RIOS preempts efforts to restrict POPTS

By Charlene K. MacDonald, MPP

Attacks on physician ownership of physical therapy services (POPTS) in states across the country have prompted many orthopaedic surgeons to take political action to protect their practice models. Most recently, the Rhode Island Orthopaedic Society (RIOS), under the leadership of Mark A. Coppes, MD, was successful in getting legislation passed that preempts any attempts by the state’s physical therapy association to restrict the ability of physicians to offer these services in-office

The American Physical Therapy Association’s (APTA) “Vision 2020” plan calls for exclusive ownership and operation of physical therapy services. Physical therapy associations across the country are aggressively working to rewrite state physical therapy practice acts to restrict physical therapists from working for physicians. This tactic does not directly prohibit physicians from providing physical therapy services, but does ban physical therapists from working in a physician-owned clinic. As a result, patient access to the full scope of healthcare services is restricted and employment options for physical therapists are limited.

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