ANIMAL PHYSICAL THERAPY COALITION (APTC) California 0

Increase Consumer Access To Animal Rehabilitation Services in California: 2022/2023

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ANIMAL PHYSICAL THERAPY COALITION (APTC) California 0 Comments
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Addressed to

The Honorable Members of the California State Legislature

Summary and Background

Animals in California are not getting the care they need.

There is a growing shortage of veterinarians, which will become worse over the next decade, leaving millions of animals without access to appropriate medical care. Other qualified professionals have the ability to offer effective treatment options to the pet owners of California, and they can also help to lift some of the heavy burden that has our veterinary industry in crisis.

Licensed physical therapists can obtain certification in animal rehabilitation through two existing programs in the U.S. Those programs provide RACE-approved (industry standard accreditation for veterinary continuing education) coursework to teach and train licensed physical therapists in how to safely utilize their skillset on animals.

California consumers have been asking for well over a decade for greater choice and access to licensed physical therapists trained specifically on animals. The veterinary profession is in crisis. This is the time to act, and legislation is the answer.

The California Veterinary Medical Board's new regulation, effective January 1, 2022, has decreased consumer access to care even more.

Requested Action

To improve access to care, we request the Legislature enact legislation that allows veterinarians to refer animal patients to qualified physical therapists.

We, the undersigned, believe the following

1. Veterinarians should be allowed to provide a veterinary medical clearance (i.e., a referral), in which their medical diagnosis determines that an animal may safely receive rehabilitative treatment by a qualified physical therapist under the veterinarian’s indirect supervision. The DVM does not need to be onsite to indirectly supervise. (NOTE: Mandating onsite supervision would lead to an unnecessary barrier of access. Your human doctor is rarely on the same premise as your PT.)

2. Licensed human Physical Therapists must take and pass additional coursework specifically on animals in order to practice under indirect veterinary supervision. (This is to ensure safety and the competency of the treating physical therapist).

3. Liability should be appropriately placed on the treating physical therapist (NOT the veterinarian who referred the animal patient).

4. For the consumer to better understand the education level of their chosen provider, a separate authorization for Animal Physical Therapist (APT) should be established in the Physical Therapy Practice Act or the Veterinary Medicine Practice Act. This authorization would apply to a licensed physical therapist who completes the necessary educational requirements to practice on animals.

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Join the movement and let's break up the current veterinary physical rehabilitation monopoly that exists in California. Please sign and share this petition WIDELY. Our lawmakers need to know this issue matters, and there is power in numbers. You can make a difference.

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