House of Delegates 2018: Opening Day: the Stark Law, Presidential Address, & Elections

The American Physical Therapy Association’s House of Delegates kicked off last night, with 402 votes in the House. Speaker of the House Sue Griffin, re-elected last year, presided over the opening ceremonies and elections.


Here’s what happened:


(You can always watch the livestream of the House here:


There are several housekeeping items that begin the House. The House passed the rules of the House–these are the general rules of engagement for how business will be conducted over the next two days. Only one amendment was made–any motions that are out of scope of notice will require a ⅔ vote in the House, instead of a simple majority. The delegates hope this will expedite the business of the House.


Every year, the House has an opportunity to ask questions regarding the Reports to the House. This year, the report in question was RC 64-81: PHYSICIAN/PHYSICAL THERAPIST PRACTICE RELATIONSHIPS. The Board of Directors has conducted this report annually since 1982. The original motion, RC 59-81, revolves around concerns related to physician-owned physical therapy services (POPTS). The House resolved to find legislative means to deal with these practices. This year, the report indicates that due to the challenging and ever changing political landscape, not much movement was expected in 2017. However, Rep Jackie Speier has re-introduced the Promoting Integrity in Medicare Act (PIMA), which calls for the elimination of physical therapy, anatomic pathology, advanced diagnostic imaging, and radiation oncology services from the list of designated health services under the Stark Law. You can find the text of HR 2066 here. Justin Elliott, VP of Government Affairs for the APTA, rose to the mic with some good news. As of this week, CMS will be investigating the impact of the Stark Law, and will be putting out a Request for Information (RFI). The APTA will release more information on this as they analyze the action.


President Sharon Dunn took the mic for opening comments to the House, which you can read/watch in full here. She cautioned that judgement is divisive. In order to navigate the stormy political waters, the profession needs to drop the Twitter arguments, stop infighting, and form collaborative relationships with other healthcare professionals.

Your election results:

  • President: Sharon Dunn
  • Vice President: Matt Hyland
  • Directors: Bob Rowe, Susan Appling, Cindy Johnson-Armstrong, Dan Mills (elected by special election to replace Matt Hyland)
  • Nominating Committee: Derek Fenwick


Five of the seven elected were incumbents, including: Sharon Dunn, Matt Hyland (moved from director to Vice President), Bob Rowe, Susan Appling, and Cindy Johnson-Armstrong.

The docket for the House on Tuesday is full. Follow along on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram @talusmedia.