State of the Association 2016

I would like to start by thanking you for your professional membership and your commitment to professionalism. Your commitment to professionalism matters; it does make a difference.

PTWA has had an eventful year. Many hands have helped with “the lift.”

Our Accomplishments
We’re #3! Each year APTA ranks states in the United States regarding which is the best Erik Moen_Editedstate in which to practice physical therapy. We are on the rise from last year’s ranking of 11.

We had a record number of conference registrants in Tacoma this year. Our conference had diverse educational offerings with excellent speakers. This year’s conference featured a new Student Conclave. APTA President Sharon Dunn kicked off the Student Conclave festivities. It was a thrill for the students. Studies show that engaged students and new professionals stay engaged in professional associations. We felt a Student Conclave was well worth our professional investment. Ten of the students were “sponsored” to attend the Friday night WPT-PAC party.

This is the first full year after the rule-making for spinal manipulation was finalized for PTs in the state of Washington. This has been a long and drawn out task. Your prolonged commitment to the process paid off.

This was the first year that the PTA had a full vote in elections and at our state conference. No more half votes to count.

We have had many of our members/leaders representing us at APTA meetings including the federal and state legislative forums, the membership conference and the house of delegates. These volunteer efforts on your behalf have been invaluable to ensure Washington is up to date with national trends and initiatives. You benefit from this as a member of PTWA.

You should also know that your PTWA leaders are highly respected on the national scene.  They are task force members, committee members, directors, invited speakers and much more.  Their knowledge and skills are at the front of the APTA.

PTWA has held numerous district meetings and webinars. These meetings and webinars have included CEUs for sports/ortho, pediatrics and admin. This is a membership benefit for your continuing education efforts.

We have had numerous meetings with state and federal legislators on your behalf. These have included a recent King County District Town Hall meeting with multiple legislators, a fundraiser for Representative Eileen Cody hosted by Sound PT, attendance at fundraisers for Governor Inslee, Congressman Heck, Senator Becker and the new Democrats (multiple federal legislators). These behind the scenes work benefits you by making legislative relationships that benefit the profession of physical therapy.

Our Unexpected News
We received news from the Department of Health (DOH) regarding the Sunrise Review of dry needling. It was not positive. PTWA and members have sent in rebuttals to the draft summary.  It should go without saying that tireless and voluminous work has gone into this effort. Stay tuned and be prepared to engage when the time is right. You can become involved. Join our Legislative Committee and Dry Needling Task Force for future work regarding this issue.

Our Goals
It wouldn’t be physical therapy without having goals.

We as a state association need to regrow our financial reserves. We will be evaluating opportunities to increase our non-dues revenue and membership.

New evaluation codes go into effect January 1, 2017. APTA will keep you up to date with code implications and their appropriate use in your practices.

Payment:  if we don’t get paid, we can’t run businesses. We will continue working toward legislative initiatives and collaboration with third party payers. We want to ensure that our patients can have access to the care they need and that we as professionals are compensated fairly for our evidence-based interventions.

We will be pursuing the licensure compact legislation in this upcoming legislative session. Our neighbors in Oregon were the first state in our nation to pass this legislation. We hope to join them as early adopters. This benefits our state as early adopters will be part of the rule making process right from the beginning.

We are committed to our school-based physical therapists. We are supporting legislation to ensure they are compensated fairly for their years of service. This will help ensure our children in state-funded schools will get the care they need to successfully navigate their education experience.

PTWA will petition the DOH to add PTs to the Health Professional Conditional Scholarship Program (RCW 28B.115). This program encourages health care professionals to serve in shortage areas. This is currently offered to medical students but we will work to make this available for PT students too. This is a non-legislative process that can be requested through the DOH. This idea came from a recent discussion with a state senator.

We encouraged you to participate in National Physical Therapy Month and PT Day of Service. PTWA hosted the exhibition of falls prevention exercise programs at our recent conference as a means of providing members with some ideas to promote #healthyaging and #ChoosePT. Please share your PT Day of Service and PT month activities with PTWA. We would like to feature and celebrate your efforts.

PTWA will provide suicide assessment training this coming spring 2017. Suicide assessment training is now part of your license requirement.

I would like to recognize the excellent efforts with regards to our PTWA staff. They are excellent, creative, resourceful and incredibly hard working.  Please meet them and thank them for their work.

We thank you for your membership and your commitments toward being excellent health care professionals in the state of Washington and beyond.
Erik Moen PT
PTWA President