It is a call to action that has resonated with me for years. It is a call to action that I have used repeatedly, having even written a blog post of the same title last year.
The Right To Choose.
It was a great day when physical therapists in Texas adopted this phrase as a rallying cry for consumers. Simple - and to the point. The next legislative session in Texas is in 2015, and consumer awareness can't begin a moment too soon.
In a country founded on free markets, you would expect consumer choice to be a primary element in health care. My question to you, the reader, is simple: does a patient have the freedom and the right to select their health care provider freely and of their own volition? The answer, in the vast majority of states across this great land, is a resounding "no".
There are two separate issues that get confused about consumer direct access to physical therapy. One is of patient choice and clinician autonomy. One is of reimbursement and how it will be paid for in the end. The right to choose is imperative in health care decision-making and has significant ethical importance. The issues of reimbursement can only be addressed if the issue of patient choice is at the forefront of the discussion.
Our legislators in Texas, a state strongly founded on personal rights and freedoms, must be made aware of this. Texans don't have the freedom or right to choose - and how totally Un-Texan that truly is.
As many would be heard to say deep in the heart of Texas, let's get'er done.
Photo credits: William Ward