are outdated. The proposed bill seeks to extend the scope of practice for therapists, particularly those with less than three years of experience, as a response to the decreasing number of primary care physicians in New York.

However, the bill faces opposition from several medical groups, including the Medical Society of the State of New York, which argues that existing regulations suffice for patient safety and treatment effectiveness. As the legislative session nears its end, the debate continues, highlighting the challenges of reforming healthcare practices to better meet patient needs and adapt to professional capabilities.