Thursday, May 12, 2011

PLEASE - Share this with your Senators! - Bill referred to committee 5/3/11.

Greetings Senator                      ,

I am writing you today to ask for your support of Senate Bill 957 & 967 which was referred to your CONSUMER PROTECTION AND PROFESSIONAL LICENSURE committee on May 3, 2011.  This is an important piece of legislation is necessary to protect and enhance the health and welfare of our clients (physically active youth & adults) in the PA Commonwealth.  

Athletic Training remains the only health care provider group who is "certified" and not "licensed" under the Pennsylvania State Boards of Medicine and Osteopathic Medicine. Currently there are 39 other states that regulate athletic trainers through licensure in the nationwide. Pennsylvania is 1 of only 4 to be regulated through certification.

The primary goal of Licensure for Athletic Trainers in Pennsylvania is to define the relationship between the athletic trainer and physician more clearly.

Benefits to Pennsylvania citizens include:
        Consumer protection, reduce the ability of unlicensed individuals who attempt to provide athletic training services to the public.
        Increased access to the care of an athletic trainer due to the clarification of the population eligible for referral from a physician.
        Decrease credentialing confusion that currently exists since athletic trainers will be licensees alongside all of other health care professionals under the Pennsylvania State Boards of Medicine(SB 967) and Osteopathic Medicine(SB957), such as Physician Assistants, Respiratory Therapist, Acupuncturists, Perfusionist, and Nurse-Midwives.
        Greater access to athletic trainers for preventative medical services, potentially decreasing their overall medical costs.

Benefits to Physicians:
        Firmly places the role of the athletic trainer under the direction of the physician.
        Provides physicians with increased access options for using an athletic trainer thus reducing the number of injuries and dropping the costs of health care.
        Many physicians currently refer physically active patients to athletic trainers for athletic training services. Due to the unclear definition of physically active, some physicians do not refer patients who may benefit from these services to athletic trainers or may refer patients inappropriately due to confusion.

Recent Education and Training Changes that support Licensure for Athletic Trainers
The current Athletic Training Practice Act dates back to December 2001. Since that time there have been several meaningful changes to the educational preparation and instruction of athletic trainers. Some of these include:
        Defined educational standards consistent with other allied health professions and validated via national accreditation standards (2004).
        Elimination of the internship route to certification in 2004.
        Well delineated national educational and skill competency requirements validating the proposed scope of athletic training practice included in the proposed legislation.
        Since 2001, athletic trainers have been able to apply their athletic training skills to populations beyond sports teams through expanded practice settings, including physician's offices, hospitals, and industrial settings.

- Licensure for athletic trainers is needed in Pennsylvania in order to best protect the public.

*** This will greatly improve the ability of many athletic training students from your district to establish careers here in PA as opposed to looking for jobs in other states.

Thank you in advance for your consideration and I urge you and the rest of the committee to bring this to the members of the senate.

Your Name, ATC
Your County Resident

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