Source: National Athletic Trainers' Association (NATA)
DALLAS, TEXAS, July 14, 2016 – The U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee held a hearing late yesterday and passed unanimously the Sports Medicine Licensure Clarity Act (H.R. 921), which protects athletic trainers and other sports medicine professionals who travel to other states with an athletic team to provide care for that team. After years of working with members of Congress, the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) is excited that the committee has decided to take action on this important legislation. During the organization’s annual Capitol Hill Day last month, more than 400 athletic trainers representing 48 states met with members of Congress and requested their support in the passage of the bill.
Introduced by Reps. Brett Guthrie (R-KY) and Cedric Richmond (D-LA), last year, H.R. 921 clarifies medical liability rules for athletic trainers and other medical professionals to ensure they are properly covered by their malpractice insurance while traveling with athletic teams in another state.
The bill aims to preserve athletes and athletic teams’ access to sports medicine professionals who provide high-quality health care services. Under the legislation, health care services provided by a covered athletic trainer or other sports medicine professional to an athlete, athletic team or a staff member in another state will be deemed to have occurred in the professional’s primary state of licensure. In addition, the providers will be able to treat injured athletes across state lines without the fear of incurring great professional loss. This bill reinforces the sports medicine team collaborative approach to care among physicians, athletic trainers and others. It is also vital in light of playoffs, championship games and college bowl games where teams travel a great distance with very little notification.
“The hearing is an important next step in ensuring that athletic trainers can continue to provide the best sports medicine care for more athletes,” said NATA President Scott Sailor, EdD, ATC. “This bill would provide appropriate care for teams whether they play at home or on the road and clarifies that the sports medicine professionals in charge are properly covered by insurance. This legislation establishes the best sports safety practices so athletes can excel at their sport knowing appropriate medical coverage is in place.”
For additional information on the Sports Medicine Licensure Clarity Act, including a link to encourage Congressional members to co-sponsor the bill, visit www.nata.org/advocacy/federal/bills-we-support/sports-medicine-licensure-clarity-act.
About NATA: National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) – Health Care for Life & Sport
Athletic trainers are health care professionals who specialize in the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of injuries and sport-related illnesses. They prevent and treat chronic musculoskeletal injuries from sports, physical and occupational activity, and provide immediate care for acute injuries. Athletic trainers offer a continuum of care that is unparalleled in health care. The National Athletic Trainers' Association represents and supports 43,000 members of the athletic training profession. Visit www.nata.org.