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Minutes for HB2279 - Committee on Health and Human Services

Short Title

Enacting the physical therapy licensure compact and authorizing criminal history record checks.

Minutes Content for Tue, Feb 23, 2021

Scott Abbott, Revisor of Statutes, provided an overview of HB2279 for the committee.

Mr. Abbott responded to questions from the committee.

Jennifer Caswell, Kansas Chapter Legislative Chair, American Physical Therapy Association, provide testimony in support of HB2279 by noting that, to date, 30 states have enacted legislation to participate in the Physical Therapy Licensure Compact (PTLC). The PTLC helps meet workforce needs, provides greater consumer access to specialty physical therapy care and addresses licensure portability issues. Ms. Caswell stated that all affected parties have been in discussion regarding the compact. Issues such as malpractice insurance coverage and continuing education hours have been worked through. It was noted that any person with any encumbrances or disciplinary actions against their license in the last 2 years would be unable to apply for compact privileges. The compact would allow soon to be graduates to join the compact and practice in multiple states (Attachment 1).

A.J. Thomas, CEO, Rooks County Health Center, spoke in support of HB2279. The lack of one professional, in this case, a physical therapist can be detrimental to the health and wellness of the residents of Kansas. The Health  Center had been without a physical therapist for 6 months. The hospital was not able to provide consistent therapy services for their outpatients and inpatients. Mr. Thomas provided a story concerning the physical therapist who went out on maternity leave. Delays in licensing created difficulty in filling the position, resulting in Mr. Thomas assuming the role of which he is licensed to perform. Additional personal experiences were provided to promote the need for the compact (Attachment 2).

Stacia Troshynski, Assistant Clinical Professor, KUMC Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science Program, provided testimony in support of HB2279. Ms. Troshynski related here personal experience of having difficulty getting licensed in Kansas after graduating from a school in Nebraska. While not personally benefiting from the compact, the students she teaches would benefit with the ability to practice in multiple states. Some of her students have shared with her their frustrations and discontent with Kansas for not being a part of the compact. The university has been rated a Military Top 10 school. Enacting membership in the compact would support spouses of military members who seek PT licensure by allowing for a seamless and timely transition to employment opportunities. The compact also would serve the rural and under-served areas of the state by allowing for traveling therapists. Joining the compact is the right thing to do because it is impacting the health of Kansans (Attachment 3).

The conferees responded to questions from the committee.

The following provided written only testimony:

Camille Snyder, Kansas Chapter President, American Physical Therapy Association (Attachment 4)

Nancy Kirsch, President, Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (Attachment 5)