The APTA Oklahoma State Government Affairs Committee advocates on behalf of the physical therapy profession and for PT patients at the state level, by monitoring and directing legislative efforts that may impact physical therapy or the individuals we serve. Our goals include:
-Shaping the chapter’s position on legislative issues and building relationships with OK policy makers in order to better serve our patients.
-Inform our members of policy changes at the state level, including issues that may impact payment and access.
Oklahoma Senate Bill 399 has officially been signed by Governor Kevin Stitt. SB 399 by Sen. Paul Rosino and Rep. Carl Newton, allows a graduate of a Doctor of Physical Therapy program to be referred to as doctor. Individuals could introduce themselves as, "Dr. (Last name), your physical therapist," for example. Prior to the adoption of SB 399, the previous example was not a legal method of introduction. The bill becomes effective November 1, 2022.
All current education programs for physical therapists must be at the doctoral level and accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). This includes physical therapy degrees awarded in the state of Oklahoma through the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Langston University, and Oklahoma City University. CAPTE is accredited by the U.S. Department of Education. The OU and OSU Board of Regents and OCU’s Board of Trustees have approved these programs and their doctoral level accreditations.
Passage of this bill simply allows those who have earn their Doctor of Physical Therapy to be referred to as such. These individuals must graduate from a post-bachelorette Doctor of Physical Therapy Education program from an accredited program, pass a national licensure exam, and be licensed by the Oklahoma State Board of Medical Licensure and Supervision.
Physical Therapy graduates from the three schools in Oklahoma and around the country play and will continue to play a vital role in our healthcare system. Recognizing their educational achievement and key role in the healthcare system is the purpose of SB 399.