Ryan Grella, a physical therapist from the Tampa Bay area has brought to light this new article in the Tampa Bay Times: Nurse Practitioners Seek More Authority in Florida.
Ryan and I and several of our friends, peers and professional colleagues have discussions on Direct Access to Physical Therapy all the time. Here is Ryan's Letter to the Editor of the Tampa Bay Times:
"The nurse practitioner story in the Tampa Bay Times sheds further light on Florida’s antiquated healthcare laws, which are driven in part by highly funded medical organizations as well as physician lawmakers who have inherent conflicts of interest.
The citizens of Florida deserve access to high quality evidence-based healthcare devoid of unnecessary rules and regulations.
Presently anyone in this state can receive care from a speech therapist, occupational therapist, massage therapist, or personal trainer without physician oversight. Yet, state licensed doctors of physical therapy must refer their patients to a physician after 21 days.
This provision exists under the veil of public safety despite overwhelming evidence of physical therapist competence and direct savings to the patient. The Florida Medical Association (FMA) is adamantly opposed to any legislation that would remove the 21-day provision.
Should we be surprised?Apparently not. You wouldn't expect the FMA to object to anything that changes the status quo.
Physicians are now competitors for the patient’s valuable healthcare dollars. At some point however, nurses and physical therapists must ask the FMA and lawmakers, is it about the patient, or is it about the dollar?"Ryan Grella, Physical Therapist