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



2024 Session

As of May 10, 2024 

  1. Copay parity with Primary Care physicians  –  SB2403 / HB 7151

Testimony has occurred in both legislative bodies. The bill has been held for further review and we will continue to advocate with legislators individually. 

  1. Joining the National Physical Therapy Compact – SB 2876 / HB7213:

Testimony has occurred in both legislative bodies. This bill has passed through the house and is still held in the Senate awaiting a floor vote. 

  1. Alteration of the GPT license to match geographical neighbors and protect our student/recent grad PTs. – SB 2718 / HB 7256

Testimony has occurred in both legislative bodies. The bill has been held for further review and we will continue to advocate with legislators individually. 

We have a meeting with the Senate President on 5/14 to advocate for our bills with leadership.

Any APTA RI members who can contact their individual legislators (in the district where you live is more valuable than the district where you are employed) should do so this week.  The more calls legislators receive, the more support our legislation will receive when voting processes are undertaken.

Please reach out to me at Greg Doucette for any extra information you may need for contacting your local legislator!



January 30th, Erin Sayles, PT DPT, of the APTA RI Board and Greg Doucette, PT, MPT, Chair of the APTA RI Legislative Action Committee, testified in the Rhode Island House Committee on Corporations regarding HB 7213 and HB 7265 (details of the bills are below). We would like to thank Representative Michelle McGaw and Representative Brandon Potter for their leadership in sponsoring these pieces of legislation and their support of Physical Therapists throughout Rhode Island. 

House Bill No. 7213
BY McGaw, Potter, Cortvriend, Boylan, Handy, Ajello, Cotter, Speakman, Kazarian, Kislak ENTITLED, AN ACT RELATING TO BUSINESSES AND PROFESSIONS -- RHODE ISLAND PHYSICAL THERAPIST LICENSURE COMPACT ACT {LC3592/1} (Allows the state to become a member of the physical therapist licensure compact adopted by twenty-five (25) states in order to facilitate the interstate practice of physical therapy with the goal of improving public access to physical therapy services.)
01/18/2024 Introduced, referred to House Corporations
01/26/2024 Scheduled for hearing and/or consideration

House Bill No. 7265
BY Potter, McGaw, Cruz, McNamara
ENTITLED, AN ACT RELATING TO BUSINESSES AND PROFESSIONS -- PHYSICAL THERAPISTS {LC4474/1} (Amends the licensing statute to allow a graduate of a board approved physical therapy school to be reinstated upon a failed examination upon the filing and registering for a second examination.)
01/24/2024 Introduced, referred to House Corporations
01/26/2024 Scheduled for hearing and/or consideration 

Video of the testimony can be found at this link: 

Testimony runs from 25:39 to 34:00 

Thank you also to our Lobbyists at the Mayforth Group for their continued legislative guidance.



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