COLUMBUS—Today, the Ohio House of Representatives passed legislation that makes updates to the practice of physical therapists.

House Bill 131, introduced by Rep. Theresa Gavarone (R-Bowling Green) and Rep. Bill Reineke (R-Tiffin), specifies that physical therapists can make diagnoses to treat physical impairments, functional limitations, and physical disabilities of patients, as well as provide a prognosis and plan of therapeutic intervention. Under the legislation, physical therapists will continue to be required to refer patients to a healthcare provider should the patient’s condition be outside of their scope of practice. The bill specifies that a physical therapy diagnosis does not include a medical diagnosis.

As Ohio continues to combat the devastating opioid epidemic, we must promote and encourage pain management modalities without the use of opioids. House Bill 131 is a vehicle to do just that, allowing physical therapists, who are educated at a doctorate level, to provide healing approaches over long-term or high dosage use of addictive prescription painkillers.

“We should be doing everything we can to ensure we are not restricting the ability of our health professionals from doing their job,” Gavarone said. “Physical therapists are highly educated and rigorously trained and I am pleased this bill is bringing their practice in line with many states across the country.”

“This bill allows us to provide more direct patient access and to provide lower medical costs for our constituents across the state and especially in the 88th House District,” said Reineke.

Streamlining the delivery of physical therapy, House Bill 131 will reduce unnecessary health care costs for patients and provide better modes of rehabilitation, bringing Ohio in line with at least 21 other states.

Having passed the House with a vote of 86 to 0, House Bill 131 now awaits further consideration by the Ohio Senate.

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