Carpooling to PT Legislative Impact Day?

Are you interested in carpooling to PT LID Jan. 28 in Olympia? Post a note on our Facebook Fan Page to let others know where you would like to carpool from. And don’t forget, PTWA is providing FREE bus service from Tacoma, Spokane, Bellevue and Seattle. Click here for more information about PT Legislative Impact day and to sign up for a bus.


PT Legislative Impact Day: Don’t Sit This One Out

It has been a while since your Manipulation Task Force (MTF) hit the road and shook the bushes for support on the spinal manipulation bill. However, don’t take the quiet for complacency. I can assure you that the legislative efforts have continued to be of primary importance to PTWA and the MTF. Over the summer and throughout this fall, negotiations have continued and legislators have been hearing from us. Now it’s time for all members of PTWA to jump back into the fight.

Legislative Impact Day is your day to show your support for the manipulation bill. On that day, January, 28 2010, we as a professional organization of highly qualified and ethical medical professionals will band together in support of our bill. It is no longer okay to sit and watch as a select few individuals carry the weight of your profession and your livelihood. I can’t fathom a situation where any one of us is satisfied with another profession deciding the care that you are capable of providing. Especially when the opponent is providing information that is inaccurate and simply not true, nor based on any supported evidence. How can we let that happen?!  Obviously, we can’t.

So important is this fight that we have and continue to receive national attention. I get countless emails asking how the fight is going and offering support. Dr Tim Flynn, recent AAOMPT President wrote in a public statement: “Legislation in Washington state is currently being drafted to lift the regressive prohibition on physical therapists from utilizing spinal manipulation. It is time to bring health care in Washington into the 21st century.”  Flynn continues, “The Department of Defense and the American Physical Therapy Association’s Scope of Practice, as well as 48 other states in our nation recognize physical therapists’ ability to perform spinal manipulation. Furthermore, the American College of Physicians and the American Pain Society (Chou, 2007) have published clinical practice guidelines recommending manipulation by physical therapists as the only proven treatment for patients suffering with acute low back pain.” So clearly the word is out and the support is at the national level.

However, though the attention is national, it can only be fought at the local level. That means you, as well as your colleagues, must take action and show your support for the spinal manipulation bill.  Here is my challenge to each of you:

1)      Invite your local legislators to your clinic. Show them what you do and what PTs are all about. Believe me, they don’t know what you do or the service you provide. Unfortunately, the public thinks all you do is offer massage. How sad is that?

2)      You MUST attend Legislative Impact Day! To not come is inexcusable.

  1. I’ve tired of the excuse that you can’t afford to close your clinic for a day. The economic impact on your business and profession that you can gain from manipulation will pay for itself.
  2. Many of you are proud to say you’ve reached a certain skill level or certification and brag that you are a “manual therapist”. And yet, I fail to see you attend or give support. You prefer to rest on the work of others. Yes, I’m calling you out to “walk the walk” not just “talk the talk”. You should be setting the example as leaders in the cause.

3)      Finally, bring a colleague along with you. Last year we had more than 600 attendees! As impressive as that was, we are shooting for 1,000 or more this year. We will be visible and we will be a force to be reckoned with.

I appreciate everyone’s work, especially the tireless dedication to those on the Manipulation Task Force and the Legislative Committee. We owe them a huge “thank-you” and pat on the back.

I hope you all have a wonderful and peaceful holiday season. Enjoy the family, friends and fruits of your labor. I will see you in Olympia on January 28, 2010.

Dr. Bob Boyles, PT, DSc, OCS, FAAOMPT
Clinical Associate Professor of Physical Therapy
University of Puget Sound

To register for PT Legislative Impact Day, visit

PTWA Member Roger Herr Slated as Candidate for APTA Board of Directors

It is a HUGE step and honor to be slated as a candidate for national office!  I am so excited that PTWA member Roger Herr has been slated as an APTA Director candidate for June 2010!  Each year, three directors are elected to serve a three-year term. Roger is exceptionally qualified for this position, having previously served at the national level as president of the Home Health Section and member of the Government Affairs Committee, as well as board member and Chief Delegate for PTWA. Having served as an APTA board member, I can tell you that it is a help to PTWA to have someone on the APTA Board who is familiar with the exceptional members we have in our state and can help to inform APTA staff when a PTWA member could assist with a national issue.
Roger needs our help to get elected in June!  The 13 delegates from PTWA to the APTA House of Delegates have a direct vote and will be on site in Boston to support Roger’s candidacy, but ALL members can help him get elected.  Roger’s “campaign committee” will be putting together some short bullet points about why he’d be an excellent APTA board member.  Once that is available, we will share it with PTWA members and here are a few suggestions of how you can help share that:

1. Email your APTA member friends in other states telling them that you support Roger’s candidacy for APTA Director;

2. Look through the list of delegates to the 2010 House of Delegates when it gets posted on the APTA website, and if you know any of the delegates, contact them directly to encourage them to vote for Roger;

3. If you are a Section member, contact the Section delegate to let them know of your support for Roger.

Roger, we are very proud of you!
Janet Peterson, PT, DPT
former APTA Board member

Calling All PTs Who Treat Swelling Disorders:

Hello All;

I have been SO grateful to Dr. Nancy Roberge for sending the Oncology Section List Serve the information about the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s Technology Assessment regarding Lymphedema coverage (see link below). I have been asked by Dr. Kathie Hummel-Berry (President of the Oncology Section) to help represent the Oncology Section in this matter and am DESPERATE for your help. I have been in contact with Sarah Nicholls-Sharp, assistant director of payment policy and advocacy for APTA. She has been kind enough to put together a quick synopsis of the whys and whats of this issue:

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has recently undertaken a review of the literature for the diagnosis and treatment of secondary lymphedema. Currently, CMS has a national coverage decision for secondary lymphedema and pneumatic compression devices. This new review could have implications for the coverage of services related to lymphedema under the Medicare program. As part of this review, CMS requested that the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) complete a technology assessment to determine if the literature demonstrates that any of the available diagnostic or treatment methods for secondary lymphedema are effective. AHRQ issued a draft of their technology assessment on November 18, 2009. They are accepting comments on this policy through December 8, 2009. Any member of the public is allowed to comment on the technology assessment developed by AHRQ. Comments could include suggestions for additional relevant literature that was not included in the draft technology assessment or suggestions related to improving the methodology used to develop the technology assessment. Please see a link to the technology assessment below and instructions on how to submit comments. Comments are due Tuesday, December 8, 2009 by 5 p.m. Eastern time. If you have information you would like the Oncology section to consider, please submit this information to Loraine Lovejoy-Evans at by 5 p.m. Eastern time on Friday, December 4.

Technology Assessment

Here is the plea: she needs our help to determine what is missing from the literature review AHRQ did (obvious omissions include only looking at the English language articles and only looking at Randomized Controlled Trials) and limitations of its assessment. To that end, she has asked that we bring our sticks in a bundle together now quickly and help bring any research to her attention that is missing. To not overwhelm her, I have offered to compile the information and forward it to her but this needs to be done in a timely manner.  She has asked that I get this to her by Friday evening.  So please send me any information you have ideally in a copy and paste format so I can forward it to her by then.

Please also ask any patients you can to make their own personal comments as it is open for public comment until December 8. Here is the link for posting comments:

My personal concern is that in Washington state Medicare wrote and followed the Local Carrier Determination Policy which states that lymphedema treatment would be covered for two weeks for the lifetime for each patient. It took a LOT of work by Dr. Marisa Perdomo and several other clinicians in our state to get this horrid policy undone. We are being given a chance to act preventatively to not allow the NATIONAL policy to limit coverage for our patients. So please do your part, write a public comment and please help us find the literature that is missing. I very much appreciate how busy each of you is and know that no one has the time to do this now but we do not have a choice. I do not want to miss this opportunity. Thanks for all of your help — go forth and find the literature!

Loraine Lovejoy-Evans, PT, DPT, CLT-Földi
Földi-Certified Lymphedema Therapist
Independence Through Physical Therapy
Sequim, WA

PTWA Member Susan Schofield Named First PTA to Board of PT

Governor Christine Gregoire appointed Susan Schofield, PTA, to the Board of Physical Therapy as the first PTA on the board. Schofield is the Academic Coordinator of Clinical Education for the Physical Therapist Assistant program at Whatcom Community College. She has been a PTA for 15 years and has worked in neurological rehabilitation and acute care in addition to her work as an educator.

Schofield shared a few of her thoughts on being appointed and some of her goals as a board member. Here they are, in her words:

“I am honored to be the first PTA appointed to the board and I want to do the best job I can. My first objective has been to be educated and well informed about the duties and responsibilities I’ve taken on with this role. I’ve gone to many training seminars related to our state’s ethics laws, the board’s working relationship with the Department of Health, rule making, the legislative process, credentialing, working with the media, the disciplinary process and, of course, actual board meetings.

“I see myself as a representative of PTAs in our state and as an advocate for our profession. As a PTA educator at Whatcom Community College, I can speak to the extensive scope of our education, the clinical competencies within our scope of practice and the collaborative advantage both PTAs and PTs can enjoy working together. I view this as an opportunity to more thoroughly understand the complex legal and ethical issues of our profession and to fairly uphold our standards of practice.”

We also caught up with Chuck Martin, chair of the Board of Physical Therapy. Here is what he told us about Schofield:

“The PT licensing Board has been looking forward to having a PTA join us as a member. When reviewing public complaints it is important for the licensing board to draw on a broad base of experiences and expertise in the provision of Physical Therapy Services. With the licensing of PTAs it is important that the board has the perspective of a PTA to draw on. The PT licensing Board is delighted with Governor Gregoire’s selection of Susan. She brings excellent experience from her military and educational background. Her perspective has proven to be valuable addition to the board.”