New York Governor Andrew Cuomo recently vetoed S2718A/A2116A, legislation that, if passed, would have allowed physical therapist assistants (PTAs) to participate in the care of workers’ compensation patients.

In a media release from the New York Physical Therapy Association (NYPTA) questioning Cuomo’s decision, it notes that, in most cases, a patient who obtains physical therapy receives a consultation and a treatment plan from the PT and is supported throughout the treatment cycle by PTAs.

However, the release continues, current Workers’ Compensation Law requires that a licensed PT must be the only person who provides care to a workers’ compensation patient. Under this law, care delivered to a workers’ compensation patient is not covered.

This creates a burdensome requirement and differs from other insurers who recognize the important role that physical therapist assistants play in a patient’s recovery process, NYPTA opines.

Senator Joseph Griffo (R-Rome) and Assemblyman Ken Zebrowski (D-New York City) also opined about the decision, according to the release.

“Physical therapy plays such an integral role in a person’s recovery process, and this legislation would have ensured fairer access to the services so many people need to heal from an injury,” Griffo says. “To apply a different set of rules for the same service to patients just because they are on workers’ compensation is unfair and outdated, and I am disappointed that the Governor rejected this important step toward improving how physical therapy services are provided.”

“I am disappointed that the Governor vetoed this common sense measure that would modernize the delivery of physical therapy services to Worker’s Compensation patients. The veto message showed a serious lack of understanding how physical therapy services are delivered to the patient as well as the oversight that is currently in place,” Zebrowski states.

“New York has one of the most stringent physical therapy assistant supervision laws in the nation; requiring on-site, direct supervision with a limit of no more than four physical therapy assistants for every licensed physical therapist. This bill simply created parity with other insurers in recognition of how physical therapy services are provided. I hope that the Governor will reconsider the opposition to this legislation,” he continues.

“The legislation offered a modest proposal to slightly modernize the delivery of health care services within the workers’ compensation system and to achieve systemic savings. It is troubling that the decision to veto the bill is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of physical therapy care and New York law,” shares Michael Mattia, president of the New York Physical Therapy Association, in the release.

[Source(s): New York Physical Therapy Association, PRWeb]