Practice and Research Committee

The Practice and Research Committee assist the membership in understanding, complying with, and utilizing the PA Physical Therapy Practice Act and serves as a resource for research activities, processes, and education for the membership. Also, the committee serves as a resource to the board of directors and the membership in providing assistance to support best clinical practice within the state of Pennsylvania. We are made up of committee members chosen by the board of a directors with a chair appointed with representation from members across the APTA Pennsylvania chapter.

If you have a clinical practice related question, please contact the Practice and Research Committee Chair, Mary Ann Wharton, and your question will be forwarded to the appropriate resource person by the committee. The practice Committee may, at times, post questions and responses on the web site or in the newsletter when a topic seems particularly relevant or has been asked multiple times. The questioner's identity would not be revealed in such a format.


  • APTA PA Call for Abstract Now Open - 2022 MovePA abstract submissions will be accepted until June 13, 2022. Visit the 2022 Call for Abstract page for more information and to submit your abstract today!

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Telehealth as a Method of Practice

With the passage of Act 73 of 2021, signed into law by Gov. Wolf on Sept. 30, 2021, physical therapists and physical therapist assistants can resume telehealth as a method of practice for the duration of the pandemic, unless further legislation removes this privilege.

It is important for therapists to understand that, as per the Board of Professional and Occupational Affairs (BPOA) statement, 

“Currently no Pennsylvania statute ….prohibits the practice of telemedicine.”

In addition to the above statement from BPOA, Pennsylvania therapists can find evidence to support the use of telehealth as a method of practice delivery from the Professional Scope of Practice, which APTA defines as “grounded in basic, behavioral, and clinical sciences…supported by education, based on a body of evidence, and linked to existing and emerging practice frameworks. The professional scope of practice evolves in response to innovation, research, collaboration, and changes in societal needs.”

There is a significant amount of information on APTA's Telehealth in Practice website indicating that telehealth is included in the professional scope as a method of practice delivery. There are numerous articles discussing the use of telehealth, and there is also a certificate course for therapists.

Be advised that there may be conditions imposed on the use of telehealth by payers, including Medicare. APTA PA encourages member therapists who elect to continue using telehealth, to monitor the Payment Specialist’s Telehealth/E-Visit Quick Reference Guide for updates on which insurers are providing reimbursement for telehealth services.

We will continue to monitor websites and will inform you of any new information as it becomes known.

Federal Legislation pertaining to Reimbursement through Medicare:
On March 11, 2022, Congress passed and President Biden signed into law a 1.5 trillion spending package. This legislation includes a provision allowing PTs to continue receiving payment for telehealth under Medicare for an additional 5 months past the end of the public health emergency - a 151 day extension until December 13, 2022. The legislation also relaxes Medicare requirements about where patients and providers must be located for telehealth services, to include in home services across all geographic regions.  

Reimbursement by commercial insurers: refer to Payment Specialist updates for current status.

NEWPractice Spotlights

The APTA Pennsylvania Practice & Research Committee "Practice Spotlights," are published as a member benefit. These brief handouts and videos address various clinical topics of interest for PTs, PTAs, and students and will be released periodically. The spotlights will be featured in the weekly APTA Pennsylvania event emails on Monday afternoons, and available to view on the Practice Spotlight page (please note: member login required).

Practice Updates

The Practice & Research Committee is transitioning to reporting practice-related information to keep PTs, PTAs, and students informed of important information pertaining to physical therapy practice. Information related to COVID that needs to be communicated will be reported here. The updates will be announced in the APTA PA Weekly, with more detailed information linked as a member service on the Practice Updates page.

Review the Practice Update Archive for older articles/resources.

COVID-19 Updates

Review all COVID-19 updates on the APTA Pennsylvania COVID-19 FAQ & Resource page.

Research Participation Opportunities



Committee Members

Mary Ann Wharton
Practice & Research Committee Chair
Term ends: 12/31/22

Pam Pologruto
Brooke Klatt
Alexis Del Palazzo
  Mark Drnach

Kimberly Wynarczuk
Tammy Frey, PTA
Melissa Myers, SPT