TMNEWS: #27: Feb 26, 2018: APTA’s CSM, Direct Access in Illinois, & the Interstate Licensure Compact with James Spencer

It’s Monday, February 26th, and here are your PT headlines for the week. It was a record breaking Combined Sections Meeting in New Orleans. Illinois has introduced a bill for unfettered direct access, St. Joseph’s University Medical Center in New Jersey is swapping out opioids for trigger point injections, the Interstate Licensure Compact is growing, and James Spencer, HoboHealth, breaks down the Interstate Licensure Compact with us.

Check out our full interview with James here!


It was a record breaking Combined Sections Meeting this year–over 17,000 physical therapists and physical therapist assistants showed up to eat beignets in New Orleans. Attendants logged over 100 million steps, the APTA donated $10,000 to Shoes for Kids, and rumor has it that roughly 35% of attendees were students…the Student Assembly confirms that about 6,000 students were in attendance. We’ll have more from the conference next week!

Check out the hashtag #APTACSM to relive the experience.

State News

Checking in on state news, Illinois has introduced legislation that clarifies and removes language regarding the need for physician diagnosis for physical therapy. Currently Illinois does not require a referral for physical therapy…but does require a physician diagnosis. The bill was introduced on February 7th, and is currently looking for cosponsors.

You can find the full text of the bill and all updates here.

The Physical Therapy Interstate Licensure Compact is picking up steam–8 states have introduced legislation this session: Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and South Carolina. New Jersey was the latest addition to the compact back in January. The Compact could potentially go into effect as early as mid 2018.

Go to to see if your state in on the map, and to learn more!

Check out our interview with Angela Shuman, APTA’s Director of State Affairs, on the specifics of the Compact (note that Colorado’s suspension has been lifted since recording this interview.)


In the fight against the opioid crisis, St. Joseph’s University Medical Center is taking a new tack on treating pain in the emergency department: trigger point injections. NPR, which appears to call the trigger point injections “dry needling” reports that the medical center no longer prescribes opioids in the ED, instead opting to give patients a trigger point injection and other non-addictive alternatives. The program, known as Alternatives to Opiates program, launched in January 2016.

You can read the full story from NPR here. For more information on St. Joseph’s unique program, go here.