Congress is Taking Action to Grow the Physical Therapy Workforce

The United States is currently in the middle of a national shortage of physical therapists and physical therapy professionals. Estimates show that by 2025, an additional 27,000 physical therapists will be needed to meet growing demand.

This problem is particularly acute in rural areas – many physical therapists are concentrated in major metropolitan areas. APTQI members are willing to invest in underserved and rural communities, but have difficulty recruiting the staff needed to do so.

Fortunately, Congress has recognized this growing problem and bipartisan lawmakers in both the House of Representatives and the Senate are taking action. The Physical Therapist Workforce and Patient Access Act (S. 970 and H.R. 2802), sponsored by Senators Angus King, Jon Tester, and Roger Wicker in the Senate and Reps. Diana DeGette and John Shimkus in the House, would help address the significant shortage of physical therapists and physical therapy professionals across the United States.

If passed, this legislation will enable physical therapists to participate in the National Health Service Corps student loan repayment program. The National Health Service Corps works to alleviate shortages of medical professionals by offering student loan relief to medical professionals who commit to serve in a medically underserved or designated health care professional shortage area.

Enacting this bipartisan legislation would serve as a crucial first step towards ensuring all Americans, regardless of geographic location, are able to access quality physical therapy services.

You can help support this important legislation from home by sending emails to your lawmakers and submitting a letter to the editor to your local newspaper! Click below to take action: