NCPTA and APTA Leadership Meet with State Officials on Opioid Crisis
November 6, 2017
NCPTA President Kyle Covington, Executive Director Nancy Garland, lobbyist Alex Miller, and APTA Payment Policy Specialist Alice Bell met with state officials in Raleigh on October 31 to discuss the role of Physical Therapy in the opioid crisis. Representatives from the Governor’s staff, Daryl Childers, the Attorney General’s staff, Steve Mange, Dr. Nancy Henley the State’s Chief Medical Officer and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Assistant Secretary of Legislation Ben Popkin met with the NCPTA leadership.
The purpose of the meeting was to familiarize the Governor’s staff, Attorney General’s staff and DHHS staff with the role that physical therapy can play in preventing people from needing opioids. NCPTA pointed out that “Physical Therapy is not part of the problem, but we are part of the solution”. NCPTA stated that Physical Therapy is fighting America’s opioid crisis by providing safe solutions for pain. Prescription guidelines released in 2016 recommend non-opioid approaches for the long-term treatment of most pain condition, but without key policy fixes these safe and effective alternatives will remain underused.
One of the main barriers to patients receiving physical therapy in North Carolina is the high co-pay that many patients are required to pay to receive physical therapy treatment. It was pointed out that co-pays can sometime be $50-$60 per visit. The state officials were very receptive to the message that physical therapy should be part of the solution. Covington indicated that the association wanted to help fight this crisis.
Alice Bell is the APTA representative to the National Quality Partnership Opioid Stewardship Action Team. The Action Team brings together experts and recognized leaders from the private and public sectors committed to addressing the nation’s escalating opioid epidemic. APTA is one of the few non-pharmaceutical/non-physician groups included on the Action Team.
Major Victory for Physical Therapists and Patients
For nearly two years, the NCPTA has been involved in lawsuits with the North Carolina Acupuncture Licensing Board to protect patients’ access to dry needling, and to ensure that our members can deliver this safe and effective treatment. Today, I am pleased to report a major court victory. Read More
In a thorough, 30-page decision, the North Carolina Business Court has ruled that physical therapists may perform dry needling. The Court's ruling affirms a decision by the North Carolina Board of Physical Therapy Examiners that reached the following conclusions:
You can find a copy of the Court’s decision at this link.
Another Victory for Physical Therapists and Patients
As you know, the NCPTA has sued the North Carolina Acupuncture Licensing Board in federal court. The NCPTA filed the lawsuit to protect patients' access to dry needling, and to ensure that our members can deliver this safe and effective treatment. The lawsuit, which is available at this link, seeks to hold the Acupuncture Board and its members accountable under the federal antitrust laws.