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PHYSICAL THERAPISTS COMMENT ON CLINTON'S HEALTH PLAN

 ALEXANDRA, Va., Sept. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- On behalf of the 57,000 members of the American Physical Therapy Association, President Marilyn Moffat, PT, PhD, issued the following statement on President Clinton's Health Care Reform Plan:
 The American Physical Therapy Association shares the desire of the American public, other health care providers, and our political leaders to make health services more accessible, less costly, and more effective for all Americans.
 President Clinton's Health Care Reform Plan represents a bold step toward addressing the nation's health care problems. The plan's benefit package ensures broad coverage of a variety of services. There are however, several areas where improvement is needed.
 The plan fails to recognize the value of work-related injury prevention services which have resulted in vast savings in workers' compensation costs. Physical therapists play a significant role in these programs, and currently 10 percent of workers' compensation dollars are spent on physical therapy.
 Other overlooked preventive services include approaches to musculoskeletal conditions determined through such procedures as scoliosis screening or posture evaluations and cardiac and pulmonary preventive care provided by physical therapists and others through exercise and consumer education.
 Additionally, the plan contains inadequate provisions for chronic or congenital conditions and lacks coverage of care for patients who do not show improvement but who need continuing care to maintain a maximum level of function and to avoid disability.
 Restrictions on self-referrals by health care providers must be expanded. We urge President Clinton and the Congress to adopt the prohibitions on self-referral in all settings, including practitioner offices. Such restrictions will become increasingly crucial as the ethical problems associated with self-referral are likely to escalate with the rise of physician/hospital networks and joint ventures.
 We commend the plan's inclusion of hospice services, often provided by physical therapists, and the focus of the plan on the use of non- physician professionals. We further praise the plan for its support of loans for physical therapy students and other allied health students.
 -0- 9/22/93
 /NOTE TO EDITORS: APTA President Marilyn Moffat, PT, PhD, is available for comment. Please contact Alexis Waters, APTA Public Relations at 703-706-3215/
 /CONTACT: Alexis Waters of the American Physical Therapy Association, 703-706-3215/


CO: American Physical Therapy Association ST: District of Columbia, Virginia IN: HEA SU:

LD -- NY099 -- 4948 09/22/93 19:02 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 22, 1993
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