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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: August 14, 2023 09:56 AM
From: Representative Tim Briggs
To: All House members
Subject: Modernizing the Acts Governing Athletic Trainers
Athletic trainers are board-certified health care professionals, licensed by either the Pennsylvania State Board of Medicine or State Board of Osteopathic Medicine and recognized by the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and American Medical Association (AMA) as allied health care professionals. In Pennsylvania, over sixty percent of the profession has a master's degree or higher level of education, and all future ATs are required to attain this level of education, with continuing education units every two years. 

However, they are the only licensed allied health professionals who are restricted by the population they can treat.

Athletic trainers are prohibited from treating anyone other than a "Physically Active Person.”  The current definition is a dated, narrow restriction on patient population, oftentimes limiting care to organized team sport activities.   Athletic trainers are board-certified healthcare professionals utilizing the same knowledge and skill set regardless of whether the person plays a sport. 
Current Pennsylvania law finds certain terminology vague and contradictory.  In some cases, life-saving techniques such as using an epi-pen, administering a rescue inhaler or insulin, or administering naloxone or Narcan during an overdose can be prohibited.  Across the country, Athletic Trainers administer these services and more in traditional sports team settings as well as in public safety, occupational health, with the military, and the performing arts. 
My legislation will update the definition to better reflect the profession while also allowing athletic trainers to utilize best practices under “Athletic Training Services” during both routine and emergency care.  Importantly, the services would still be delivered under the direction of a physician.
Pennsylvania has 20 accredited Athletic Training Programs, but graduates cannot fully use their education and training in our state.  Thus, the reality is that too many of our graduates look to other states for employment where the athletic training field is not as restrictive.    
I hope you will join in co-sponsoring this measure to align Pennsylvania’s law with the current practice, training, and education of athletic trainers. Thank you.
Note: This is a two-bill package as both the State Board of Medicine Act and the State Board of Osteopathic Medicine Act must be amended.

Document #1

Description: This legislation amends the Medical Practice Act
  View Attachment

Document #2

Description: This legislation amends the Osteopathic Medical Practice Act
  View Attachment