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News & Press: Legislative

Two State Reps Join as Co-Authors for Patient Access Bill

Tuesday, April 28, 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: TPTA
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Physical Therapy Access Bill Gains Two New Sponsors in Texas House of Representatives


Representatives Gary Elkins and Eddie Lucio III co-author House Bill 1263; shows strong bipartisan support for measure that will give Texans more freedom in health care decisions


Austin, TX – April 28, 2015 – House Bill 1263, which will make physical therapy services more affordable and faster to access for Texans, has gained two new sponsors in the Texas Legislature. Rep. Gary Elkins, a Republican representing District 135 in Harris County, and Democrat Rep. Eddie Lucio III of Brownsville have both signed on to co-author the legislation. The two lawmakers join Rep. Richard Peña Raymond of Laredo, who originally introduced HB 1263.


“Having Representatives Elkins and Lucio on board to sponsor HB 1263 is a major boost,” said Michael Connors, PT, DPT, OCS, President of Texas Physical Therapy Association (TPTA). “This legislation will help millions of Texans and gaining the support of these two veteran representatives will give us momentum as we move into the final month of the legislative session.”


The legislation recently cleared the House Public Health Committee and is now with the House Calendars Committee for consideration to be placed on the House Floor Agenda for a full House of Representatives vote.


HB 1263 would remove barriers and delays for patients seeking treatment by physical therapists by eliminating a referral requirement. Current Texas Law requires a referral from a physician, dentist, chiropractor, podiatrist, physician assistant or advanced nurse practitioner to see a physical therapist. Forty-six states have already allowed physical therapy treatment without a referral, meaning more than 200 million Americans have better access to care than Texans. Once approved, no jurisdiction or state has repealed direct patient access to physical therapy treatment.

The bill has been endorsed by organizations such as the Coalition of Texans with Disabilities and the Texas Public Policy Foundation.


“It’s time for the Texas Legislature to modernize laws regarding physical therapy,” says John Davidson, Senior Health Care Policy Analyst with the Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF). “We think that restricting patient choice and restricting what providers are able to provide is counterproductive and ultimately harms the patient.”


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