Walorski Introduces Bipartisan Legislation to Increase Access to Physical Therapy Treatment in Rural Areas

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Walorski Introduces Bipartisan Legislation to Increase Access to Physical Therapy Treatment in Rural Areas

Bill Would Expand Access to Pain Management Treatment at Community Health Centers and Federally Qualified Health Centers

WASHINGTON – U.S. Reps. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) and Ron Kind (D-Wis.) this week introduced bipartisan legislation to increase access to physical therapy services at Community Health Centers (CHCs), which provide primary health services to more than 28 million people in more than 11,000 rural and urban communities nationwide.

The Primary Health Services Enhancement Act would eliminate restrictive and burdensome requirements that currently make it difficult for CHCs to provide physical therapy services. This legislation would improve access to alternative pain management treatments for patients in medically underserved areas.

“Physical therapy has proven to be a critical tool for patients to manage chronic pain and recover from injury, and it plays a major role in non-opioid alternative treatment plans,” Congresswoman Walorski said. “But far too often patients in rural and underserved communities face unnecessary barriers that prevent them from getting the treatment they need from community health centers. The bipartisan Primary Health Services Enhancement Act will give Hoosiers an affordable and convenient option to improve their quality of life and find innovative ways to treat pain.”

“Community Health Centers (CHCs) provide a lifeline to communities in Wisconsin that wouldn’t otherwise have access to essential health services close by. At CHCs, patients can receive care from physicians, nurses, and dentists, receive emergency medical help, and seek behavioral health services–they should be able to receive physical therapy without having to jump through extra hoops,” Congressman Kind said. “The Primary Health Services Enhancement Act will eliminate barriers and restrictions for services provided by physical therapists and create greater access to pain management alternatives.”

This legislation is supported by the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC), the National Association of Rural Health Clinics (NARHC), and the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA).

Read the bill text here.

Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.



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