Current Rhode Island Legislative Activity

APTA RI Public Policy Committee

 Current RI Public Policy Activities


Find your state legislator and senator:

Chair of the committee: Greg Doucette

Please contact Greg with any questions / involvement

Lobby Day: May 17



Several APTA RI members and leaders particiapated in Physical Therapy Day at the State House.

Thank you to the following RI Legislative Leaders who stopped by to advocate for Physical Therapy: 

  • Representative Dave Bennett, Lead Sponsor in the House for the Imaging and Copay Bills.
  • Representative Michelle McGaw, who was lead sponsor in the House of the PT Compact Bill
  • Senator Linda Ujifusa discussed access to care and Healthcare economics
  • Speaker of the House Joe Shekarchi, and House Majority Leader Chris Blazejewski are pictured above with Greg Doucette and Erin Sayles


2023 Session

Current Legislation (May 1, 2023)

Fair Copay 

House Bill 5012 –

Senate Bill 293 -



House Bill 5013 –

Senate Bill 101 -



House Bill 5076 –

Senate Bill 580 -


GPT License

House Bill 5494 –

Senate Bill 577 -



Other information / past hearings

PT Compact

Current National Trends from APTA regarding PT Compact

Will be in RI Corporations Committee

Senator Valverde is the lead sponsor in the Senate SB 580

Rep Mcgaw is the lead sponsor in the House HB TBD

Talking Points:

Why do we need to do this?

  • Access to care
    • PT Shortage in RI
    • Take advantage of geography

How are we going to protect Rhode Islanders?

  • Compact privileges are dependent on all of the same protective measures as RI License

Who is in the compact?

  • 28 Member States including Maryland and Delaware
  • 5 States have passed legislation but not yet issued compact including NJ and PA
  • 12 Other states have introduced legislation this year including MA, CT, VT, NY
  • Only 5 states have not begun attempts to join the compact

Common practice in many professions, particularly medical professions – RI has passed IMLC legislation and other medical professions with provisions include PCP and Psychologists.

Standards are consistent and allowing a new therapist to reduce bureaucratic burden in order to practice here is vital



GPT Bill  

Will be in Corporations Committee

Senate sponsor Matt Lamountain SB 577

House Sponsor Rep Brandon Potter HB TBD

Why do we need this?

  • Ensure access to care
  • Shortage of clinicians limits that access
  • Need the ability to provide licensure in accordance with surrounding states, especially MA
  • Economic viability of these clinicians to stay in RI – we are losing our new graduates
  • Currently grad PT has less privilege than a student PT
  • “Covid Class” – we interrupted their education and are now punishing them twice
    • Pass rates 89% in 2021 and 85% in 2022; consistently 91% prior years
  • Timing of the test has changed – only 4 dates instead of anytime
    • April Exam is no available to many local students due to May graduation dates 

What does the bill do?

  • Lining up with Massachusetts –  as long as a clinician has applied to take their boards they can practice under the license of a PT



 Copay Bill

Senator sponsor Demario SB 293

House sponsor Rep Bennett HB 5012

Access to care issue

  • Patients do not attend PT and are forced into more dangerous (opiates), invasive (surgery), or functionally limiting (no treatment)
  • Downstream costs –  Physical Therapy reduces Health Care costs


Primary Care Provider shortages has caused a significant gap in access to care for the community

  • Physical Therapist have the education, experience, and expertise to fill the gap in available primary care services if given the resources to provide access to the community
  • RI Legislature has recognized Physical Therapists as Primary Care Providers since granting Direct access over 25 years ago

Imaging Bill Talking Points – already testified in both houses

Senate Sponsor Lombardi SB 101

House Sponsor Rep Bennet HB 5013

  • Request for extension – no changes to the bill except the sundown date.
  • Delayed roll out to members in order to solidify protocols with imaging providers
  • As a result, only 12 months ordering so far
  • Significant barrier is lack of insurance reimbursement by some carriers (not BCBS) so not all images that have been recommended have been completed due to cost.
  • Data given on appropriateness of ordering and all provisions for communication have been met



On March 21, 2023

Dave Pavao, PT, DPT, and Erin Sayles, PT, DPT testified on behalf of APTA RI last night in the House Corporations Committee on two bills introduced by the RIAPTA Legislative Action Committee. 

House Bill 5076, The Physical Therapy Compact Act – would allow Rhode Island to join the National Physical Therapy Compact 

House Bill 5495, which will allow Graduate Physical Therapists to work under the License of a PT, as long as they are signed up to take the board exam. 

Below is the link for video of the committee hearing: 

The testimony for HB 5076 begins at 1:07:00. 

The testimony for HB 5495 begins at 1:55:30.






APTA RI PO Box 459
Tolland, CT 06084
(857) 702–9915