Wednesday, September 28, 2016

AAIHR: USCIS ACTION ON FCCPT HURTS PATIENTS, PRACTITIONERS

The USCIS is no longer allowing fully-qualified foreign-educated physical therapists to practice in the US unless they have qualifications that far exceed American-educated physical therapists.  This action harms US patients, who are already struggling to find qualified physical therapists.

A simple review of recent news stories shows that Physical Therapy is the occupation in shortest supply.  These supply shortage are already showing up across the US.  For instance, places like Texas, Arizona, and across the US.

The USCIS’ action is contrary to opinions by CAPTE, APTA, and the 53 State Boards of Physical Therapy, which includes all 50 states and other jurisdictions, such as Puerto Rico and Washington DC.

The American Association of International Healthcare Recruitment is gravely concerned by USCIS’ intent to deny the authority of the FCCPT to issue foreign physical therapy healthcare worker certifications. Musillo Unkenholt, who is a member of the AAIHR, is working closely with the AAIHR to develop a strategy and dialogue with the USCIS over this decision.

APTA reports the shortage of physical therapists could potentially reach over 27,000 in the United States by 2020, driven by a Bureau of Labor Statistics projected 34 percent increase in demand in physical therapists over the next eight years. This projection assumes that physical therapists trained abroad will continue to immigrate. The USCIS decision will only worsen this shortage.

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