NCPTA and APTA Leadership Meet with State Officials
NCPTA President Kyle Covington, Executive Director Nancy Garland, lobbyist Alex Miller, and APTA Payment Policy Specialist Alice Bell met with state officials in Raleigh on October 31to discuss the role of Physical Therapy in the opioid crisis. Representatives from the Governor’s staff, Daryl Childers, the Attorney General’s staff, Steve Mange, Dr. Nancy Henley the State’s Chief Medical Officer and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Assistant Secretary of Legislation Ben Popkin met with the NCPTA leadership
The purpose of the meeting was to familiarize the Governor’s staff, Attorney General’s staff and DHHS staff with the role that physical therapy can play in preventing people from needing opioids. NCPTA pointed out that, “Physical Therapy is not part of the problem, but we are part of the solution”. NCPTA stated that Physical Therapy is fighting America’s opioid crisis by providing safe solutions for pain. Prescription guidelines released in 2016 recommend non-opioid approaches for the long-term treatment of most pain condition, but without key policy fixes these safe and effective alternatives will remain underused.
One of the main barriers to patients receiving physical therapy in North Carolina is the high co-pay that many patients are required to pay to receive physical therapy treatment. It was pointed out that co-pays can sometime be $50-$60 per visit. The state officials were very receptive to the message that physical therapy should be part of the solution. Covington indicated that the association wanted to help fight this crisis.
Alice Bell is the APTA representative to the National Quality Partnership Opioid Stewardship Action Team. The Action Team brings together experts and recognized leaders from the private and public sectors committed to addressing the nation’s escalating opioid epidemic. APTA is one of the few non-pharmaceutical/non-physician groups included on the Action Team.
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NCPTA continues to fight for our members and their patients in our federal antitrust lawsuit. Rest assured, the NCPTA is committed to that federal lawsuit for as long as it takes. Please consider a contribution to our legal defense fund--$100, $250, $500, or even $1,000.