Washington, DC—Today, Rep. Ron Kind introduced bipartisan legislation to increase access to physical therapy services in Community Health Centers (CHCs), which provide primary health services for more than 28 million people across the country in over 11,000 rural and urban communities. 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 create better access to alternative methods for treating pain management for patients in medically underserved areas. The Primary Health Services Enhancement Act was introduced with Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-IN)
“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,” said Rep. Ron Kind. “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.”
“It is critical to address the things, like physical therapy services, that people need to maintain a great quality of life. Community Health Centers already offer a range of services and do it in a way that helps reduce barriers like geography, financing, or language. The addition of physical therapy as a service for a Community Health Center simply opens the range of care we could offer. Especially in rural Wisconsin, care that supports health for the whole person, and offers it close to home, is ideal,” said Scenic Bluffs Community Health Centers’ CEO/Executive Director Mari Freiberg, MPH.
This legislation is supported by the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) and the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA).
Read the bill text here.